Cinnamon Lake State Forest
Cinnamon Lake State Forest is located about 7 miles north of Coopers Plains, near the hamlets of Monterey and Beaver Dams, in the Allegheny Plateau. It covers approximately 1,786 acres in the towns of Orange in Schuyler County, and Hornby in Steuben County.
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.
Forest view on Cinnamon Lake
The parking lot on Hornby Rd. can be used to access a snowmobile trail on the north side of the road, and a foot trail to Cinnamon Lake on the south side. Gas Well Road Trail heads east from a parking lot on Forks-Monterey Rd.
The only ATV trails that exist are for persons with disabilities - pursuant to the NYS DEC Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD). 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. The trails are open for walking at any time.
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.
This area was settled beginning in the late 1700's. As noted in numerous other state forest descriptions, agricultural abandonment occurred relatively early (1910-1929) on the hilltop lands occupied by this state forest.
Cinnamon Lake State Forest was one of the earlier state forests in Steuben and Schuyler counties, with the first parcels being purchased by New York State in 1932. Additional acres were acquired in 1933, 1936-1937, 1939-1940, 1942, and 1948-1950, all for $4 per acres. The most recent addition was proposal AA, when in early 1965, 37 acres were added under the Park and Recreation Land Acquisition Act, for a purchase price of $1,100.
In the 1930s, this area was the site of work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was established by the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide employment opportunities for men during the Great Depression. Conservation projects completed here include the planting of thousands of pine and spruce trees and construction of water holes.
Early plantings were done by the Works Projects Administration (WPA). In 1932 the WPA planted 4,659 dogwood, viburnum and grape, and 392.85 acres of Norway spruce, red pine, and some white ash. Then in 1934, they planted 65.7 more acres. The CCC was quite active on this and adjacent state forests in the early days. In 1935, camp S-123 was established on Pine Creek Rd, on nearby Sugar Hill State Forest. The CCC camp was closed Oct. 31, 1941 with the pending start of World War II, so later plantings were done by inmates and/or DEC staff. The CCC planted trees in on Cinnamon Lake State Forest in 1938-39, and 1941.
In 1958, the State Department of Corrections opened Camp Monterey Conservation Work Camp on nearby Sugar Hill State Forest. The prison camp was built on Evergreen Hill Rd because the old CCC camp was located on a busy road. Initially, the prison had 50-60 inmates and 30-40 employees. Today it has the capacity for 300 inmates and provides employment for up to 200 people. The inmates provide labor for numerous projects on state forest land and to neighboring towns and parks. Inmates planted 63 acres in 1963, 20 acres in 1964, with additional planting in 1967, 1977, 1985, 1988 and 1993.
State forests now provide opportunities for many informal outdoor recreational activities. They also provide wood for New York's forest products industry, a major part of New York's economy.
As many of the plantations established by the CCC, and inmates, reach the end of their natural life (75-100 years of age), they are converting to natural hardwood stands.
The Norway spruce on Forks-Monterey Rd (see photo above) was planted in 1932, then thinned and sold for Christmas trees in 1943, '45 and '47. That same stand was thinned in 1957, 1959, 1960 and 1961, with the most recent thinning occurring in 1998 with a sale price of $4,738.33.
Today, Cinnamon Lake 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.
From I86, take Exit 42 (Coopers Plains), head north on Meads Creek Rd. (County Rte. 26 / County Rte. 16). In the hamlet of Monterey turn right onto Hornby Rd.
From State Rte. 414, head north on County Rte. 19, then straight onto Hornby Rd.
Comments and Suggestions
State forest lands are owned by all New York State Residents and represent a significant natural heritage for future generations. The Department of Environmental Conservation strives to manage these lands for the best long-term interests. We appreciate your help. If you have suggestions on how we can improve the management of these lands, please let us know. Address your concerns to the Lands and Forests DEC Region 8 Bath Sub-Office.
For further information on management activities:
Contact State Land Management Working Group, DEC Bath Sub- Office 607-776-2165. (M-F; 8:30 am to 4:45 pm)
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