About Flatrock Mountain Demonstration Forest
Flatrock Mountain Demonstration Forest is a 512-acre tract of land owned by the Northeastern Loggers’ Association (NELA), situated around 6 miles south of NELA’s office in Old Forge, NY. NELA’s mission for the property, located within Adirondack State Park, is to:
Demonstrate the value of sound forest management through biologically and economically sustainable harvests. These harvests, conducted by professional logging contractors, conserve wildlife habitat and natural resources ensuring public recreation, education, and interpretive uses for years to come.
Over the years, several timber harvests have taken place to meet NELA's forest management goals. A shelterwood harvest in a sugar maple-beech-yellow birch stand on the northwest side of Flatrock Mountain was conducted in the summer of 2014, with the goals of removing the beech understory, tending the residual stand, and regenerating a new age class of yellow birch.
The most recent timber harvest took place in the summer of 2022, with similar goals to the 2014 harvest. A shelterwood harvest took place on a 28-acre stand on the south slope of Flatrock Mountain. The harvest focused on understory beech removal. Some sawtimber was cut to cover the costs of removing the low-grade timber, and yellow birch was left (released) a seed source.
Hiking and Outdoor Recreation at Flatrock
The public is encouraged to make use of the property through hiking, hunting, cross-country skiing, and other recreational outdoor pursuits. A marked 2.2-mile loop trail from the parking area winds its way through the demonstration forest to the top of Flatrock Mountain. It’s a moderately difficult climb with some good views from the top. There is a kiosk and signage located at the main entrance of the forest.
In contrast to Flatrock, across the road is a trailhead into the 26,600-acre Ha-De-Ron-Dah wilderness area managed by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). A network of hiking trails runs through this area composed of rocky hills, forest, and wetlands to several ponds and lakes. Popular destinations include Middle Settlement Lake, Grass Pond and Cedar Pond. NELA sees the proximity of these two forests as an opportunity to educate the public about the differences between managed forests compared to wilderness areas and other “forever wild” forests existing within Adirondack Park.
- Established 2002
- 512 acres
- 2.2-mile hiking trail
- Mixed forest of yellow birch, beech, hard and soft maple, black cherry, ash, red spruce and others
2.2 miles, moderate difficulty
The trailhead to Flatrock Mountain can be accessed from the rest area parking lot off State Route 28 in the Okara Lakes area of the western Adirondacks. It is located around 6 miles south of Old Forge, NY, a popular tourist destination in Adirondack Park.