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Coon Hollow State Forest

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Coon Hollow State Forest

Coon Hollow State Forest is located about 9 miles north of Coopers Plains, near the hamlets of Monterey and Beaver Dams, in the Allegheny Plateau. It covers approximately 2,456 acres in the towns of Orange and Dix in Schuyler County.

Tips for Using State Forests

Recreation

Recreational opportunities on this state forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development.

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.

A narrow dirt road with trees on both sides.
Chambers Rd on Coon Hollow

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.

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.

History

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.

The State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931 set forth the legislation which authorized the Conservation Department to acquire land by gift or purchase for reforestation areas. These lands were to be forever devoted to "reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, production of timber, and for recreation and kindred purposes."

The majority of this state forest was purchased between 1937 and 1942, with another small addition in 1947, all for $4 per acre. Proposal V was purchased in 1942 as part of bankruptcy proceedings. In 1963 about 17 acres was added under the Park and Recreation Land Acquisition Act. A very small addition, of 1.3 acres, was added in 1977 for additional access to Coon Hollow Rd. 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 pine and spruce trees and construction of water holes.

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, in nearby Sugar Hill State Forest. The CCC camp was closed October 31, 1941, with the pending start of World War II, so later plantings were done by inmates and/or DEC staff. In 1940 they planted 1 acre of Scotch pine and Japanese Larch to control erosion. Then in 1941, 21.5 acres were planted with white spruce.

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 119 acres on this forest in 1961, 205 acres in 1962, with additional planting in 1963, 1964, and 1967.

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.

Field Notes

As many of the plantations established by the CCC and inmates reach the end of their natural life (75-100 years of age), it is reasonable to assume that it will all begin to decline at nearly the same time, and in the process convert to natural hardwood stands. As this decline intensifies, salvage timber sales of some of these areas will probably be necessary.

Today, Coon 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.

Directions

From I86, take Exit 42 (Coopers Plains), head north on Meads Creek Rd. (County Rte. 26 / County Rte. 16). In the hamlet of Monterey you have two choices, continue straight and the forest will be on your right shortly; or turn right onto Chambers Rd.

From State Rte. 414, head north on County Route 19. Parking is on the shoulder.

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