Lake Desolation State Forest

Plank Road was once used for access to a glass factory in this area.  Now an abandoned dirt road, this is the main trail through the NY State forest.  The dirt road is public and has great mountain biking for all ability levels.  Access to the road can be intimidating because of all the private property surrounding it.  Property owners along the road have excessively posted signs to deter people from using the public land.  Respect private property and stay on designated trails.

  • Size: 828 acres
  • Length: Varied
  • Scenery: Forest, Streams
  • Terrain: Dirt Road

Trip Tip: Network of Trails

The southern parcel, 348 acres of the total 828 acres, of the forest preserve are outside of the Adirondack State Park.  This parcel was part of the Kayderosseras Patent.  Black Creek and West Vly Creek drain this watershed.  The maximum elevation is 1895 feet verses the lowest point of 1660 feet.  Wildlife commonly seen in this area includes moose and snowshoe hare.  In the wetland areas you may be able to spot wood ducks, mallards, beaver and muskrat.  Most of the forest is hemlock and white pine with some hardwood scattered throughout.

Ride through the puddles! They’re not that deep!

Directions: Lake Desolation Rd
Take Rte 9N North out of Saratoga Springs. Continue a few miles and make a left onto Middle Grove Rd.  Drive past Ndakinna Wilderness Project and continue 4.2 miles to Lake Desolation Rd on the right.  Drive up Lake Desolation Rd to the lake.  Continue on the dirt road around the west side of the lake until you see the forest preserve sign on the right. Park here and go on an adventure.