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Jersey Hill State Forest

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Jersey Hill State Forest locator map

Jersey Hill State Forest, also known as Allegany #13, totals 1,088 acres. This state forest is located in Allegany County in the Towns of Birdsall and West Almond. This area provides opportunities for outdoor recreational activities, such as, hiking, snowmobiling, camping and hunting.

The forest provides various habitats for many wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey. It is also a source of raw material for New York's forest products industry, which provides employment and income for many New Yorkers.

History

In the 1930s, Jersey Hill State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). A fire tower and observer's cabin was built on a hill in this area to aid in the early detection of any forest fires that might threaten the reforestation projects on recently acquired abandoned farm lands. The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the Great Depression. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine and spruce trees in the open areas on the property.

Field Notes

Timber harvester clearing damaged trees

Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property. Be sure to abide by all game laws enforced by NYSDEC.

The 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. These thinnings provide openings of 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 naturally regenerate. Periodic thinning of the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees more growing space. This helps to keep the forest healthy and provides openings for new seedlings. New trees grow, providing food and cover for wildlife and a source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth. In actuality, these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.

Recreation

Forest roads (which are not plowed unless a timber sale is in progress) and logging trails are available for hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. The Allegany County Federation of Snowmobilers, Inc. has marked trails which they maintain through this state forest. ATVs are prohibited.

Hunting

Campers can set up at the former site of the fire tower and at log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. Hunting is allowed on the property in accordance with game laws enforced by NYSDEC. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited. More information can be obtained from your local DEC office by calling 585-466-3241.

Tips for using State Forests

State lands belong to all of us. Help care for this area and enhance the enjoyment of it for yourself and those who follow by observing these simple guidelines.

Directions

To reach Jersey Hill State Forest from Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) onto Miller Road (which is on the north side of the interstate overpass) for about 2.5 miles to County Route 2A. Continue north for .5 mile and bear left onto the Jersey Hill Road and go for about a mile to the intersection with the Davison Road. Turn left. A half mile on the right will be the road to the fire tower site.

Important Numbers

State Forest Office (M-F 8-4 p.m.): 585-466-3241

Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 585-403-9574 and 585-415-1521.

Emergencies: 911