Sterling Forest State Park
Sterling Forest State Park is a 21,935.08 acre (88.7 km2) park located in the Ramapo Mountains in Orange County, New York established in 1998; it is among the larger additions to the New York state park system in the last 50 years. Its forest habitat is important for the survival of several species, including black bear and fox, timber rattlesnakes, a variety of raptors and songbirds and many rare invertebrates and plants. Hunting, fishing (including ice fishing), hiking and snowshoeing opportunities are available. The Forest is embedded in a larger area of over 100,000 acres (400 km2) of largely uninterrupted woodland that serves both as a wildlife corridor and as a watershed for nearby urban areas.
The parkland was originally owned by the Sterling Iron Works, which mined and shipped iron ore from a number of sites within the park. The last of the mines were closed in the 1920s.
In 2000 a 575-acre (2.33 km2) tract in the center of the forest came on the market. A developer planned to construct large, expensive houses on the tract. Local residents and concerned environmentalists, including the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, rallied and were able to procure the tract for the State Park.
The park lies in the New York - New Jersey Highlands, a one million-acre (4000 km2) stretch of natural habitat from the Hudson to the Delaware River that links the Abram S. Hewitt State Park in New Jersey with Harriman State Park in New York. The park conserves a part of the Northeastern coastal forests ecoregion. It also protects the Appalachian Trail corridor, which crosses the northern portion of Sterling Forest. The park is administered by the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. The Appalachian Trail in Sterling Forest is maintained by the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference.
The Frank R. Lautenberg Visitor Center, which offers exhibits about the local environment, overlooks Sterling Lake.
The Sterling Mountain Fire Observation Tower and Observer's Cabin is located on Sterling Mountain.
A New York State Hunting License and a Sterling Forest State Park Hunting Permit are required to hunt in the Park. Hunting in Sterling Forest State Park is only permitted during deer and turkey season. Some areas are closed to hunting.
- Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein et al. (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2. [dead link]
- Sterling Forest State Park
- ADK NYC Sterling Forest page[dead link]
- Map of Sterling Forest[dead link]
- Organization working to conserve Sterling Forest[dead link]
- NY-NJTC: Sterling Forest State Park Details and Trail Info
- New York-New Jersey Trail Conference