Robinson Hollow 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: Richford in Tioga County, Caroline in Tompkins County and Harford in Cortland County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 7R
- Map: View Robinson Hollow State Forest Map || View Same Map as a PDF (937 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Robinson Hollow State Forest encompasses 1,938 acres in three southern tier counties. Fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, informal camping and bird watching are some of the recreational opportunities that Robinson Hollow offers.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
About 2.5 miles of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail (leaves DEC website) passes through the property.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The Finger Lakes Trail Conference maintains a lean-to along the Finger Lakes hiking trail in the southwestern part of the forest. 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.
The Tri-County pond provides family fishing opportunities. The pond is stocked with rainbow trout and largemouth bass.
Hunting & Trapping
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The forest has about three miles of marked snowmobile trail maintained by the Dryden-Caroline Drifters Snow-Mobile Club.
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 permitted on all hiking trails.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
Robinson Hollow State Forest provides excellent habitats for many different species of plants and animals. This variety of habitats supports a great diversity of wildlife species including mammals, reptiles, amphibians such as the Allegheny dusky salamander, and birds. Animals such as deer, turkey, grouse, raccoon and fox are common. Ferns, wildflower, clubmoss and many types of fungi can be found throughout the forest.
Robinson Hollow State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 38 to Harford. Turn onto Creamery Road (across from the junction with RT 221). Travel southwest about 0.3 miles. Bear right onto Lacey Road and travel about 2.1 miles to the top of the hill. The stocked fishing pond and parking lot are on the right (42.40865°N, 76.25256°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Kimmee lean-to along the Finger Lakes trail (42.39057°N, 76.27181°W) 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 Robinson Hollow State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices (#28708) for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.
How We Manage Robinson Hollow State Forest
Robinson Hollow State Forest is part of the Tri-County 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.
Robinson Hollow State Forest, like many of New York's state forests, had originally been cleared and farmed by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. Unfortunately, the upland soils of the Allegheny Plateau are thin, relatively steep and acidic. As such, the ground is not fit for intensive farming. When combined with harsh winters and a short growing season, it is quite understandable that farmers abandoned these lands in pursuit of more fertile properties in the Midwest.
The Department of Environmental Conservation, under Article 9, Titles 5 and 7 of the Environmental Conservation Law, is authorized to manage lands outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. The forest is managed to conserve, protect and enhance wildlife diversity and habitat. Sustainable forest products such as firewood and sawtimber are produced as wildlife habitat is created and enhanced. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes. In order to reduce soil erosion, protect water quality, provide forest products and recreational opportunities, the State of New York started acquiring these abandoned properties during the 1930's and planted thousands of trees, returning the land to forest.
The majority of Robinson Hollow State Forest was purchased between 1934 and 1941. Five additional purchases were made in the 1960's, with two more purchases in the 1980's. The previous owners included the Oliver, Fitzcharles, Wattles, Beam, Dickenson, Wright, Allen, Hoaglin, Loring, Welch, Royce, Morton, Gardiner, Brown, Beebe, Wuensch, Cortright, and Donato families.
Between 1935 and 1939, the Slaterville Springs Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp S-125 hand planted more than 793,000 tree seedlings on the land. Another 211,000 seedlings were added in 1962 by the Conservation Department, and more than 40,000 were planted in 1963 with just a tractor and a spade. The McCormick Youth Camp hand planted more than 57,000 tree seedlings in 1966 and 1967. In 1981, another 10,000 seedlings were added to the land in Robinson Hollow. The majority of the seedlings planted were softwood species, including Norway spruce, red pine, and white pine.
Today, the landscape has been completely transformed from farm and pasture land to forest. It provides many ecological services such as soil and water conservation, carbon storage, nutrient recycling and clean air.
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.