These 14,000 acres can be some of the harshest in the Adirondacks in terms of climate and terrain, but also the most beautiful if you hike to some of its small summits and backcountry ponds. Located in the Essex County towns of Wilmington, Jay, and Keene — as well as a portion of the town of Black Brook in Clinton County — it includes the area between Whiteface Mountain Ski Center, Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway, and state routes 431 and 86.

Access to the area is gained through the Wilmington Flume trail system, 2 miles south of the village of Wilmington on Route 86, or via the Bear Den Mountain trailhead at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area.


There are quite a few different trails you can use to get views of the Wilmington Wild Forest! Here are some of them:


The slope, elevation changes, and prevailing winds mean those hunting here should be prepared. The varying habitat here – as southern deciduous forest meets the northern coniferous trees – supports a wide variety of species, notably hare and grouse.

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