The Grass River Complex is located in the northwestern Adirondacks in the towns of Clare, Clifton, Colton and Fine in St. Lawrence County, and includes more than 125,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Lands. The complex is comprised of:
- Grass River Wild Forest (14,000 acres)
- Cranberry Forest Conservation Easement Tract (7,047 acres)
- Grass River Conservation Easement Tract (51,950 acres)
- Tooley Pond Conservation Easement Tract (23,950 acres)
- Long Pond Conservation Easement Tract (18,950 acres)
- Silver Lake Conservation Easement Tract (400 acres)
- Seveys Conservation Easement Tract (11,750 acres)
Conservation easement lands make up nearly 90% of the total acreage of the complex. A conservation easement is an agreement with the private landowner that can allow restricted or non-restricted public access and protects open space by limiting development.
The private landowner may retain the right to manage the property for purposes such as leasing camps and lands to private individuals and timber production. Logging trucks, skidders, and other logging equipment may be present during logging operations. Specific lands and roads may be closed to public access during logging operations.
Several rivers, streams, lakes and ponds are located in the Complex providing plenty of opportunity for paddling, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, and waterfowl hunting. Lampson Falls and other waterfalls along the Grass River and its tributaries are popular scenic areas.
The forests of the complex provide opportunities for other outdoor recreation activities such as camping, hiking, and hunting. In the winter cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling are popular activities.
Lampson Falls, located within the Grass River Complex, is a favorite destination, and offers an accessible trail leading to the waterfall. Lampson Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Adirondacks with a vertical drop of approximately 100 feet.
The 0.5-mile long trail provides an enjoyable stroll through the forest ending at an overlook on the falls. The majority of the trail is at a grade of 5% or less, however, users should be prepared for steeper grades of up to 10% to get them to a point mid-falls for a great view of the falls and the surrounding area.
Level resting areas are provided at close intervals. Lampson Falls Trailhead Parking Area is located off County Route 27.
Cranberry Forest Conservation Easement Tract is closed to the public annually from the Wednesday after Labor Day through December 15th, except for the Dillon Pond Area and the public access corridors used to reach the Forest Preserve parcel.
Grass River Conservation Easement Tract is closed to the public annually from October 1 through December 15.
Tooley Pond Conservation Easement Tract provides fishing opportunities on several ponds and streams plus roads and trails for a variety of non-motorized activities.
Long Pond Conservation Easement Tract includes campsites, ponds and streams open to fishing, and a 9 miles of seasonal access roads open to public motor vehicles. There are approximately 32 miles of roads and trails open to ATV use. The road accessing the tract from State Route 56 is on a right-of-way through privately owned lands. Area Parking in the clearing near Route 56 or access to any of the lands adjacent to the access road is prohibited.
St. Lawrence County has proposed a 120-mile multi-use trail system, part of which traverses the Grass River, Long Pond and Tooley Pond Conservation Easement Tracts. This trail system allows ATV use from approximately May 15th to September 15th on the signed Multi-Use Trail only.
Public use on the Seveys Conservation Easement Tract is limited to use of the hand launch on the Raquette River at Moody Falls and designated snowmobile trails.
Public use on the Silver Lake Conservation Easement Tract is limited to the designated snowmobile trail.
If you have questions about the Grass River Complex, you can reach out to the DEC Region 6 Potsdam Office (M-F, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM), (315) 265-3090; firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: The trail at Lampson Falls, a Hiker at Lampson Falls, and a scenic view of Lampson Falls (provided by DEC).