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Greenwood State Forest

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Greenwood State Forest locator map

Greenwood State Forest is located ten miles south of the village of Canisteo, in the town of Greenwood, Steuben County.

Tips for Using State Forests


Recreational opportunities in this state forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. There are no formally designated trails. Town and county roads provide mountain biking opportunities.

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.

State Forest Regulations

Fawn on Greenwood
Fawn on Greenwood

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 approximately 1796. The town of Greenwood was formed in 1827. 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 majority of this property was acquired by the State in 1930-1932 under the terms of the Hewett Amendment and the authority of the Enlarged Reforestation Act. Significant additions were also made in the early 1960's under the authority of the Parks and Recreation acquisition bond act. The current size is about 907 acres.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was very active in this forest in the early days. The DEC's annual report for 1932 lists 271 acres planted with approximately 275,000 trees.

This area has also been involved in mineral extraction. Local history sources indicate that the first gas wells drilled on reforestation properties were drilled on Greenwood State Forest starting in 1934. Paying oil wells were drilled to the west of the state forest much earlier.

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.

As noted above, this forest also has significant mineral activity. The Greenwood natural gas storage field is located on this property and is managed by Columbia Gas Transmission Co. Visitors should expect to see natural gas wellheads and pipelines. The pipeline corridors provide excellent access to the interior of the forest (foot or horseback travel only, please!)

Today, Greenwood 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.


To gain access to this state forest from Canisteo, take State Highway 248 heading south. Immediately north of the hamlet of Greenwood turn west onto Steuben County Route #62 (Rock Creek Road). The first road to the south (Brown Hollow Road) will provide access to the central portion of the state forest. Significant walking will be required to see the interior of 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