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Erwin Mountain State Forest

Erwin Mountain State Forest locator map

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The 507-acre Erwin Mountain State Forest has a limited amount of development, the only way to access this state forest is to walk across part of Erwin Wildlife Management Area. Today, Erwin Mountain 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 will ensure a perpetual supply of timber, a diversity of wildlife habitats, compatible recreational opportunities and clean water.

Featured Activities



General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Erwin Mountain State Forest has no developed camping sites; however, at-large primitive camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

No camping is allowed on Erwin Wildlife Management Area.

Hunting & Trapping


General Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Green grassy logging trail with green trees
Logging trail on Erwin Mountain State Forest

Although there are no facilities developed for viewing wildlife, like many places in the Southern Tier you are likely to see wildlife on this land. New York's Southern Tier encompasses a wide variety of habitats and landscapes made up of mountainous hills, forests, grasslands and wetlands. Everything from Black Bear to Black-throated Blue Warblers and Brook Trout to Wild Turkeys reside and call it home here in the Southern Tier of New York. The grasslands are home to a variety of bird species including Northern Harriers and state endangered Henslow's Sparrows. White-tailed Deer and Fisher thrive in the forested hills, while Beavers and mink flourish in the wetlands. Outdoorsmen and women from across New York State flock to this area year round for its exquisite wildlife watching and unbeatable hunting.


To gain access to this forest from the hamlet of Gang Mills, travel west on Beartown Road to Erwin Wildlife Management Area. Access is about ¾ of a mile by foot along a gated administrative access road running south from Beartown Road across the wildlife management area to the state forest. When parking in this area please do not block the gate and assure that your vehicle is well off the road. Beartown Road can receive a surprising amount of traffic. (42.142511°N, 77.158796°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Erwin Mountain State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Specific Rules

Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, snowmobiling and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

How We Manage Erwin Mountain State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Erwin Unit Management Plan (Plan PDF, 125 pages, 2.2 MB). The Erwin Unit Management Plan is a ten year plan for approximately 3,797 acres of State Forest and Wildlife Management Area land in Steuben County. It is comprised of two state forests: Erwin Mountain and McCarthy Hill, and one Wildlife Management Area: Erwin. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Dining and lodging opportunities as well as gas, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Corning and Painted Post.

Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau (leaves DEC website) and Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.