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Ossian State Forest

Ossian State Forest locator map

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The 1,303-acre Ossian State Forest offers a rustic experience with a limited amount of development. This forest shares a long common boundary with Rattlesnake Hill State Wildlife Management Area and also has a common boundary with a parcel of Allegany County forest lands. As regulations differ between these areas, users should remain aware of which unit they are on. Today, Ossian and all state forests in New York are managed for multiple benefits to serve the needs of the people of New York. Sustainable management practices will ensure a perpetual supply of timber, a diversity of wildlife habitats, compatible recreational opportunities and clean water.

Featured Activities


primitive camping

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

There is a lightly developed camping area at Evergreen Pond, along Scoville Road. Picnic tables and fire rings are provided, but no water or facilities. This is a carry in-carry out facility. In addition, 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 paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

The 7-acre Evergreen Pond features paddling opportunities. A hand boat launch is located off Scoville Road.



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.

Fishing is allowed on the 7-acre Evergreen Pond.

West Central NY Fishing provides information on fishing in the area and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Hunting & Trapping


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

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons.


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

Two horses pull a cart with a log attached, in the snow.
Horse drawn log skidding on Ossian State Forest.

Although there are no facilities developed for viewing wildlife, like many places in New York you are likely to see wildlife on this land. New York's Finger Lakes region encompasses a wide variety of habitats and landscapes made up of mountainous hills, forests, grasslands and wetlands. Everything from black bear to black-throated blue warblers and brook trout to wild turkey reside in the Finger Lakes of New York. The grasslands are home to a variety of bird species including northern harrier and state-endangered Henslow's sparrow. White-tailed deer and fisher thrive in the forested hills, while beaver and mink flourish in the wetlands. Outdoorsmen and women from across New York State flock to this area year round for its exquisite wildlife watching and unbeatable hunting.


To gain access to this forest from State Route 436 near the village of Dansville, head west on Ossian Hill Road to the hamlet of Ossian. Continue west on Linzy Road. Turn left (south) onto Scoville Road.

Access to the east side of the forest. (42.496496°N, 77.822639°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

Evergreen Pond Hand Boat Launch is located on Scoville Road. (42.491862°N, 77.819547°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) 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 Ossian 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.

Specific Rules

Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

How We Manage Ossian State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Livingston Unit Management Plan (Plan PDF, 104 pages, 3.3 MB). The Livingston Unit Management Plan was prepared by a committee of DEC Professionals at the Region 8 DEC office in 2000. It is comprised of three state forests; Canaseraga, Ossian and Sonyea State Forests, and two Wildlife Management Areas; Conesus Inlet and Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Areas. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands & Facilities

Gas, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Dansville, Canisteo, Almond or Arkport.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Hornell, Canisteo, Almond or Arkport.
Lodging may be found in the nearby community of Hornell.

Livingston County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website) and Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

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.