- NEW We have a new web site! Things are going to function a little differently. Check out the page on the navigation bar at the top explaining some of the changes and how to set up an account, renew a recreation pass, or check-in and check-out.
- NEW We have a new Sportsman's Hotline number: you can call 1-855-267-9770 or use this web site to check-in and check-out.
- Recreation Passes still EXPIRE 31 December! Fort Drum Recreation Passes are still FREE!
- Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Camping (updated 1 Aug 2017) is available for the 2017-2018 season.
- Fort Drum Regulation 190-6 Control of Privately-Owned Firearms (updated 15 Aug 2016) is available. New Gate Access Policies went into effect January 15, 2015. See the procedures to register a firearm if you do not have a military i.d.
- NEW The Natural Resources Outreach Facility and kiosk for Recreation Maps and brochures has moved to Bldg. S-2507--the first building you come to when entering from Rte. 26.
ACCESS & REGULATIONS
New News Updated: 8/1/2017
Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Camping (updated 1 Aug 2017) is available for the 2017-2018 season.
Fort Drum Regulation 190-6 Control of Privately-Owned Firearms (updated 15 Aug 2016) is available. New Gate Access Policies went into effect January 15, 2015. See the procedures to register a firearm if you do not have a military i.d.
The Natural Resources Outreach Facility and kiosk for Recreation Maps and brochures has moved to Bldg. S-2507--the first building you come to when entering from Rte. 26.
Recreational Activities Allowed on Fort Drum
The following activities are allowed on Fort Drum in the Training Area with a Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass:
- Hunting (including Scouting)
- Target Shooting (archery any time or with firearms only on ranges designated by Range Branch)
- Trapping (with prior approval)
- Wildlife Viewing and/or Photography
- Harvesting Fruit, Mushrooms, Ramps/Leeks, Asparagus, Fiddleheads, Dandelions, and/or Rhubarb (for private use only)
- Dog Training or Walking
- Cross-country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Snowmobiling (only in Training Areas 7E, 7F, and 7G)
- ATV Riding (only on recreational roads around Training Areas 7E, 7F, and 7G)
- Boating (including kayaking and canoeing)
Fort Drum Recreational Access Passes
All persons, including children of any age, entering the TRAINING AREA for any recreational activity must have a Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass—there are no exceptions.
For the CANTONMENT AREA, a Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass is required for hunting only. (Trapping is not allowed and no access pass is required for other activities including fishing).
The Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass for every person in the vehicle must at all times be clearly displayed with the access pass numbers facing up, on the vehicle dashboard, windshield, or driver side window. An Access Pass must be displayed in your vehicle (including when hunting in the Cantonment Area) for every person recreating that day.
Recreationists 18 years of age and older must have a government-issued photo I.D. (e.g., military I.D., driver’s license) on their person while engaged in any recreational activity on the installation. A New York State hunting, fishing, and/or trapping license is required per New York State regulations for persons engaged in those activities on Fort Drum. All documentation must be produced upon demand to any Law Enforcement Officer, or individual who provides identification as an official of Fort Drum.
Fort Drum Recreational Access Passes are valid beginning January 1 and expire December 31. Access passes are free of charge.
Obtaining a Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass
Fort Drum Recreational Access Passes can be obtained only at this web site. Go to the navigation bar at the top and click on "First Time Permit" and follow the instructions. At the end of the process, you can print out your permit. Regulations must be downloaded from this web site, but the recreation map is only available to be picked up in the kiosk outside of the Natural Resources Outreach Facility.
Obtaining a Fort Drum Recreational Map
The most up-to-date map has a blue box in the lower right corner and states "Updated 2016." The Updated 2016 Recreation Map (7-MB) can be downloaded.
A full size (24" x 30") printed version of the recreation map, is available free-of-charge 24/7 from the kiosk outside the the Natural Resources Outreach Facility (Bldg. S-2507). (**This is a new location as of May 2016--it is the first building you will see when entering off of Rte. 26.**)
- New York Sportsman's Expo at the New York State Fair Grounds in Syracuse, NY on Friday, January 24 through Sunday, January 26.
- A great opportunity for families: Super Science Saturday on Saturday, February 4 at Jefferson Community College in Watertown 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Admission is free.
- Adirondack White Out Weekend at Cranberry Lake, Star Lake, and Wanakena--only a short drive from Fort Drum--on Friday, February 17 - Sunday, February 19. Free admission.
- Maple Days on Fort Drum on Saturdays, March 18 and March 25 from 10:00 am - 3:00 p.m off of 45th Infantry Drive. See how maple syrup is made. Get a free sample of maple syrup!
- Passes valid through December 31, 2017 are available on-line. See the navigation bar at the top if you have never had a pass or are renewing a pass. Passes are still FREE.
- It is the responsibility of all Fort Drum Access Pass holders to know Fort Drum regulations. Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Camping (updated 1 May 2016) is available for the 2016-2017 season.
- First-time hunters must complete a NYSDEC Hunter, Bowhunters, and/or Trapper Education coursebefore applying for a respective New York State license. Below are links to the different classes offered that can be sorted by distance from a zip code location.
- Trout fishing season begins April 1, 2017.
- Youth turkey hunting season is April 22-23, 2017 throughout NYS.
- Spring turkey hunting season is May 1 - May 31, 2017.
- Northern Pike, Walleye, Pickerel, and Tiger Muskellunge season begins May 6, 2017.
- Largemouth Bass & Smallmouth Bass season begins June 18, 2016.
- Gray squirrel, Canada goose, and Crow hunting seasons begins September 1, 2017.
- Early black bear hunting season begins September 17, 2016.
- Youth waterfowl hunting season is September 17-18, 2016.
- Ruffed grouse hunting season begins September 20, 2016.
- Archery deer and black bear hunting seasons begin September 27, 2016.
- Wild turkey, Cottontail rabbit, Snowshoe hare, Woodcock, and Snow goose hunting seasons begins October 1, 2016.
- Duck & Merganser hunting season begins October 8, 2016.
- Crossbow deer and black bear hunting seasons begins October 12, 2016.
- Muzzleloading deer and black bear hunting seasons begins October 15, 2016.
- Regular deer, regular black bear, and regular Canada goose hunting seasons begins October 22, 2016.
- Duck & Merganser hunting season begins October 29, 2016.
- Regular Canada goose hunting seasons begins November 16, 2016.
Fort Drum is the largest Fish & Wildlife Management Act (FWMA) Cooperator Area in NewYork State. Fort Drum signed the original agreement in 1959 to provide additional outdoor recreational opportunities to the public. Fort Drum is over 108,000 acres in size with approximately 70,000 acres open to everyone (including the public) for recreation. Fort Drum has 3 lakes and 4 ponds totaling 506 acres that are commonly fished—Indian Lake (184 acres) is the largest lake on the installation.
Besides permanently prohibited areas, the only restricted access and activity on Fort Drum is hunting in the Cantonment Area and Training Areas 5E and 6C. Approximately one-third of the 8,000 acre Cantonment Area is open for archery hunting only by persons with Department of Defense identification. Training Areas 5E and 6C are open for disabled access hunting only. None of these areas are open for trapping, although fishing and other recreational activities are allowed in the Cantonment Area to anyone including the public.
The area surrounding Fort Drum is generally rural with small concentrations of residential, commercial, and industrial areas mainly within villages. Although there are few federal lands near Fort Drum, state lands are numerous including state forests, forest preserves, wildlife management areas, and state parks. The majority of protected land is large forested tracts (primarily state forests, wilderness areas, wild forests, and primitive areas) located in Adirondack Park which is only 5 miles from Training Area 19 in the northeastern part of Fort Drum. State forest lands border some areas of Fort Drum. The nearest state wildlife area is Perch River Wildlife Management Area (7800 ac) approximately 5 miles to the northwest of the Cantonment Area of Fort Drum.
The natural beauty of the region along with world renowned fishing, boating, and winter recreation opportunities has made tourism a substantial part of the regional economy. This includes the Thousand Islands region along the St. Lawrence River approximately 20 miles to the north of Fort Drum, Lake Ontario approximately 16 miles to the west, and Adirondack Park to the east. The Black River running past Fort Drum and through Watertown is nationally known for kayaking. Fort Drum attracts hunters throughout the eastern U.S. See the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) web site for a guide to outdoor activities in New York State.
Fort Drum is home of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). It is also the largest installation in the northeastern U.S. and serves as a training facility for Reserve and National Guard units in the region. The initial acquisition of land for Fort Drum occurred in 1909 and the most significant acreage—75,000 acres—was acquired in 1940. Fort Drum is an active military installation and recreational use is secondary to the military mission.
To ensure sound natural resources management, an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan(INRMP) was developed and first implemented in 2001 and revised in 2011. The INRMP was prepared in partnership and signatory cooperation with NYSDEC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), representing the state and federal Sikes Act agencies, respectively. The INRMP and its implementation helps ensure: (1) the sustainability of quality training lands to accomplish the military mission; (2) compliance with environmental laws and regulations; (3) good stewardship of public lands; and (4) enhancement of quality of life on and around Fort Drum. Fort Drum has a staff of natural resources professionals committed to supporting these goals. See the Fort Drum web site to learn more about other natural resources management on the installation including forestry and wetlands.