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McCarthy Hill State Forest

View McCarthy Hill State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (210 KB) || View Brochure in PDF (8.5 x 11, 690 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper

McCarthy Hill State Forest locator map

McCarthy Hill State Forest is located one mile east of the village of Addison, in the Allegheny Plateau. The area is located in the towns of Addison and Erwin, Steuben County.

(This is the Steuben County McCarthy Hill State Forest, the Cattaraugus County McCarty Hill State Forest is located farther west.)

Tips for Using State Forests


Recreational opportunities on this state forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. There are approximately 8 miles of designated cross-country ski trails. Contact the Bath office for an area brochure, print it from the above pdf link, or pick one up when you sign in at the kiosk. The cross-country ski trails are marked with plastic disks and brown signs, orange rectangular blazes painted on the trees mark the path the Great Eastern Trail takes across this state forest. The Great Eastern Trail is still a work in progress, but will eventually start on South Bradford State Forest and end in Alabama.

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.

Facility Sign for McCarthy Hill
Facility Sign for McCarthy Hill

As primary forest types are oak and oak-pine, mast (acorns, seeds, and nuts) dependent wildlife species such as deer and squirrels are common in this area.

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.

Most of this forest requires significant walking to access and some portions may be considered difficult to access. Some terrain is steep.

Today, McCarthy Hill 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.

Accessible Features

Accessible Symbol

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). A portion of the Access Trail, behind a gate, is the designated trail for this state forest.

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 settlers in the town of Erwin arrived around 1786. The town was formed in 1826. 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 area was acquired under the terms of the Parks and Recreation Land Acquisition Bond Act in the 1960's and is adjacent to Pinnacle State Park. The current extent is about 794 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 forest. Planted softwood does not make up an important part of this forest.


To gain access to this forest from the village of Addison, travel south on County Route #5, turn left (east) onto Ackerson Road, which dead-ends at a state forest parking lot.

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