Information on:

Savage River State Forest

Savage River State Forest
127 Headquarters Lane


Biking trails, boat launch, cross country skiing, campsites, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, hunting, picnic, riding trails, shelters, snowmobiling, white water canoeing. Pets are permitted but must be under control at all times.


70 primitive sites are available. Self register for these sites at the Headquarters Office or at any of the six self-registration sites on the forest. You must register for the campsite within the first hour of occupancy. Campsites are limited to no more than 6 people per site, and no more than two camping units (tent, dining canopy, pop up, RV, or combination thereof) and two vehicles per site. Leave No Trace standards apply to all campsites as we try to accommodate use while minimizing our impact on the soils and vegetation in these areas.

Backpack camping is also permitted throughout the forest. Self register for these sites at the Headquarters Office or at any of the six self-registration sites on the forest, by filling out an envelope, enclosing the appropriate payment ($10/ night/ site) and enclosing a trip itinerary and the names of the people in your party. The same restrictions apply as listed above in terms of numbers of people and tents per site. Campfires are permitted in most areas of the forest. However, Wildland regulations prohibit the use of campfires in these 12,000 primitive acres of the forest for safety issues and to minimize impact of these fragile and sensitive areas. Be sure to check area maps for Wildland boundaries so that if you are backpack camping in a Wildlands area you are not building campfires. Again Leave No Trace guidelines apply to backpack camping as well. The day use of the area is free.


Hunting is permitted throughout the forest except where posted with safety zone signs. Hunters should consult their hunting guide for exact seasons and bag limits. Please be aware of boundary markers indicating private property. The State Forest boundary lines are marked with yellow paint on trees.

Horse Back Riding

Horseback riding in Savage River State Forest is permitted on all maintained forest roads that are open to public vehicle traffic, except for the East Shale ORV Trail and the St Johns Rock ORV Trail. Horseback riding is NOT permitted within any state park boundaries, designated wildlands or on any designated foot trails, which include the Big Savage Hiking Trail, Poplar Lick Hiking Trail and the Monroe Run Hiking Trail.


Trail maps are available at the forest office for all trails. The 10 miles of cross-country ski trails at New Germany State Park are available at the New Germany State Park Office.

The Big Savage Trail is now open but the going is rough and recommended for only the most experienced hikers with excellent navigation skills. The ice storm of 2002 and Gypsy Moth defoliations in 2006 and 2007 have ravaged the forest canopy over large areas of the trail, allowing sunlight to proliferate an abundance of vegetative growth on the forest floor thus obscuring the trail in many locations. Volunteer efforts are underway to clear these overgrown sections but until the forest canopy reestablishes itself at some point in the future keeping the trail open will continue to be a challenge.

Mountain Bikes - Mountain bikes are allowed on all hiking trails except for Monroe Run and Big Savage. Visitors can ride non-motorized bikes on many of the trails and roads in the state forest but are asked to exercise extreme caution, especially on blind curves.

Backpackers - A permit may be obtained at the Savage River office to backpack and camp in the state forest.

Savage River State Forest is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media