Mount Pleasant 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: Towns of Chautauqua and Sherman, Chautauqua County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9J
- Map: View Mount Pleasant State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (222 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Mount Pleasant State Forest's marsh pond is a scenic location
for wildlife viewing.
Mount Pleasant State Forest totals 1,522 acres. This forest provides opportunities for many outdoor recreational activities such as hiking and mountain biking. Numerous wildlife species can be found here including deer, ruffed grouse, rabbit, bear and turkey. The abundance of different habitat types created by forestry management practices make this forest an ideal area for various wildlife sightings.
In the 1930s Mount Pleasant State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corp, or CCC. The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the Great 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.
Part of the Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail (leaves DEC website) runs through the state forest. The 4.8 miles of trail within the unit are maintained by Chautauqua County. The trail corridor navigates the various woodlots and access trails. Only biking, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are allowed on the trail - no motor vehicles or horses.
Coordinators of organized trail events need to obtain a Temporary Revocable Permit for use of the trails prior to the event. These can be obtained at the Dunkirk office.
The Westside Overland Trail passes through Mount Pleasant's
scenic northern hardwood stands.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There is one lean-to facility with a pit privy on county property located just off of this trail directly adjacent to state land. 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.
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.
Fishing is allowed in the streams and small waterbodies on the property.
Hunting and Trapping
Lean-to facilities are available along the trail and are
maintained by the Chautauqua County Parks Department.
Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted.
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 Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail. A popular place for many cross-country skiers is the parking area off of Route 430 just outside of Mayville, which offers a plowed parking area for skiers and snowshoers. The snowmobile trail may be used for these activities as well, just be cautious of snowmobiles and wear bright reflective clothing to stay visible.
General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Biking is allowed on the Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Horseback riding is allowed on the property but is not permitted on the Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail. While there are no designated trails at this time, development is currently under review. 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.
The snowmobile trail that runs through the forest offers a
great way to enjoy some winter scenery.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The local snowmobile club maintains two sections of trail which coincides with the Fred J. Cusimano West Side overland Trail for a short section. Hikers please use caution when sharing the trail in winter. This trail is adopted and maintained by the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club. For more information, go to the New York State Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC website).
The snowmobile trail consists of about 3.3 miles that connect to various other snowmobile trails which travel off state property - please be respectful of adjacent landowners and stay on the trail. This trail also can be used for hiking, horseback riding, and biking in the off season.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
There are two unpaved roads off Brumagin Road in the center of the state forest that are open for motorized access by people with mobility impairments for hunting. A 0.14-mile section heads off the snowmobile trail to the north of Brumagin Road and a 0.3-mile section heads off the snowmobile trail to the south of the road. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Permit for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) program.
To reach Mount Pleasant State Forest from the north, take Route 430 west from Mayville approximately 3 miles to the Fred J. Cusimano Westside Overland Trail parking lot and trail head.
From the south and from Interstate 86, take Exit 7. Turn right onto County Route 33 and continue north for 0.75 miles to County Route 18 on the left. Continue west on County Route 18 for 4 miles, then take a right onto Mount Pleasant Road. Continue north for 0.75 miles to the intersection with Titus Road - the parking lot is just past this intersection on the left.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
- Route 430 Parking Area at the northern part of the state forest (42.225709°N, 79.547536°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Titus Road Parking Area at the southern part of the state forest (42.173912°N, 79.554663°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles 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 Mount Pleasant 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.
Timber management is practiced at Mount Pleasant State Forest. The conifer 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, which provide openings for 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.
Harvester equipment is used for timber management.
Much of the timber harvesting is done using mechanical harvesters that are able to grab a tree trunk with a felling head while a hydraulic saw blade cuts the tree at the base. The tree is then fed through the felling head and cut to various lengths. These machines are time efficient and have the ability to process large volumes of wood in a short period of time in comparison to traditional hand felling with a chain saw.
Timber management is practiced carefully using several techniques that reduce the impact on the forest soils and floor. Mechanical harvesters create less soil impact due to the large tires that distribute the equipment weight better than conventional log skidders. Harvesters are used in conjunction with forwarding equipment, which pick up the logs and haul them to the log landing. These practices avoid dragging logs, which reduces soil damage to the forest floor. Harvesters also create less damage to the residual trees due to better directional felling techniques and more control over where the cut tree will fall.
Hardwood trees are not usually planted because they spread vast amounts of seed and regenerate naturally. Periodic thinning of the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees adequate growing space. This practice 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 hardwood stands contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth. These stands were actually harvested prior to state ownership.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Mayville and Sherman.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Mayville and Sherman.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Chautauqua, Mayville and Sherman.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Chautauqua, Mayville and Sherman.
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.
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.