Stockton State Forest
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 9 Dunkirk Office: 716-363-2052 (M-F, 8:00AM - 4:00AM); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 1-877-457-5680 or 911
- Location: Town of Stockton, Chautauqua County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9J
- Map: View Stockton State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (191 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Stockton State Forest totals 977 acres. This state forest provides opportunities for many outdoor recreational activities, including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, horseback riding and hunting. It is also home to a variety of wildlife species including white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, rabbit, and turkey.
Stockton State Forest land was purchased by New York State in the 1930s for timber production, recreational use, watershed protection, and wildlife habitat. Like many others, this state forest was the focus of numerous projects by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the depression. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine and spruce trees in open areas on the property.
Hunting and Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property; please abide by all game laws. Various roads provide good vehicle access and trails for foot travel.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There are no designated hiking trails at Stockton State Forest but hiking is allowed throughout the property, except for areas with active logging operations. There is a snowmobile trail and gas well access roads that run through the property that can be used. One of the access roads, called Blackman Forest Road, is popular for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
A snowmobile trail on the property is adopted and maintained by the Ellery Sno-Cruisers (leaves DEC website) and the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club (leaves DEC website). This trail consists of about 3 miles that connect to various other snowmobile trails that travel off state property. Please be respectful of adjacent landowners. This trail can also be used for other recreational activities during the off-season.
If you are interested in using the snowmobile trail for an organized event, a temporary revocable permit is needed. Call DEC's Dunkirk office at (716) 363-2052 for permit information.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There are no designated skiing and snowshoeing trails at Stockton State Forest but skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on the snowmobile trail and gas well access roads. One of the access roads, called Blackman Forest Road, is popular for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.
General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There are no designated biking trails at Stockton State Forest but biking is allowed on the snowmobile trail and gas well access roads. One of the access roads, called Blackman Forest Road, is popular for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There are no designated horseback riding trails at Stockton State Forest but horseback riding is allowed on the snowmobile trail (during the off-season) and gas well access roads. One of the access roads, called Blackman Forest Road, is popular for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There are four designated campsites on Blackman Forest Road that are available on a first come, first served basis. At-large backcountry camping is also 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.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
A 0.4-mile road off of Maring Road in the center of the state forest is open for motorized access by people with mobility impairments for hunting. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).
From Interstate 86, take exit 10 and head northwest on Route 954H for 0.6 miles. Veer right at the first big intersection and turn right onto Route 44 for a very short while, then take your first left onto Bayview Road/N. Frontage Road. Continue straight on this road for 6.7 miles until reaching the intersection with Route 54, then continue straight onto Coe Road for about a mile to enter the state forest.
From Stockton, take County Route 58 west for 2.4 miles and turn left onto Coes Road. Continue south on Coes Road for about a mile to enter the state forest.
There are no designated parking areas on the unit but roadside parking is available. The state forest is located at 42.280776°N, 79.397212°W Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.
How We Manage Stockton State Forest
DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Chautauqua Unit Management Plan. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.
Conifer and hardwood timber management is practiced at Stockton State Forest. The conifer stands of pine and spruce were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. They are usually managed by a series of partial harvest thinnings, which provide openings for sunlight to encourage natural regeneration of native hardwoods. The removal of the conifer overstory in the final harvest allows the hardwood seedlings to grow to maturity.
Hardwood trees are not usually planted as they spread vast amounts of seed and regenerate naturally. Periodic thinning of the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees adequate growing space. This practice helps to keep the forest healthy and provides openings for new seedlings, a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife, and a source of future crop trees. Some hardwood stands contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth. These stands were actually harvested prior to state ownership.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Bemus Point, Cassadaga, Mayville, Sinclairville and Stow.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Bemus Point, Cassadaga and Mayville.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Bemus Point, Cassadaga, Dewittville, Mayville and Stockton.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Ashville, Bemus Point, Chautauqua and Mayville.
Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau (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.