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Lost Nation State Forest

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Lost Nation State Forest locator map

Lost Nation State Forest covers a total of 1,344 acres. The forest is named after the fabled "Lost Nation," a resident tribe of Native Americans who unexpectedly disappeared from the area without a trace. There are no designated trails but hiking is allowed throughout the property.

In the 1930's, the Lost Nation Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, S-126, was located on this State Forest along Lost Nation Road. Other than a small concrete building foundation, an artesian well and the Norway spruce trees lining the road, little evidence of the camp remains. One of the camp buildings still exists, having been moved to private property on Vosburg Cross Road and known locally as "Sam's Dance Hall."

Lost Nation camp in the 1930s
Lost Nation CCC camp in the 1930s

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping


General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

The area is a popular destination for both small game and big game hunting and for trapping. Be sure to abide by all game laws.

Hardwood seed beds
Hardwood seed beds at Lost Nation CCC camp, June 1936


primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Because this state land is close to the Buffalo metropolitan area, it receives a great deal of use by campers.

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.



General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

New York State Snowmobile Corridor Trail 3B passes through Lost Nation State Forest. For more information, visit the New York State Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC website).


Lost Nation State Forest lies approximately 8 miles southeast of the Village of Arcade between the hamlets of Centerville and Bliss, and is accessible via several town roads between State Route 39 and County Route 3.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

  • Lost Nation Road Parking Area #1 with parking for 7 cars or 3 cars with trailers (42.501207°N, 78.262986°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Lost Nation Road Parking Area #2 (42.499382°N, 78.260975°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • County Line Road Parking Area with parking for 8 cars or 4 cars with trailers (42.52127°N, 78.263741°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.

All users of Lost Nation State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How We Manage Lost Nation 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.

Timber Management

The forest cover types on Lost Nation State Forest are a mixture of native hardwood species and planted conifers. The hardwood stands are managed through a series of thinnings which remove the lower quality trees and give more growing space to the best quality trees. The hardwood tops are generally left in place to rot and recycle their nutrients back into the soil. The decaying tops also provide bedding and nesting cover for wildlife such as white-tailed deer and wild turkeys.

Periodic thinnings in the red pine plantations have allowed the native hardwoods to seed in the sunlit openings. Many of the pine stands have reached maturity and the remaining overstory is now being removed to allow the hardwoods to grow. These "early-successional" hardwood stands provide an important habitat component for a variety of songbird species, as well as ruffed grouse and woodcock.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade, Fillmore and Pike.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade, Fillmore and Houghton.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade, Fillmore, Houghton and Pike.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade, Fillmore and Houghton.

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.