Maple Hill State Forest
As a result of the EF-1 tornado of July 26th, 2012, there are large amounts of shattered trees and hanging debris in the wooded portions of this state forest. Some areas will not be appropriate for dispersed recreation (hunting, hiking, etc.) until this material falls to the ground. While NYSDEC does not believe the hazards are large enough to require a closure of the state forest, please be very cautious in your use of this state forest during the fall and winter of 2012, particularly on windy days.
Maple Hill State Forest is located seven miles northeast of the hamlet of Chemung, in the town of Chemung, Chemung County.
Timber salvage sales are being conducted where possible and appropriate. This activity will result in changes to the historic traffic patterns within this state forest. We expect an increase in heavy truck traffic entering and leaving this state forest, as well as heavy equipment in areas where it would not ordinarily be found. The increase in truck traffic will be short term (most likely less than one year). Press Release on Salvage of Timber.
Recreational opportunities in this forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. 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. 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.
As this is a fairly recent addition to the State Forest System, there are significant portions of this forest occupied by open fields. These fields provide for critical habitat diversity, and will be maintained in their present state.
View from Maple Hill
Today, Maple Hill 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.
Individuals with qualifying disabilities may apply for a permit to operate an ATV on trails designated by the NYS DEC. A permit must first be obtained from the NYS DEC. This program is known as the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).
Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.
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 clear records of settlers in the town of Chemung date to 1786. The town was formed in 1798. As noted in numerous other state forest descriptions, agricultural abandonment occurred relatively early (1910-1929) on the hilltop lands occupied by this state forest.
This forest was acquired under the terms of the Parks and Recreation Land Acquisition Bond Act in the 1960's. The current size is about 604 acres.
This forest was not acquired until after the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era. Thus the CCC did not conduct reforestation or other management activities on this area. Planted softwood does make up an important part of this forest.
To gain access to this forest, from the hamlet of Chemung, proceed northerly on County Route #3 (Wyncoop Creek Road), make a right onto Pryne Road, which dead ends in the state forest. Pryne Rd is a seasonal road, and will get icy in cold weather.
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