Karr Valley 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 Birdsall and West Almond, Allegany County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9P
- Map: Karr Valley Creek State Forest Map || Same Map in PDF (341 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Karr Valley Creek State Forest totals 1,917 acres. This area provides opportunities for outdoor recreational activities like hiking, snowmobiling, camping 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 various habitats for many wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey.
In the 1930s, Karr Valley Creek State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The DEC West Almond Maintenance Center on County Route 2A was the site of one of the CCC camps. 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.
The maturation of conifers planted in the 1930s
by the CCC has prompted private enterprise to
capitalize on the abundant availability of pine and
Hunting and 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 hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Forest roads and logging trails are available for hiking and other activities. Note that forest roads are not plowed in winter unless a timber sale is in progress.
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) have marked trails which they maintain through this state forest. ATVs are prohibited.
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.
Forest roads and logging trails are available for skiing and snowshoeing and other activities. Note that 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 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 activities. Note that forest roads are not plowed in winter unless a timber sale is in progress. 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 primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Campers can set up 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.
From Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and turn right onto Karr Valley Road. Continue for about 2 miles and then turn left onto County Route 2A. The state forest begins after a half mile, and 1.5 miles further is DEC's West Almond Maintenance Center.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
- George Road parking area on neighboring Jersey Hill State Forest (42.350436°N, 77.880707°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Dobson Road parking area (42.330981°N, 77.848262°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Frunqillo Forest Road parking area (42.344268°N, 77.864548°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Norton Forest Road parking area (42.353718°N, 77.859543°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 Karr Valley 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 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; in most cases these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
- Jersey Hill State Forest
- Hiltonville State Forest
- Bully Hill State Forest
- Palmer's Pond State Forest
- Turnpike 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.