Phillips Creek State Forest
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 9 Almond Office: 585-466-3241 (M-F, 8:00AM - 4:00PM); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 518-408-5850 or 911
- Location: Towns of Alfred, Ward and West Almond, Allegany County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9P and 9Y
- Map: View Phillips Creek State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (284 KB) || View horse trail network map || View horse trail network map in PDF (759 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Phillips Creek State Forest totals 2,709 acres. This area provides opportunities for many informal outdoor recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, camping, bird watching, nature photography, and hunting.
The state forest is also a source of raw material for New York's forest products industry which provides employment and income for many New Yorkers and provides for various habitats for many wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey.
In the 1930s, Phillips Creek State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps or 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 the open areas on the property.
Foot bridge over stream on Trail 4 of the Phillips Creek Trail
System for hikers and skiers with by-pass for horses.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The Phillips Creek trail system has 10 miles of marked trails for hiking and other recreational activities.
Hunting and Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property. Campers can set up in the Route 244 parking area and also at the log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited. Be sure to abide by all game laws.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
In addition to the Route 244 parking area and horse stall facility at Phillips Creek, the neighboring Turnpike State Forest has a horse stall facility on Stewart Forest Road which is a central hub for a 28-mile horse trail network. This network connects Phillips Creek, Turnpike and Palmer's Pond State Forest. Many additional miles of connecting state forest roads and lightly traveled town roads are also used by equestrians. Trails are only open for horses between June 1 and September 30.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The Allegany County Federation of Snowmobilers (leaves DEC website) has marked trails which they maintain through this state forest. Snowmobiles are allowed throughout the state forest except on Trails 1 through 6 which run through Phillips Creek, Palmer's Pond State Forest and Turnpike State Forest.
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.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on all hiking trails and throughout the property.
General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Biking is allowed on all hiking trails.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
At-large backcountry 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.
The Route 244 parking area has a covered picnic area.
From Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and head west on Karr Valley Road for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Palmer's Pond Road and follow this road for 3.2 miles, then turn left onto Route 244. Continue for 1.7 miles and turn left on Stuck Hill Road. The parking area will be immediately on the right.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum. Besides the parking area listed below, roadside parking is also available at points throughout the property.
- Route 244 parking area, horse stall facility and picnic pavilion (42.252832°N, 77.86177°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 Phillips Creek State Forest
DEC is developing a management plan which will describe the management activities for these lands. In addition to management objectives, the UMP will contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.
Conifer - 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 - 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 more growing space. This 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 stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but in almost all cases these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
Gas, food and other supplies, dining opportunities, and lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Alfred Station and Angelica.
Allegany County Tourism (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.