Pochuck State Forest
Pochuck State Forest (Orange #5) encompasses 503 acres of land and is located in the hamlet of Pine Island near the town of Warwick in Orange County. It is a popular area for recreational activities such as hunting, hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
Pochuck State Forest was purchased by the State of New York in 2006 for the purpose of promoting forest health, timber production, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities, as well as to reduce soil erosion and protect water quality.
State forests, consisting of no less than 500 acres of contiguous land, are to be "forever devoted to reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, and kindred purposes" (Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, Environmental Conservation Law).
Today, Pochuck State Forest provides a wide variety of ecological, recreational, and economic benefits.
Pochuck State Forest is comprised of a variety of cover types, including naturally growing hardwood stands of maple, upland oak, and hickory, as well as plantation species such as red pine and white pine. A diverse range of available habitats within this rustic forest environment allows for many species of plants and animals to flourish. Along the side of the mountain, a recent flush of thick growth in the under story has dramatically increased the available habitats within the forest. This rich vegetation provides excellent conditions for early- successional plants and animals to thrive.
The abundance of game animals, such as white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and bear, make this area especially popular for both hunting and trapping.
Informal horseback riding has also grown in popularity, and riders typically follow a network of old logging roads to explore the forest. Pochuck State Forest also shares a southern boundary with New Jersey Park Land, from which there is access to the Appalachian Trail.
Spectacular views of the Wallkill River Valley will leave any traveler breathless, and primitive camping from the upper fields will provide an excellent opportunity to catch the glittering sun as it rises or sets in this cradle of incredible beauty.
Pochuck State Forest is undeveloped and has no formally marked trails. As such, this forest offers unique opportunities to those who wish to explore on their own. There are, however, former logging trails, skid trails, and Public Forest Access Roads which provide informal recreational access on the property. At this time, plans are being discussed to create additional formal trail networks.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out On The Trails***
From New Paltz, take I-87 south to Exit #16. Merge onto RT-17 West and continue for approximately 9 miles to Exit 126. Turn left onto Rt. 94 and proceed approximately 4 miles. After the intersection of 17A, continue STRAIT for 2 miles on Meadow Rd (CR-25). Turn left onto the Pulaski Hwy (CR-6) and proceed for approximately 5 miles. Turn right onto CR-1/ Pine Island Turnpike and continue strait at the light onto Liberty Corners Rd/CR-88 for approximately 2 miles. DEC state land signs will be posted on the left. The main Public Forest Access Road can also be found on the left. If you pass Oil City Road, you've gone too far. There is currently no formal parking area, however, visitors can park at an old log landing site located at the main entrance of the property, on the south side of Liberty Corners Road.
State Forest Regulations
Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe these rules which protect them and the forest environment.