Catlin State Forest
Catlin State Forest is located five miles north of the village of Horseheads, in the Allegheny Plateau. The state forest is located in the town of Catlin, Chemung County.
Recreational opportunities on this forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. There are no formally designated trails.
Most of this forest will require significant walking to access.
Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Due to housing density surrounding this forest, hunters need to take extra care to assure themselves of their target and that they have an adequate backstop. 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.
Today, Catlin and all state forests and multiple use areas 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.
State Forest Regulations
Skunk Wandering on Catlin
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 Catlin arrived around 1800. The town was formed in 1823. 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 in 1930-1938 under the terms of the Hewett Amendment and the authority of the Enlarged Reforestation Act. Significant additions were made under the authority of the Parks and Recreation Land Acquisition Bond Act in the 1960's, and through donations in the 1970's. The current size is about 613 acres. Due to the distance from an active camp, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did not conduct reforestation activities on this forest. Some small scale tree planting was accomplished by DEC crews in the early 1960's. Both the CCC and Works Projects Administration (WPA) were active in other management activities such as fire control, timber stand improvement, road maintenance, etc.
To gain access to this forest from the Big Flats / Arnot Mall area, proceed north along County Route 35 (Chambers Road) to Tompkins Corners. Turn left, following County Route 35, which will bisect 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