Independence River and Forest
The Independence river originates near the Eight Lakes of the Fulton chain and runs into Black River in the town of Watson. The Independence river was so named in honor of our national holiday by Pierre Pharoux in 1794, a French engineer and surveyor. Independence River is known for its trout fishing. Redear sunfish, northern pike and yellow perch are also caught in this river. This is a mountain stream which has its origin near the western edge of Adirondack Park, beginning in Herkimer County and flowing west into Lewis County where it meets the Black River in Watson. Both the Independence River State Forest in Lewis County and the Independence River Wild Forest area in Lewis and Herkimer counties are named after the Independence River.
Independence River State Forest is a 673 acres state forest in Lewis County. There are various trees in this forest such as: maple, black cherry, red pine, white pine, and scotch pine. Hiking, biking, fishing, small game hunting and white-tailed deer hunting are some of the recreational activities enjoyed by many at this state forest. Also there is the Otter Creek Horse Trail System for horse lovers which contains over 60 miles of trails together with the Independence Wild Forest area. The Independence River Wild Forest area covers about 76,000 acres of the New York State Forest Preserve located in the towns of Watson, Greig, and Lyonsdale in Lewis County,and the Web in Herkimer County. Snowmobiling is the winter activity in this large area of forest land.