Italy Hill State Forest
Italy Hill State Forest is located ten miles north of the hamlet of Prattsburg. This forest is located in the town of Italy, Yates County.
Recreational opportunities in this forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. The Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail gives good access to the northerly and central portions of the forest. The Yates Snow Travelers Association (YASTA) maintains a snowmobile trail in the southern portion of the forest.
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.
The top of a gully on Italy Hill.
Users should exercise extra caution when accessing stream corridors. Gentle streams become steep sided gullies very quickly in this area. The shale bedrock which forms the bottom of most of these gullies can be very slippery.
Today, Italy 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.
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 Italy arrived around 1790. The town was formed in 1815. 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 Hewlett Amendment and the authority of the Enlarged Reforestation Act. The current size is about 1,898 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 Prattsburg area, proceed northerly along County Route 122 (Prattsburg - Italy Hill Road) to the hamlet of Italy Hill. Continue straight ahead, following Pulver Road, to access the southern end 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