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Canaseraga State Forest

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Canaseraga State Forest locator map

Canaseraga State Forest is located seven miles northeasterly of the hamlet of Canaseraga, in the town of Ossian, Livingston County. It is approximately 1,287 acres in size.

Tips for Using State Forests

Recreation

Recreational opportunities on this forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. There are no formally designated trails. Some of this forest will require significant walking to access. There is also a significant mileage of state forest administrative access roads which are open to public access during good weather.

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.

Road through Canaserga
Road through Canaseraga

Today, Canaseraga 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 will 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 Ossian probably arrived in the 1790's. The town was formed in 1798. The town of Ossian was formed from the town of Angelica in Allegany County. The town of Ossian became part of Livingston County in 1856. 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 Hewett Amendment to the State Constitution and the terms of the Enlarged Reforestation Act. The majority of the acquisition was done between 1932 and 1938.

This forest was acquired during the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era, and the CCC conducted significant tree planting activities on this area between 1936 and 1939. Species planted include red and white pine, Norway and white spruce, Japanese, European, Siberian, and dunkeled larch. Planted softwood makes up a significant part of this forest. The CCC was also active in numerous other activities, including fire control, and road building and maintenance. The DEC is presented with an interesting problem on this forest. Since most of the softwood was planted at nearly the same time, it is reasonable to assume that it will all begin to decline at nearly the same time. This process is beginning to happen. As this decline intensifies, salvage timber sales of some of these areas will probably be necessary.

Directions

To gain access to this forest from the hamlet of Canaseraga, go north on Church Street, make a left onto White Road, which becomes Scott Hill Road. This road runs through 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