Wellman State Forest
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 9 Dunkirk Office: 716-363-2052 (M-F, 8:00AM - 4:00PM); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 1-877-457-5680 or 911
- Location: Town of Busti, Chautauqua County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9J
- Map: View Wellman State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (143 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Wellman State Forest totals 447 acres and provides opportunities for many outdoor recreational activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. There are no designated trails but non-motorized recreation is allowed throughout the property, including on gas well roads.
This land was purchased by the state in the 1960s for timber production, recreational use, watershed protection, and wildlife habitat. Thousands of pine and spruce trees were planted in the open areas on the property. The diverse cover types allow a variety of wildlife species to thrive, including deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey.
Hunting and Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed. Please be sure to abide by all applicable game laws. Hunting opportunities within the forest vary depending on the habitat conditions.
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.
Fishing is allowed on the streams and small ponds on the property.
From Jamestown, take Busti-Sugar Grove Road southwest for roughly 7 miles to reach the intersection with Kortwright Road. Turn right and continue west 3 miles to reach the state forest at the intersection with Wellman Road.
There are no designated parking areas on the unit but roadside parking is available. The state forest is located at 42.009445°N, 79.367501°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 Wellman State Forest
DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Chautauqua Unit Management Plan. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.
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 thinnings. These thinnings provide openings of sunlight to encourage natural regeneration of native hardwood. The removal of the conifer overstory in the final harvest allows the hardwood seedlings to grow to maturity.
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 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. Often these large trees represent survivors of timber harvesting prior to state ownership.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
Gas, food and other supplies, dining opportunities and lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Jamestown and Lakewood.
Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau (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.