Sterling Forest State Park, NY
Park Information
Sterling Forest State Park comprises 20,000 acres of nearly pristine natural refuge amidst of one of the nation's most densely populated areas, a remarkable piece of woodland, a watershed for millions, and a tremendous outdoor recreation area. This unbroken deep-forest habitat is important for the survival of many resident and migratory species, including black bear, a variety of hawks and songbirds and many rare invertebrates and plants. Hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities are available.

In 1998, after 10 years of efforts, a consortium of private land trusts and government agencies was able to purchase more than 15,000 acres in Sterling Forest for $60 million. The land was transferred to PIPC, which, two years later, acquired an additional 1,949 acres, followed in 2002 by some 2,200 acres.The rationale for such a massive investment is simple. Sterling Forest is among the largest contiguous forests in the state. It contains the richest area, species-wise, in New York State: it is home to 62 species of butterflies, as well as endangered timber rattlesnakes, bog turtles, salamanders, and 15 other threatened species. Preserving it from development is also crucial to maintaining water quality for more than 2 million New Jerseyans downstream.

To help disseminate knowledge about Sterling Forest's environment and history, the commission built the US Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Visitor Center. The visitor center overlooking Sterling Lake features exhibits about the local environment as well as an auditorium for related presentations.

For more information, please call (845) 351-5907.
Things To Do & See
Birding and Wildlife
Lectures, talks and guided hikes
Cross Country Ski Trails
There are over 80 miles of hiking trails, including 8 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 8.9 miles of the Highlands Trail in the Park. Hikes range from easy to strenuous with many beautiful views.
The Park has several miles of scenic biking trails on old woods roads.
Fishing is allowed on many of our lakes and streams.
A great place for birding, Sterling Forest BCA (Bird Conservation Area) has had over 125 species of birds sighted. it is also one of the largest unfragmented forests in the region with an abundant variety of animals including, bear, deer, beaver, fox, mink, bobcat, fisher, eagles, golden-winged warblers, and turkeys to name a few.
Seasonal Permit required - $5.00 fee. Call the Park Office for more information.
Seasonal Permit required - $30.00 fee. Call the Park Office for more information.
Each month the Friends of Sterling Forest hosts lectures, hikes and special events promoting the park. You can find them at
Senator Frank E. Lautenberg Visitor Center:The Visitor Center houses many exhibits showcasing the history, nature and trails of the park. Featuring an interactive 3D map, theater and gift shop.

Sterling Fire Tower:One of the last working fire towers in New York, the Sterling Tower was built in 1922. The tower is open seasonally and can be reached with a moderate hike from the Visitor Center.

Sterling Furnace No 2: Restored in 1960 the furnace played a major role in the production of iron for the “great chain”, cannonballs and other weapons used in the Revolutionary War.

Southfield Furnace: Built in 1804 by the Townsend family, the furnace is located off of Orange Turnpike in the northern section of the park. A short hike will take you to this 19th century furnace.
In the winter enjoy many of our trails on skis or snowshoes.
Get Directions From: