Cameron State Forest
Cameron State Forest is located six miles southwest of Bath, in the town of Cameron, Steuben County.
Recreational opportunities on this state forest focus on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. The only ATV trails that exist are for persons with disabilities - pursuant to the DEC Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD). 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 NYS DEC. MAPPWD trails on this property include the pipeline corridor which traverses the center of the forest, and a short segment which provides access to Cameron Pond. An electronic version of the MAPPWD permit is available to the right, under Important Links.
Cameron Pond Day Use Area is near the center of the forest and provides day use and fishing opportunities. Fishing occurs during both winter and summer seasons. Cameron Pond has a good reputation locally as an ice fishing location.
Town and county roads provide mountain biking opportunities. This forest is somewhat unique in that the softwood plantations are fairly young. Regardless, some of the more exotic species of pine (notably Scotch Pine) have begun to fail and convert themselves to native hardwood stands.
Hunting, trapping and fishing 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.
View of Cameron Pond on Cameron State Forest
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.
As noted above, this forest also has significant mineral activity. The Thomas Corners gas field is adjacent to this forest and is managed by Steuben Gas Storage, Inc. Visitors should expect to see a natural gas pipeline. The pipeline corridor provides excellent access to the interior of the forest (foot or horseback travel only, please!)
Today, Cameron 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.
MAPPWD permit (see right column) access to Cameron Pond, two beaver ponds, and to a field and views of the Canisteo River Valley
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 Cameron arrived around 1800. The town was formed in 1822. 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 between 1930 and 1940 under the terms of the Hewett Amendment to the State Constitution and the authority of the Enlarged Reforestation Act. Significant additions were made in the early 1960's under the Parks and Recreation land acquisition bond act. The current extent is about 1,990 acres.
While the Civilian Conservation Corps did conduct activities on this forest; most of the softwood plantations were initiated much later (roughly between 1950 and 1975).
This area has also been involved in mineral extraction for some time. The initial natural gas wells were drilled in this area in the 1920's. There has been no gas exploration or development on this unit since the late 1960's. There is an extensive natural gas pipeline corridor through the center of the forest, a portion of which is also a multiple use trail.
To gain access to this state forest, from Bath, take County Route #10 heading south. The state forest can be accessed by turning to the west on either Stone House Road or West Cameron Road.
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