The hamlet of Stillwater is located 11 scenic miles north of Big Moose and 28 miles from Lowville. Presently our population is 20 year round residents and blossoms in the summer time with many seasonal residents. Located at the west end of the Reservoir this is the only access point and has a parking area, boat launch and the Ranger's Headquaters.
The Reservoir was originally flooded in 1876 to facilitate the logging industry by allowing logs to be floated down the Beaver River. There were three takings here by the state, the second in 1882 and the last in 1922 which is when the current dam was built. Presently the primary purpose for the reservoir is flood control for the Black River Valley. The dam houses a hydro electric facility which runs based on water supply. The reservoir has been managed by The Hudson River Black River Regulating Authority since 1922.
The reservoir currently has about 128 miles of shoreline and 6,700 lake acres. There are many islands but camping is permitted only on a selected few in order to preserve the pristine beauty of the area. There are a total of 46 designated campsites. However, camping is permitted elsewhere provided you are 150 feet off the high water mark. The water depth varies greatly with many stumps and shoals hidden slightly under the surface of the water so boaters beware but fisherman's delight.
Canoers and kayakers enjoy the ever changing scenery and water conditions found here at Stillwater. Winds and waves are not unusual.
Camping is regulated by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation and is cost free. Registration for the campsites is at the Stillwater Rangers Headquarters. All campers must register with the Ranger. This is a wilderness camping area and you must pack out what you pack in. For questions regarding camping and use/regulations of the park, you should contact the Stillwater Rangers Headquarters, 315-376-8030 or the Dadville DEC office, 315-376-3521.
The Stillwater Reservoir is host to one of the largest populations of loons in the state of New York as well as many nesting bald eagles and hummingbirds which frequent the hamlet. Deer, bear, otters, and beaver can often be seen by the diligent observer. Fisherman can enjoy catching small mouth bass, splake, laketrout, and yellow perch.
Stillwater is also a starting point for hiking into the Five Ponds and the Pepperbox Wilderness areas. The wilderness classification strictly prohibits the use of any motorized vehicles and thus these areas offer an unusual opportunity for a wilderness experience which is otherwise difficult to find in the northeast. Day hikes, backpacking trips and canoe trips with portage are some of your opportunities to adventure into the wilderness. Consulting and registering with the local ranger is recommended prior to any trip into the wilderness areas.