David Dana Forest

A mountain in the distance from a green spruce forest.

About the Property

The David Dana Forest is mostly a spruce-fir forest managed for timber products.  Several fields are mowed annually to maintain them as grassy openings for habitat.  The Gold Mine is an excavated cliff face now filled with water and rock from the cliff above.  From historical records the mine is described as descending over 100 feet following a fracture in the underlying gold bearing rock. A very limited amount of commercial gold was removed from the site before it was determined to be uneconomical and closed. 

Please see our Visitor Use Guidelines page for a complete list of rules and regulations for Forest Society reservations. 


Fishing Guide

At the Dana Forest, you’ll find a 2 ½ mile walk through a spruce and fir forest to the site of a former gold mine. You’ll also find access to the Johns River and a chance to see if you can catch a trout. Access to the river is via an old railroad bed. The railroad bed runs to the north off of the town roadway just east of the spot on Ridge Road where one gets to the Dana Forest entrance marked by a Forest Society sign. (Parking is allowed on the side of Ridge Road, but it is not allowed on Lower Ox Team Road, which is private.) Follow the railroad bed to a snowmobile bridge over Johns River, where Forest Society property begins and runs downstream. 


Property Details

The most unique feature of the property is an old gold mine, operated by the Whitefield Mining Company until 1885. The mine has one shaft 100 feet deep, with its entrance carved into the face of a cliff.

Circumstances of acquisition:   David Dana donated the land in Dalton to the Forest Society to create the David Dana Forest. Once slated for a 23-lot subdivision, the land offers diverse habitat, including wetlands, brushy field, extensive deer yards, and a half mile of frontage along the Johns River. There is also productive timberland and excellent recreational opportunities with nearly two miles of trails.

Trail Information




There are no developed parking sites associated with this property. Please do not park at Lower Ox Team Road (private). 

Pull-off at trailhead

The main trail access to the interior portion of the property leaves from a gated entrance located on Ridge Road. Trails include woods roads and wooden steps and stairs over steep sections. This trail winds through a managed spruce-fir forest for nearly 0.7 miles before intersecting with a segment of Lower Ox Team Road. By following Lower Ox Team Road 0.2 mile to the northwest, a hiker will come to the intersection of the Gold Mine trail, which heads to the northeast. This is a rocky, moderately strenuous trail that ends at the mine face in approximately 0.3 mile. 

Directions via Google Maps