Beaver Dam State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 7 Cortland Office: (607) 753-3095 M-F 8 am- 4 pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: (518) 408-5850 or 911
- Location: Town of Richford, Tioga County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 7R
- Map: View Beaver Dam State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (192 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Beaver Dam State Forest encompasses 1,148 acres. It is a popular area for recreational activities that can be enjoyed in a forest setting, such as hunting, snowmobiling, bird watching, nature viewing and fishing from the small brook.
The 1.5-mile Public Forest Access Road, which is accessible from Sears Road, can be traveled by bike, horse, or foot.
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.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Beaver Dam State Forest has 1.8 miles of formal snowmobile trails running through its boundaries. The snowmobile trails are maintained by DEC Volunteer Stewardship Program volunteers.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
Primitive and wild, Beaver Dam State Forest is home to a variety of habitats that foster a diversity of plant and animal life. As the name suggests, beavers are frequently seen along the small brook that winds through the woods. In addition to the beavers, a wide variety of song birds, amphibians such as salamanders can be found.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
There is a .6 mile trail is open for ATV use for individuals holding a permit through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).
From I-81 Take exit # 8 toward NY RT 79 West. Travel west on NY RT 79 for about 9 miles until you reach Michigan Hill Road and take a right. (If you reach the hamlet of Richford you've gone too far.) Head north on Michigan Hill Road for about 3/4 of a mile, then make a right on Sears Road. Follow Sears Rd. for about 3/4 of a mile- the entrance to the Public Forest Access Road will be on your right.
Sears Road & Public Access Forest Road (42.38512°N, 76.14683°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles 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 Beaver Dam 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.
How We Manage Beaver Dam State Forest
Beaver Dam State Forest is part of the Rockefeller Unit Management Plan, which is currently being written by DEC staff. A Unit Management Plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management.
Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to provide for the management of lands acquired outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management is defined as watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes.
Most of the land encompassing what is today known as Beaver Dam State Forest was purchased between 1939 and 1942. Prior to this point, the land had been cleared of the natural vegetation and used for agriculture by early European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. However, because the soils common in the area are typically thin, somewhat steep and acidic, they are not fit for intensive farming. Harsh winters and short growing seasons further compounded the issue and provoked many farmers to abandon their properties in pursuit of more suitable land in the Midwest. Fortunately, the State Reforestation Act of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment made it possible for the abandoned farmland to become productive once more through the planting of trees. Hundreds of young men found work, and the fruits of their labor is made evident by the forested landscape that now covers the land. Today, Beaver Dam State Forest provides diverse ecological, economic, and recreational services for the people of New York State
If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us email@example.com
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
Tioga County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website)
Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Ithaca.
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.