ACCESS & REGULATIONS

Access to Fort Drum

Access to the Training Area (the area north of NYS Route 26) is generally open to everyone for recreation. A Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass is required and check-in procedures must be followed before entering the training area. Entry into Fort Drum training areas may begin 2 hours before sunrise. Exit of all training areas must be no later than 2 hours after sunset.

Persons requesting to remain in or enter Fort Drum training areas during hours of darkness, or to enter either permanent or temporarily off limits areas for wounded game, lost hunters, etc., must be accompanied by personnel from Range Branch (315-772-7152) or the Millitary Police (315-772-5156). Recreationists participating in nighttime fishing, predator hunting, or overnight camping activities are the only recreationists authorized to be in the Fort Drum training areas from 2 hours after sunset to 2 hours before sunrise.

Access to the 8,000+ acre Cantonment Area (the area generally between NYS Routes 26,11, 3, and 342 behind the fence where the buildings are located) is allowed with proper identification, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Fishing and other recreational activities are allowed; recreational trapping is prohibited to everyone; and hunting is restricted to certain areas and only to those persons possessing one of the following:

  1. Military I.D.
  2. Military Dependent or Family Member I.D.
  3. Retired Military I.D.
  4. Civilian Department of Defense I.D. CAC Card.
  5. Retired Civilian Department of Defense I.D. CAC Card.
  6. Contract personnel with a Defense I.D. CAC Card with a green stripe and magnetic strip. This is not the same as a Rapid Gate Pass or other contractor-controlled I.D. card.

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)
  • Fishing
  • Boating (including Canoeing and Kayaking)
  • Trapping
  • Wildlife Viewing and/or Photography
  • Camping
  • Harvesting Fruit, Mushrooms, Ramps/Leeks, Asparaus, Fiddleheads, Dandelions, and/or Rhubarb (for personal use only)
  • Picknicking
  • Geocaching
  • Target Shooting (archery any time or with firearms only on ranges designated by Range Branch)
  • Dog Walking/Training
  • Hiking
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Snowmobiling (only in Training Areas 7E, 7F, and 7G)
  • ATV Riding (only on recreational roads around Training Areas 7E, 7F, and 7G)
  • Driving

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 (but a NYS fishing license is required).

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 driver's side on the dashboard, windshield, or side window of the vehicle. 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 available 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 blue navigation bar at the top of this page and click on "First Time Permit" and follow the instructions. At the end of the process, you can print out your permit. Regulations are available to read and download at the top of this page (and other pages). Recreation maps are available to be picked up at the kiosk outside of the Natural Resources Outreach Facility (Bldg. S-2507)--directions are below.

Obtaining a Fort Drum Recreation Map

The most up-to-date map has a an orange box in the lower right corner and states "Updated 2023."  A full size (24" x 30") printed version of the Recreation Map is available free-of-charge 24/7 from the kiosk outside of the Natural Resources Outreach Facility (Bldg. S-2507). The updated 2023 Recreation Map (9MB) can also be downloaded.

Directions to get to the Natural Resources Oureach Facility are as follows:

From Interstate 81, take Exit 48A to Interstate 781. Go 4.0 miles to Exit 4 (the only exit) before the Fort Drum Cerjan Gate. At the stoplight at the bottom of the ramp, turn left onto US Hwy 11 north and go approximately 3.0 miles to NYS Route 26 (at Evans Mills). Turn right at the stoplight onto NYS Route 26 and go approximately 5.0 miles (past the stoplights going to Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield to the left) and turn left into the driveway--"Natural Resources Outreach Facility" is on a green sign. The log cabin kiosk can be seen from Route 26 at the edge of the parking lot to the left of the front door.

The Natural Resources Outreach Facility is 0.3 miles from Great Bend at the junction of NYS Routes 3 and 26. 

The Natural Resources Outreach Facility is open Tuesdays and Thursday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. The Natural Resources Outreach Facility is adjacent to the new 10th Mountain Division & Fort Drum Museum which can be found on Google Maps (Address: P2509 Col Reade Rd., Fort Drum, NY 13602). 

New York State Licenses

New York State hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses are required on Fort Drum. New York State licenses can be obtained several ways via the Department of Environmental Conservation Licensing System (DECALS). New York State sporting licenses can be purchased in person on Fort Drum at the Post Exchange (PX) operated by AAFES. See the NYSDEC web site for information about hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses.

Active duty military personnel and family members stationed at Fort Drum are eligible to purchase sporting licenses as New York State residents instead of non-residents. NYS residents who are active service members of either the New York State Organized Militia, US Reserve Forces, or certain members of the US Armed Forces are eligible for FREE sporting licenses. See the NYSDEC web site for more information on New York State's Patriot Plan

Sportsman's Hotline to Check-in & Check-out

Before entering the Training Area (or hunting in the Cantonment Area), recreationists must check-in with Fort Drum's Range Control. This is done most easily through the web site via a computer or smart phone. The Sportsman's Hotline is updated at approximately 3:00 pm. An interactive map and list will show the areas open for recreation the following day. If you don't have a computer or smart phone, you can check-in by calling the Sportsman's Hotline at 1-855-267-9770 and follow the prompts. 

All recreationists are required to check-in to an open subtraining area. You have the option to check-in to three areas at a time. If you are recreating only along a road (e.g., birdwatching from the road, going for a drive, etc.) and not entering a subtraining area, there is the option of "Road Recreation."  

Check-out is required at the end of the day. Check-out must be done no later than 2 hours after sunset.

A Fort Drum Recreational Access Pass for each person in the vehicle must be displayed with the access pass number facing up in clear sight in the windshield, dashboard, or side window on the driver's side of the vehicle at all times. 

A government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver's license) must be carried on your person any time you are engaged in a recreational activity in the Training Area (or hunting in the Cantonment Area); a New York State license is also required for hunting, fishing, and trapping on Fort Drum.

Fort Drum and any part thereof may be closed at any time at the discretion of the Commander when deemed necessary. Recreational use of the installation is secondary to requirements of the military mission.

Nighttime or Overnight Activities

Recreationists engaged in nighttime fishing, predator hunting, and/or camping, must check-in through the Sportsman's Hotline (the web site or 1-855-267-9770) prior to entering the Training Area. These are the only recreational users authorized to be in the Fort Drum Training Area 2 hours before sunrise and 2 hours after sunset.  

For campers only: Upon reaching your destination in the Training Area, campers must contact Range Control (315-772-7152) and confirm their location.