Palmer's Pond 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: 1-877-457-5680 or 911
- Location: Towns of Ward and West Almond, Allegany County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9P
- Map: View Palmer's Pond State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (262 KB) || View Palmer's Pond MAPPWD Trail Map in PDF (168 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Palmer's Pond State Forest totals 3,645 acres. This area provides opportunities for informal outdoor recreational activities like snowshoeing, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, camping, hunting, fishing, bird watching and nature photography.
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 (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.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Palmer's Pond State Forest has 12 miles of marked trails. Two large parking areas opposite each other on Miller Road are trailheads for two 5-mile loops for multi-purpose recreational use.
Hunting and trapping 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.
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.
Fishing is allowed on Palmer's Pond in the southern part of the state forest.
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 Palmer's Pond, Turnpike State Forest and Phillips Creek 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.
The multi-use recreational trails on the property can be used for skiing and snowshoeing.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The Stewart Forest Road horse stall facility at neighboring Turnpike State Forest is a central hub for a 28-mile horse trail network. This network connects Palmer's Pond, Turnpike and Phillips Creek 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. Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.
General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The multi-use recreational trails on the property can be used for biking.
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.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
Two trails off Miller Road are open for motorized access by people with mobility impairments for hunting during hunting season only. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) for ATV use. You must obtain a permit to use these trails for ATV hunting access. No other ATV use is allowed. Miller Road East is marked in yellow trail markers and also has a shortcut trail marked in blue trail markers. Miller Road West trail is marked in yellow trail markers and has a shortcut trail marked in red trail markers. Both trails offer a large parking area for truck and ATV trailers.
To reach Palmer' Pond: 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 continue for 0.9 miles until reaching the parking area for Palmer's Pond on the left.
To reach the parking areas on Miller Road: From Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and head west on Karr Valley Road for 0.2 miles, then turn right onto Miller Road. After 1.8 miles the parking areas and trailheads will be on the right and left, opposite each other.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum. Besides the parking areas listed below, roadside parking is also available at points throughout the property.
- Miller Road East parking area and trailhead (42.325358°N, 77.885155°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Miller Road West parking area and trailhead (42.325404°N, 77.885644°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Palmer's Pond parking area (42.284168°N, 77.897483°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 Palmer's Pond 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.
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 a source of future crop trees. Some stands will 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
- Turnpike State Forest
- Karr Valley Creek State Forest
- Bald Mountain State Forest
- Phillips Creek State Forest
- Jersey Hill State Forest
- Gillies Hill State Forest
- Plumbottom State Forest
- Vandermark State Forest
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.