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Donahue Woods State Forest

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Donahue Woods State Forest locator map

Recreational Activities

  • Primitive Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hunting, Wildlife Management Unit 7M
  • Informal Hiking
  • Nature Observation and
  • Snowmobiling
  • Trapping

Background Information

Donahue Woods State Forest encompasses 1,165 acres and is located in the towns of Solon and Truxton in Northeastern Cortland County. Rustic and rugged, it's great for recreational activities such as hunting, bird watching, nature viewing, informal hiking and snowmobiling. The forest has a Public Forest Access Road running through it which provides 2.0 miles of recreational access through the middle of the forest. This can be used for informal hiking.

In addition, there are four miles of designated snowmobile trails within the forest. These trails are part of corridor trail 5 and 5G and secondary trail 58C as designated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. New facilities will be considered according to the forest's Unit Management Plan.

History

Under Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been given the authority to manage lands acquired outside 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.

Donahue Woods was acquired by the state during the 1930s as part of the Roosevelt Administration's plan to counteract the effects of the Great Depression. The land had originally been used for agricultural purposes, which proved unsuccessful due to the poor quality of the soil and short growing seasons. The State Reforestation Act and the Hewitt Amendment, and later the Environmental Bond Act, provided a means for abandoned farm land to once again become productive under the management of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Today, Donahue Woods State Forest provides diverse ecological, economic, and recreational services for many residents and visitors of Central New York.

Field Notes

Norway spruce stand in Donahue Woods State Forest

The cover types within the Donahue State Forest are similar to other compositions in the region, which include northern hardwood, northern hardwood-hemlock, Norway spruce, red pine, white spruce and white cedar. The plant and wildlife are abundant and diverse, and hunting in the forest can prove to be most enjoyable.

Donahue Woods State Forest is part of the Taylor Valley 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.

Directions

Donahue Woods State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 13 toward Truxton, NY, and turning onto Youngs Crossing. Head south on Youngs Crossing about .2 miles to East River road. Turn left onto East River Road and travel northeast about 2 miles to Maybury Road. Head south on Maybury Road about 2 miles to Bell Road. Head east on Bell Road about 1.5 miles to the Donahue Woods Public Forest Access Road which runs the entire length of the forest in a north south direction. Parking is available, but limited, from the shoulder of the road.

State Forest Regulations

For your safety and protection of the resource, the following regulations are in place:

  1. Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
  2. If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and downed trees only. Never leave a fire unattended. Three foot radius must be cleared around fire.
  3. All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off road use of motorized vehicles, such as, trail bikes and four-wheel drives is not allowed, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC Permit.
  4. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water, roads or trail.
  5. Permanent structures, including tree stands or blinds, are not allowed

Important Numbers:

State Forest Office (M-F 8 am- 4 pm): 607-753-3095 ext. 217

Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-283-1159

DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850

Emergencies: 911