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Phillips Creek State Forest

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Phillips Creek State Forest locator map

Phillips Creek State Forest, also known as Allegany #1, totals 2,709 acres. The state forest is located in Allegany County in the Towns of Alfred, Ward, and West Almond, and borders State Route 244 between Belmont and Alfred. This area provides opportunities for many informal outdoor recreational activities, such as, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain 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.

History

In the 1930s, Phillips Creek State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC. The CCCs, 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.

Field Notes

Wildlife

Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property. Be sure to abide by all game laws in effect through the N.Y.S.D.E.C.

Timber Management

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 source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, which is very premature as these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.

Recreation

Trails

a photo of a snow-covered foot bridge at Phillips Creek State Forest
Foot bridge over stream on trail 4 of the Phillips Creek Trail
System for hikers and skiers with by-pass for horses.

The Phillips Creek Trail System has 10 miles of marked trails for hiking, mountain bikes, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and from June 1-September 30 horseback riding is allowed. A large parking area with kiosk, trail maps, covered picnic table and tie stalls for horses is located on State Route 244. ATVs and snowmobiles are prohibited.

Hunting

Hunting is 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 in effect through the N.Y.S.D.E.C. More information can be obtained from your local DEC office by calling 585-268-5392.

Horseback Riding

Allowed on the property, but not on the marked trails from October 1-May 31.

Snowmobiling

Allowed on the property, but not on the marked trails.

Access for People with Disabilities

None. Contact DEC for accessible recreation on state lands nearby.

State Forest Regulations

Phillips Creek State Forest offers many recreational opportunities, such as, hunting, hiking, picnicking and cross-country skiing. 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 Phillips Creek State Forest from Interstate 86, exit 30 (Belmont, Wellsville, Houghton), south on Route 19 to Belmont and State Route 244 toward Alfred for about 7 miles to the parking area and trail head for the trail system.

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