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Cuyler Hill State Forest

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Culyer Hill State Forest locator map

Cuyler Hill State Forest encompasses 5,507 acres and is located on the northeastern border of Cortland and Chenango Counties. It is a popular area for activities such as hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, fishing, camping, bird watching and nature viewing.

Featured Activities


hikingGeneral information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Cuyler Hill State Forest has 8.5 miles of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail (leaves DEC website), part of which runs through the 20-acre Cuyler Hill Natural Area.


primitive campingGeneral 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.


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

There are 15 clear freshwater streams that wind graciously through the trees and total seven miles in length. Brook trout abound in most of them. Some of the streams include Bundy Creek, Union Valley Creek, and Wells Creek, which are a part of the East Branch of the Tioughnioga and Ostelic River watersheds.

Fishing Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Woods bordering one of the streams in Cuyler Hill State Forest

Hunting & Trapping

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


snowmobilingGeneral information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Approximately 12.5 miles of snowmobile trails that cross the forest are part of the New York State Corridor Trails 5C and 7A which provide snowmobile access between DeRuyter and Pitcher. They use both town roads and public forest access roads.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

snow shoeing cross country skiing General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.


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


Cuyler Hill State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 13 to Cheningo Road. Follow Cheningo Road South about 4.7 miles, then turn left (east) on to Cheningo Solon Pond Road. Head east about 3.6 miles until Cuyler Hill Road and turn left (northeast). Travel northeast about 1.2 miles and turn east onto Randell Hill Road. Follow Randell Hill about 2.2 miles until you reach the Cuyler Hill Public Forest Access Road, which runs the entirety of the forest in a north-south direction. Parking is available but limited from the shoulder of the road.

(42.667746°N, 75.904638°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

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 Cuyler 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.

How We Manage Cuyler Hill State Forest

Cuyler Hill State Forest is part of the Cuyler Hill Unit Management Plan. 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. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email

Cuyler Hill contains a wide variety of forest cover types, including northern hardwood, northern hardwood-hemlock, European and Japanese larch, Norway spruce, red pine, white cedar, and white spruce. The elevation of the forest ranges from 1,245 to 2,080 feet, and is a fantastic place to see ruffed grouse, rabbits, white tail deer, song birds, and a wide variety of small mammals. A section of the forest was established as a natural area in 1969 by Regional Forester Al Roberts to preserve the natural landscape. Cuyler Hill Natural Area now covers approximately 20 acres and will forever remain an area where no trees will be cut.


Under the Environmental Conservation Law Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, the Department of Environmental Conservation has been given authorization to manage lands acquired outside of the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes.

New York State purchased most of the land that is now called Cuyler State Forest between 1933 and 1965, with a recent addition purchased in 1991. During the 1930s, programs initiated by the Roosevelt Administration were an attempt to create new jobs and counteract the effects of the Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked diligently on a massive tree planting campaign to combat serious soil erosion that resulted from poor agricultural practices in the past. CCC Camp S-118 was established in Truxton and planted more than 1,488,500 trees in Cuyler Hill State Forest. In addition, the DeRuyter CCC Camp S-103 planted more than 1,001,200 trees, and the Conservation Department added another 542,500 tree saplings. A total of just over 3 million trees were planted in the forest between 1936 and 1979. As a result of the hard work of hundreds of young men, the forest now provides diverse ecological, economic, and recreational services to residents and visitors of New York.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Cortland County Tourism Office (Leaves DEC website)

Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby community of Cortland.

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.