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Erwin Hollow State Forest

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Erwin Hollow State Forest locator map

Erwin Hollow State Forest borders the north boundary of the village of Painted Post. It is located in the town of Erwin, Steuben County.

Tips for Using State Forests

Recreation

Recreational opportunities in this state forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. Town and county roads provide mountain biking opportunities. Orange rectangular blazes painted on the trees mark the hiking 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 Florida.

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Hunters will need to be extremely cautious to assure they are on state forest property. Discharging a firearm within the village of Painted Post is illegal. 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.

Creek with steep banks covered with trees.
Erwin Hollow Creek on Erwin Hollow State Forest

Erwin Hollow Creek which flows through the center of the Forest is a major stream and has, from time to time, been the subject of flash floods. Some areas are quite steep. Significant walking will be required to see the interior of the forest.

Field Notes

There is significant mineral activity immediately adjacent to this property. The Cutler Creek gas field is also adjacent to this state forest and is managed by Fortuna Energy, Inc. Visitors should expect to see natural gas and petroleum pipelines in the area. Columbia Gas Transmission, Inc. operates a major gas transmission line which traverses the northern portion of the forest. The pipeline corridor provides limited access to portions of the interior of the forest (foot travel only, please!)

Today, Erwin Hollow 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.

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.

History

The first settlers in the Town of Erwin arrived around 1786. The town was formed in 1826.

The State of New York acquired this property in 1938 from Frank C. Platt, for $4 per acre. The Platt family was socially prominent in the Painted Post area, and Frank Platt served in the New York Assembly, representing the Painted Post area, from 1900 - 1905. The current size is about 531 acres. While the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did conduct limited activities on this forest, tree planting was not undertaken by the CCC at this location. Most of this forest was either fully forested at the time of acquisition or was so brushy that reforestation had only a scant chance of success.

If you look carefully along the northern boundary of Erwin Hollow State Forest, you will see the remains of the New York Transit (sometimes called the National Transit) pipeline. It was the first long distance oil pipeline in New York, carrying crude oil from Olean, NY to Bayonne, NJ. It was initially completed in 1881, and enlarged in 1882, 1884, and 1889. The New York Transit Co. was a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company of New York.

Directions

To gain access to this state forest from Painted Post proceed north on Erwin Hollow Road. This road bisects 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