Hoxie Gorge 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: Freetown and Virgil, Cortland County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 7M
- Map: View Hoxie Gorge State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (526 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Hoxie Gorge State Forest encompasses 2,115 acres of land. Public Forest Access Roads off of Steve Russell Hill Road provide 2.6 miles of recreational access. There are also two separate segments of accessible trails for those with impaired mobility.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Hoxie Gorge has a portion of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail located near it's northern boundary. There are no other designated hiking trails but hiking is allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.
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 fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.
Hunting & Trapping
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Hoxie Gorge has six miles of snowmobile trail, designated as a secondary 5S trail by the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
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 allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
Wild turkey, foxes, white-tailed deer, and an interesting array of song birds and small mammals are just some of the creatures the visitor may see. The forest is also known to have large populations of ruffed grouse, which are particularly fond of the early successional habitat found in the forest.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
There are also two separate segments of trails in the southern portion of the forest that allow motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities.
Hoxie Gorge State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 11 to Hoxie Gorge-Freetown Road. To reach the southern portion of the forest (Cortland #14), follow Hoxie Gorge-Freetown Road to Marihew Road, and then to Steve Russell Hill Road. Parking is available along the shoulder of the road but is limited.
Steve Russell Hill Road (42.5060253,-76.0526596) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Hoxie Gorge Freetown Road (42.5378583,-76.0702884) 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 Hoxie Gorge 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 Hoxie Gorge State Forest
Hoxie Gorge 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. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us email@example.com.
While the actual gorge for which Hoxie Gorge is named is located to the north of the forest, the stream that runs through the gorge does indeed begin within its boundaries and continues to wind peacefully through the property. Certain sections of the woods are so rich and dense that they have the ability to make travelers feel as if they are in another world.
Hoxie Gorge was originally used for agriculture in the 1800's. However, due to poor soil conditions and short growing seasons, the land became damaged, unproductive and undesirable and was therefore sold to the state in the 1930's for reforestation. Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation 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. Today, with the help of DEC foresters, Hoxie Gorge State Forest provides a wide variety of recreational, economic, and ecological services for the people of New York State.
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.