Robinson Hollow State Forest
Robinson Hollow State Forest (Tioga #3) encompasses 1,938 acres in three southern tier counties. The State Forest in in the towns of Richford, Caroline, and Harford. Fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, informal camping and bird watching are some of the recreational opportunities that Robinson Hollow offers. 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. A unit management plan, called Tri-County Uplands UMP, is in place for this forest.
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. 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.
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 is a nice setting for fishing, hunting and trapping. The Tri-County pond provides family fishing opportunities. The pond is stocked with rainbow trout and largemouth bass. In addition the forest has about three miles of marked snowmobile trail maintained by the Dryden-Caroline Drifters Snow-Mobile Club. About 2.5 miles of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail passes through the property and provides foot trail access to Hammond Hill State Forest (please see map). The Finger Lakes Trail Conference also maintains a lean-to along the hiking trail in the southwestern part of the forest.
***Stay Safe - Bring A Friend When Out On The Trails***
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 at geographic coordinates- 76.25256 W and 42.40865 N. The Kimmee lean-to along the Finger Lakes trail is located at- 76.27181 W and 42.39057 N.
State Land Regulations:
Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe the rules which protect them and the forest environment.
State Forest Office (M-F 8 am-4 pm): 607-753-3095 ext. 217
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-798-1797
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850