Turnpike 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 Almond and West Almond, Allegany County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9P
- Map: View Turnpike State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (341 KB) || View horse trail network map || View horse trail network map in PDF (759 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Turnpike State Forest totals 4,744 acres. This area provides opportunities for outdoor recreational activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, camping, bird watching, nature photography, and hunting. The forest provides habitat for wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey. It is also a source of raw material for New York's forest products industry, which provides employment and income for many New Yorkers.
In the 1930s, Turnpike State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps, or 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.
There are 7.5 miles of marked trails for hiking and other recreational activities. ATVs and snowmobiles are prohibited from these trails.
Organized trail events require coordinators to obtain a Temporary Revocable Permit for use of the trails prior to the event. These can be obtained from DEC's Almond office.
Hunting and Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property. Be sure to abide by all game laws. Campers can set up at the two parking areas on Stewart Forest Road and also at log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Turnpike State Forest has a horse stall facility on Stewart Forest Road which is a central hub for a 28-mile horse trail network. This network connects Turnpike, Phillips Creek State Forest and Palmer's Pond State Forest. Phillips Creek also has a horse stall facility at the Route 244 parking area. 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.
Biking is allowed on the multiple use trails on the property.
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.
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.
Skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on the multiple use trails on the property.
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 Turnpike, Palmer's Pond State Forest and Phillips Creek State Forest.
The eastern Stewart Forest Road parking area has covered picnic tables and a port-a-john in addition to covered horse stalls.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
The eastern parking area on Stewart Forest Road has an accessible picnic area and horse mounting platform for people of all abilities.
From Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and head west on Karr Valley Road for 0.7 miles. Take a sharp left onto Turnpike Road and continue for 1.6 miles, then turn right onto Stewart Forest Road. After about 2 miles, the horse stall facility and parking area will be on your right.
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.
Stewart Forest Road (West) parking area (42.276454°N, 77.86745°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Stewart Forest Road (East) parking area and horse stall facility with accessible features (42.277888°N, 77.853506°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 Turnpike 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.
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 which 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
- Phillips Creek State Forest
- Palmer's Pond State Forest
- Karr Valley Creek State Forest
- Bully Hill 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.