Tuller Hill State Forest
Tuller Hill State Forest (Cortland #9 and #10) encompasses 2,440 acres, and is located in the town of Virgil in the Southwestern portion of Cortland County. It is a popular area for a variety of activities, including hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, geocaching and snowshoeing. A trail brochure and map (PDF, 1.43 MB) for Tuller Hill State Forest is available .
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.
Tuller Hill Sate Forest was purchased by New York State during the 1930s when large scale reforestation projects were underway. The land that had once been used extensively for agriculture would be converted back to its original forested state. This would not only combat soil erosion problems, but it would also create and maintain biodiversity, produce forest products, and promote important recreational opportunities for all of Upstate New York's residents and visitors.
Northern hardwood and conifer stand resolutely in Tuller Hill State Forest, providing shelter for a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Peaceful and primitive, it is a popular area for hunting, trapping, and experiencing the great outdoors. Many types of ferns, lilies, clubmoss and even orchids have been spotted in the area, and a wealth of mammals, song birds, amphibians, and raptors are all waiting to be seen by the keen-eyed explorer.
Searching for cache treasures is an adventure in itself, but within the context of this beautifully wild environment, the hunt for coordinates becomes a quite memorable experience.
Trails crossing throughout the woods provide only brief interruptions from the otherwise completely forested area. This seclusion allows for excellent nature observation, as well as picnicking and camping. A lean-to campsite is also available for users based on seasonal availability and on a first come, first serve basis.
Tuller Hill State Forest is part of the Virgil Mountain 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.
The Tuller Hill State Forest Multiple Use Trail System has been designed to offer family-based recreation which covers a wide variety of uses. Therefore, the forest offers a variety of trails, including eight miles of cross-country ski trails, five miles of Finger Lakes Trails, and 12 miles designated for horseback riding. There are also three Public Forest Access Roads (PFAR) within Tuller Hill State Forest:
- Pipeline Public Forest Access Road (1.6 miles in length)
- Snyder Hill Public Forest Access Road (1.7 miles in length)
- Tower Public Forest Access Road (1.7 miles in length)
Finally, there are six miles of snowmobile trails including secondary trails 53 and 55.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Buddy When Out on the Trails***
From NY 11 to NY RT. 392 West, Tuller Hill State Forest can be accessed via Snyder Hill Road which runs north and south through the eastern portion of the forest. Another access road is Clute Road, which runs north off of NY 392 and connects with the eastern portion of Tuller Hill via Pipe Line Rd., and with the western portion via Vinnedge Rd. Parking from the shoulder of the road is available but limited.
- Pass only in flat areas. The faster trail user should verbally indicate a desire to pass.
- The slower user should yield by moving to the right where possible.
- Users going down hill have the right of way. They are typically moving faster and may have less control.
- Do not descend a hill until the trail is clear.
- After a fall, move off the trail as quickly as possible to minimize the risk of collisions.
- When skiing, fill in the sitzmarks before proceeding after a fall.
- Do not hike or bike in the ski tracks. Try to avoid hiking, biking or horse back riding on ski trails when there is a snow on the ground as this may degrade the experience for cross country skiers.
- Mountain bikers and horseback riders must stay on the DEC designated trails.
- Horses and Mountain bikers are prohibited on designated foot paths
- Horses and Mountain bikes are only allowed on trails from May through October.
- The DEC respectfully requests that horseback riders and mountain bikers not ride during wet conditions.
State Forest Regulations
Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe the following rules which protect them and the forest environment:
- Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Permanent structures, including tree stands or blinds, are not allowed.
State Forest Office (M-F 8 am-4 pm): 607-753-3095 ext. 217
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-283-1159
DEC State Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850