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Meads Creek State Forest

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Meads Creek State Forest locator map

Meads Creek State Forest is located four miles north of the hamlet of Campbell. The forest is located in the town of Campbell, Steuben County.

Tips for Using State Forests


Recreational opportunities on this state forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. Orange rectangular blazes painted on the trees mark the hiking path the Great Eastern Trail takes across this state forest. The Great Eastern Trail is still a work in progress, but will eventually start on South Bradford State Forest and end in Alabama. A spur trail connects the Great Eastern Trail to County Route 26 (Meads Creek Rd.). Town and county roads provide mountain biking opportunities.

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails. Permanent tree stands are prohibited. However, a tree stand or blind is allowed, provided that it does not injure any trees, is properly marked or tagged with the owner's name and address or valid hunting or fishing license number, and is placed and used during big game season, migratory game bird season, or turkey season, but no more than thirty days in one location per calendar year.

Facility Sign for McCarthy Hill
Facility Sign for McCarthy Hill

Geo-caching is allowed although caches must be marked with the owner's contact information and may not be placed in dangerous or ecologically sensitive locations.

State Forest Regulations

Anyone enjoying this property must observe the following rules which protect both 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. All fires must be extinguished with water, and the coals must be raked until cool to the touch.
  • Do not bring firewood from home because this may also transport dangerous invasive pests to the state forest.
  • Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
  • Camping for more than three consecutive nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a DEC Forest Ranger.
  • Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water except at camping areas designated by the department.
  • Human waste should be buried in a shallow hole 4-6 inches deep, and at least 150 feet from water, trails, and campsites. Cover with leaf litter and dirt.
  • Motorized vehicles are permitted only on access roads posted as open to motor vehicles. Off road use of motorized vehicles is prohibited, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC permit.
  • No permanent structures should be established, including tree stands or blinds.
  • ATV and UTV use is generally prohibited on State Forests.
  • Individuals with disabilities can apply for a Motorized Access Permit (MAPPWD) to use a motor vehicle on designated roads.


The first settlers in the town of Campbell arrived around 1801. The town was formed in 1831. As noted in numerous other state forest descriptions, agricultural abandonment occurred relatively early (1910-1929) on the hilltop lands occupied by this state forest.

The first purchase offer for this state forest was made under the State Reforestation Law, and occurred in 1936, for $4 per acre. The majority of the property was purchased by 1950, all at $4 per acre. The most recent addition was made in 1963, when $500 purchased 33.5 acres under the Park and Recreation Land Acquisition Act. The current size is about 1,452 acres.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) assisted with development work in this forest. However, most of the tree planting was done post World War II (1946-1955) by Department crews. CCC activities focused on fire control and road work. Meads Creek was an important source of water power early in Steuben County history. None of the mill sites are located on current state forest properties. Meads Creek is also a classified trout stream.

Field Notes

This forest has only a small amount of planted softwoods. This planting occurred in the mid-1960's by Department crews. The red pine plantation on the corner of Taft Road and Stony Ridge Road is currently suffering an aggressive attack by Ips beetle. This beetle is also known as the engraver beetle. It forms tunnels beneath the bark which will kill the tree.

Today, Meads Creek 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 ensure a perpetual supply of timber, a diversity of wildlife habitats, compatible recreational opportunities and clean water.


To gain access to this state forest, travel north from Coopers Plains on CR #26, Meads Creek Road. A left turn on Wixon Road will take you north through the center of the forest, or continue straight to pass through the east side of the forest.

Important Telephone Numbers

Fire and Law Enforcement : 585-226-6706 or 911
State Forest Office (M - F; 8:30 am to 4:45 pm) 607-776-2165