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Bully Hill State Forest

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Bully Hill State Forest locator map

Bully Hill State Forest, also known as Allegany #3, totals 3,513 acres. The state forest is located in Allegany County in the Towns of Almond and Birdsall and parallels County Route 2. This area provides opportunities for outdoor recreational activities, such as, hiking, snowmobiling, camping, bird watching, nature photography and hunting.

It 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 habitat for wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey.

History

In the 1930s, Bully Hill 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 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.

Field Notes

Spruce trees in the winter
Spruce trees in the winter

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 seedling 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 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.

Recreation

Snow-covered tree in the forest
Snow-covered tree in the forest

Bully Hill State Forest offers many recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, picnicking and cross-country skiing. The area does not provide access for people with disabilities.

Trails

The Finger Lakes Trail Conference maintains a marked (white paint blazes) hiking trail through this state forest. The Allegany County Federation of Snowmobilers, Inc. also maintains marked trails. ATVs are prohibited.

Hunting

Hunting is allowed on the property. Campers can set up at log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited. Be sure to abide by all game laws in affect through the NYSDEC. More information can be obtained from your local DEC office by calling 585-268-5392.

Skiing, Snowshoeing, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding

Allowed on the property, but no marked trails. State Forest roads (not plowed in the winter, unless there is an on-going timber sale) and logging access trails can be used.

Tips for using State Forests

Snowmobile trails are maintained in the forest
Snowmobile trails are maintained in the forest

State lands belong to all of us. Please help care for this area and enhance the enjoyment of it for yourself and those who follow by observing these simple guidelines.

Directions

To reach the Bully Hill State Forest from Interstate 86, take exit 33 (Almond), go west on County Route 2 about 1 mile, and turn right onto the Bully Hill Road for less than a mile to enter State land.

Important Numbers

State Forest Office (M-F 8-4 p.m.): 585-466-3241

Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 585-403-9574 and 585-415-1521

Emergencies: 911