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Birdseye Hollow State Forest

View Birdseye Hollow State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (299 KB) || View Forest Stewardship Demonstration Tour Brochure PDF (8.5" x 14", 340 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper

Birdseye Hollow State Forest locator map

Birdseye Hollow State Forest is located two miles north of the village of Savona. This forest is located in the towns of Bradford, Bath, Urbana, and Wayne, all located in Steuben County.


There are several developed recreation sites on this forest.

Sanford Lake is a picnic area and six unit campground located on Sanford Lake, in the town of Bath. Tables, fire rings, and delineated sites are provided. Portable sanitary facilities are provided during the summer recreation season. No trash pick up is provided. This is a carry in-carry out facility. Due to high demand use of the campground during the summer recreation season requires a permit. You must obtain the permit from the Bath NYSDEC office during regular business hours. Permits are not available on-site.

A boat launch for Sanford Lake is adjacent to the campground. Use of the lake by powered watercraft is limited to watercraft powered by electric trolling motors.

Birdseye Hollow Park is a day use area with tables, playground equipment, accessible path to the waters edge, and a picnic pavilion. Portable sanitary facilities are provided during the summer recreation season. No trash pick up is provided. This is a carry in-carry out facility. It is located adjacent to Birdseye Hollow Pond. This area is managed cooperatively with Steuben County Department of Public Works.

Birdseye Hollow Pond does not have a boat launch, and use of the pond by powered watercraft is limited to watercraft powered by electric trolling motors.

Sanford Lake on Birdseye Hollow
Sanford Lake on Birdseye Hollow

Forest Stewardship Demonstration Tour is self-guided Forest Stewardship Demonstration Tour on Birdseye Hollow and Moss Hill State Forests. It has six road side stops which show different stages of forest growth; from young seedling/sapling stands, less than ten years old, to mature forests approaching 100 years of age. It is designed to show how forests change over time. It also demonstrates how forest management helps to maintain ecological diversity which provides a variety of benefits. Brochures are located at each stop, may be printed from the link above, or obtained from the Bath DEC office.

The Finger Lakes Trail provides good access to the interior of the forest. Kris's Trail is a major snowmobile corridor trail. Town and county roads provide mountain biking opportunities.

Hunting, trapping and fishing 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.

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.

Accessible Features

International Symbol of Accessibility

View of floating fishing pier on Birdseye Hollow Pond.
Birdseye Hollow Pond and fishing pier

At Birdseye Hollow Park there are accessible paths to a floating fishing pier and a picnic area with pavilion. The play equipment is old style, and not universally accessible.

The Forest Stewardship Demonstration Tour has six road side stops. Brochures may be printed from the link above, or obtained from the Bath DEC office.

Sanford Lake has a paved accessible path from the gravel parking area to a picnic area and the break wall on the lake.

Full listing of DECs Accessible Recreation Destinations.


The first settlers in the town of Bath arrived around 1793 The town was formed in 1796. The town of Bath was originally known as the "mother" town as it contained most of the lands which now comprise Steuben County.

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 majority of this property was acquired by the State between 1930 and 1940 under the terms of the Hewett Amendment to the State Constitution and the authority of the Enlarged Reforestation Act. Significant additions were made in the early 1960's using the authority of the Parks and Recreation land acquisition bond act. The current size is about 3,446 acres.

Most of the property for this state forest was acquired from the Keuka Lake Power Company, and was originally planned for a hydro-electric project. The Depression intervened, funding for the hydro-electric project dried up, and the lands were sold to the State for use as a state forest.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was active in doing development work on this forest. Tree planting began in the fall of 1939 and continued to the spring of 1979. The post World War II plantings were carried out using Department resources. The CCC was also active in fire control, timber stand improvement, and road work on this forest.

This area was, at one time, much more highly populated than at the present. There are cemeteries located on private lands within the forest, near the hamlet of Sonora and south of Telegraph Road.

Field Notes

The majority of the softwood plantations are fairly young. Many of the red and Scotch pine plantations are suffering decline due to being planted on sites which are not well suited to these species. As these plantations continue to decline, some will be harvested and some will undoubtedly die on their own. No additional tree planting is foreseen. These areas will be allowed to revert to native hardwood stands.

Natural gas extraction has not been a large part of the history of this unit. Gravel extraction has occurred at numerous sites throughout the forest. New York State Electric and Gas owns and operates a major transmission line through the center of this forest. This feature provides good access to the forest interior (foot and horseback traffic only, please!)

Today, Birdseye Hollow 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.

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.


To gain access to this state forest from Savona, proceed northerly on State Route 226. The forest may be accessed from a variety of town and county side roads to the west of State Route 226.

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