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Florence Hill State Forest

Florence Hill State Forest locator map

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Florence Hill State Forest encompasses about 1,361 acres. The majority of the land that makes Florence Hill State Forest was acquired by the state in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The property is used for water quality protection, recreation, wildlife habitat and timber production.

Featured Activities

Hiking
hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

There are no formal hiking trails but old unpaved forest roads provide excellent opportunities to explore the state forest.

Camping

primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

At-large primitive camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations

There are two unnamed tributaries of the Mad River and one tributary of the West Branch of the Fish Creek that flow through this State Forest. These are all protected trout streams capable of supporting fish populations though the quality of fishing in these streams is unknown.

A pamphlet is available with maps of state lands and public fishing rights that depicts the Public Access for Fishing the West Branch of Fish Creek (PDF 1.3 MB).

A pamphlet is available with maps of state lands and public fishing rights that depicts the Public Access for Fishing the Mad River (PDF 500 KB).

North Central NY Fishing provides information on fishing in the area and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting trappingGeneral Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Some of the wildlife that could be seen on the state forest includes white tail deer, turkeys, hawks, song birds, chipmunks and squirrels.

Directions

From Camden on Oswego Street take a right on Florence Hill Road. Stay on Florence Hill Road for about 6.7 miles and you will reach Florence Hill State Forest. There are no formal parking areas on this unit.

  • Florence Hill Rd. pull off area, after state forest sign (43.453540°N, 75.813766°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Florence Hill State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Specific Rules

Mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding are all permitted on the property, however, there are no currently maintained trails for these activities.

How We Manage Florence Hill State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the 46-Corners Unit Management Plan (UMP). In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us information.r6@dec.ny.gov.

Florence Hill State Forest is comprised of northern hardwoods, conifer plantations and wetlands. The dominant species in the northern hardwood stands are red maple, black cherry, yellow birch, hard maple, white ash, beech, hemlock and red spruce. The plantations were established in the late 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s. Throughout those years white pine, red pine, Scotch pine, jack pine, Norway spruce, white spruce, white cedar and Japanese larch were planted. Most of these plantations can still be seen today.

At one time, most of this part of Oneida County was owned by the abolitionist Gerrit Smith, who was known for giving land to people in need. Recent research indicates that portions of Florence Hill State Forest were at one time part of this effort. Several plots of land were apparently gifted, or sold at very reasonable rates, to African American families with the hope that a self-sufficient community could be established. However, the combination of poor soil conditions and long harsh winters made it very difficult to live on the land. Most of the remaining acreage was sold to Irish immigrants who faced similar challenges.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

DEC Lands & Facilities

Information regarding where to find amenities:

  • Gas, dining opportunities, lodging, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities Camden and Rome.

Oneida County Tourism website (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.