Palmer's Pond State Forest
Palmer's Pond State Forest, also known as Allegany #4, totals 3,645 acres. The state forest is located in Allegany County in the town of West Almond and is divided by Interstate 86. This area provides opportunities for informal outdoor recreational activities, such as, snowshoeing, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, camping, fishing, 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, Palmer's Pond 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.
Multi-Use Trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, and snowshoeing
Palmer's Pond State Forest has 12 miles of marked trails for hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding. Two large parking areas opposite each other on the Miller Road are trailheads for two 5-mile loops for multi-purpose recreational use. These two Miller Road trail loops are also designated for ATV use by Persons with Disabilities. There is a special use permit required for this and these can be obtained by contacting the Allegany DEC office at 716-372-0645. No other ATV use is allowed.
Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and fishing are allowed on the property. Campers can set up in the parking areas and also at the log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited. Please be sure to abide by all game laws. More information can be obtained from your local DEC office by calling 585-466-3241.
The Allegany County Federation of Snowmobilers, Inc. have marked trails which they maintain through this state forest. More informatinon can be obtained by going to Allegany County Federation of Snowmobilers page using the link to the right on this page.
Access for People with Disabilities
Two trails off of Miller Road offer Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) by ATV. You must obtain a permit to use these trails for ATV hunting access. Miller Road East is marked in yellow trail markers and also has a short cut trail marked in blue trail markers. Miller Road West trail is marked in yellow trail markers and has a short cut trail marked in red trail markers. Both trails offer a large parking area for truck and ATV trailers. Please use the map link at the top of the page for locations of the MAPPWD trails on this state forest. To obtain a permit or for trail information please contact the Allegany DEC Forestry office at 716-372-0645 between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm.
Hunting, fishing, and trapping are allowed on the property. Please be sure to abide by all applicable game laws.
Load of softwood logs on the Geitner Forest Road
heading to the sawmill from Palmer's Pond.
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 source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth--such is very premature as these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.
State Forest Regulations
Palmer's Pond State Forest offers many recreational opportunities, such as, hunting, fishing, 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.
To reach Palmer's Pond on this state forest, from Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and County Route 2 to the Town Highway facility, turn left over the bridge and bear right onto the North/South Road for about 2 miles to the first road to the right, Geitner Forest Road, which will go to the pond (about 1 mile).
To reach the parking areas on Miller Road from Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) onto Miller Road (which is on the north side of the interstate overpass) for about 1.5 miles.
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