Lost Nation State Forest
Lost Nation State Forest (Allegany Reforestation Area #12) is located in the Town of Centerville in Allegany County. The forest borders Wyoming County for a short distance on its north side. It 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.
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 CCC camp in the 1930s
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.
The area is a popular destination for both small game and big game hunting. Be sure to abide by all game laws in affect through the NYSDEC.
Hardwood seed beds at Lost Nation CCC camp, June 1936
Being one of the closest areas of State land to the Buffalo metropolitan area, it receives a great deal of use for camping as well.
New York State Snowmobile Corridor Trail 3B passes through Lost Nation State Forest. For more information, visit the website of the New York State Snowmobile Association. A link is provided in the column to the right.
Tips for using State Forests
State lands belong to all of us. Please help care for this area and enhance the enjoyment of it for all people by observing these simple guidelines:
- What you carry in - carry out. Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Burying refuse is prohibited.
- If you are planning to camp for more than three nights or have a group of ten or more, you will need to obtain a permit from a forest ranger. Camping is not allowed within 150 feet of water, roads or trails.
- If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and down trees only.
- All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off road use of motorized vehicles, such as ATV, trail bikes and four wheel drives is not allowed.
- No permanent structures shall be established, including tree stands or blinds.
- Please do not deface, remove, destroy, or otherwise injure any tree, shrub, flower, fern, moss or other plant, rock, fossil, or mineral found or growing on state lands.
- Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.
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 NY Route 39 and County Route 3.
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