Hiltonville 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: Town of Birdsall, Allegany County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9P
- Map: Hiltonville State Forest Map || Same Map in PDF (217 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Hiltonville State Forest totals 999 acres. This area provides opportunities for many outdoor recreational activities including hiking, snowmobiling, camping, fishing 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. It also provides habitats for many wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey.
In the 1930s, Hiltonville State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out 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 the open areas on the property.
A landing with Norway spruce logs from a thinning in a
plantation planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Forest roads and logging trails are available for hiking and other recreational activities. Note that the forest roads are not plowed in winter unless a timber sale is in progress.
Hunting & Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited. Be sure to abide by all game laws.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Campers can set up camp at log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. 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 fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.
Fishing is allowed on the wildlife pond on the east side of the Norton Forest Road. The Canisteo River also runs through the eastern side of the forest.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The Southern Tier Snowriders (leaves DEC website) have marked trails which they maintain through this state forest. Parts of the C2 and C2C snowmobile trails run through the forest.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Forest roads and logging trails are available for skiing, snowshoeing and other recreational activities. Note that the forest roads are not plowed in winter unless a timber sale is in progress.
General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Forest roads and logging trails are available for biking and other recreational activities.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Forest roads and logging trails are available for horseback riding and other recreational activities. Note that the forest roads are not plowed in winter unless a timber sale is in progress.
From Arkport, take County Route 32 west for about 9 miles until entering the state forest.
There are no designated parking areas on the unit, however roadside parking is available at the locations shown on the unit map. The state forest is located at 42.369381°N, 77.848507°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 Hiltonville 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 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, a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife, and a source of future crop trees. Some stands contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth. In reality, these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
- Jersey Hill State Forest
- Bully Hill State Forest
- Karr Valley Creek State Forest
- Klipnocky State Forest
- Gas Springs State Forest
- Gillies Hill State Forest
Gas, food and other supplies, and dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Alfred, Arkport and Hornell.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Alfred and Hornell.
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.