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Andersen Hill State Forest

primitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingicon key

Andersen Hill State Forest locator map

Andersen Hill State Forest encompasses 554 acres of forested land. Rustic and undeveloped, Andersen Hill is great for activities such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and snowmobiling. Interior access to the State Forest is provided by a 1.6-mile seasonal public forest access road.

Featured Activities


primitive camping

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 any water, road or trail. 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.

Additionally, a cooperative fishing access site developed by the DEC and the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District provides excellent public access to the West Branch of Owego Creek. The public fishing access site is located on the west side of West Creek Road, about four tenths of a mile south of NY Route 79. DEC Bureau of Fisheries staff stock the West Branch with more than 5,000 brown trout annually.

Fishing Access information is available.

Fishing Easement information is available.

grasshopper on leaf

Hunting & Trapping


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



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

The forest has a marked snowmobile trail about 0.5 miles in length that is maintained by an Adopt-A-Natural-Resource (AANR) partner. The trail connects to a larger trail network.


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

Andersen Hill State Forest provides excellent habitats for many different species of plants and animals. Birds, amphibians, and mammals such as the Acadian flycatcher, American woodcock, Cerulean warbler, scarlet tanager, turkey, northern saw-whet owl, wood thrush, ruffed grouse, spotted salamander, grey tree frog, white tailed deer, gray squirrel, red squirrel, chipmunk and little brown bat call the forest home. Ferns, wildflowers, club mosses, fungi and a new generation of trees grow in patches of light on the forest floor, while song birds and raptors fly in the sky above


From Ithaca, New York: Take NY 79 east toward the Tioga County hamlet of Richford for about 15 miles, then turn south on West Creek Road for 2/10 of mile and make a left turn onto Andersen Hill Road. Follow Andersen Hill Road for 1.5 miles; the Andersen Hill State Forest public access road will be on your left. (42.34474°N, 76.22114°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

From Richford, New York: Take NY 38 south for about 3/4 of a mile to Andersen Hill Road. Make a right turn and head west on Andersen Hill Rd. for about 1.8 miles; the Andersen Hill State Forest public access road will be on your right.

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 Anderson 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 Andersen Hill State Forest

Land management actions on the Anderson Hill State Forest are guided by the Tri-County Uplands 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. Andersen Hill State Forest lands are managed to provide a mix of young (early successional), middle-aged (mid-successional) and old (late successional) forest habitats. Forest managers apply ecosystem management principles to conserve, protect, enhance and sustain the many values and services that state land provides to the public.


Cleared for pasture and cropland by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans, the land that is now Andersen Hill State Forest offered limited reward for most farming attempts. The upland soils of the Allegheny Plateau are characteristically thin, steep and acidic. When combined with harsh winters and short growing seasons, the land proved unproductive. High elevation farms were abandoned, as settlement was attempted elsewhere. The State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931 set forth new legislation that authorized the Conservation Department to acquire land, by gift or purchase, for reforestation areas. These State Forests, consisting of not less than 500 acres of contiguous land, were to be "forever devoted to reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes" (Article 9, Title 5, Environmental Conservation Law).

The majority of Andersen Hill State Forest was purchased under this program between 1938 and 1942, with three smaller additions being made in 1962, 1975 and 2009. According to Department records, the Slaterville Springs Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp S-125 hand planted more than 61,000 tree seedlings between 1939 and 1940. In 1954 and 1963, New York State Conservation Department employees planted an additional 111,000 seedlings using a tractor and spade. In total, approximately 85% of the tree seedlings were softwood species, with Norway spruce, Red Pine and White Spruce being the most frequently planted species representing over sixty percent of the seedlings planted.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us info.r7@dec.ny.gov

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Tioga County Tourism Office (Leaves DEC website)

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

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.