Taylor Valley State Forest
Taylor Valley State Forest (Cortland #2), formerly known as Seacord Hill, encompasses 4,638 acres and is located in the towns of Cuyler, Solon, Taylor, and Truxton in the middle of Cortland County. It is a popular area for family based recreational activities such as hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, bird watching, nature viewing, picnicking and camping.
Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law authorize 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.
Taylor Valley State Forest was purchased by the state between 1931 and 1967 with an additional purchase in 1977. One of the unique characteristics of this state forest is that it includes a valley that was carved out by glacial movement thousands of years ago.
During the 1930's, the Roosevelt Administration, under the State Reforestation Act and the Hewitt Amendment, made it possible for hundreds of young men to have jobs working on the reforestation of many unproductive and abandoned farms.
Through the hard work and great effort of the Civilian Conservation Corps, thousands of tree seedlings were planted on land that once was used for agricultural purposes. Most of New York's state forests were developed in this way; the Truxton CCC Camp S-118 was originally located in the spot that the Chinango Day Use Area now occupies, a popular attraction at Taylor Valley State Forest.
The Taylor Valley landscape is woven together with a mix of northern hardwoods, conifer plantations and hemlock. The wildlife and plants on both sides of the valley are quite abundant, and a large wetland complex located in the area only adds to the variety of available habitats, allowing for a rich and diverse collection of species.
The Chinango Day Use and Camping Area are also located in the forest and provide many users with a rustic environment in which they can experience the joys of camping, picnicking, and getting back in touch with nature. The Day Use Area has a pavilion with two picnic tables as well as three barbeque pits. The Camping Area, located across the road from the Day Use Area, provides primitive drive-up camping opportunities.
Taylor Valley has about nine miles of snowmobile trails. These trials include portions of corridor trail 5G and secondary trails 59A and 59B, designations given by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. There are also a nine miles of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail System which crosses through the forest.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out on the Trails***
Taylor Valley State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 41 toward Solon. Turn onto Telephone Road. Turn left onto Kiwanis Road, and another immediate left onto the Mt. Roderick Public Forest Access Road to access the western portion of the forest. Continue down Telephone Road to Hawley Woods Road, and then finally turn left onto Taylor Valley Road to access the eastern portion of the forest.
State Forest Regulations
For your safety and protection of the resource, the following regulations are in place:
- All State Forests are Carry in Carry Out facilities.
- Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
- No camping within 150 feet of open water, roads, or trails Groups of ten or more persons, or for stays longer than three nights must obtain a permit from a DEC Forest Ranger.
- Use only dead, fallen wood for camp fires.
- All fires must be extinguished with water, and the coals must be raked until cool to the touch.
- Human waste should be buried in a shallow hole 4-6 inches deep, and at least 150 feet from water, trails, and campsites. Cover with leaf litter and dirt.
- Keep pets under control and on leash while other forest users are around.
- Unauthorized use of motor vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATV's.
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