Klipnocky State Forest
Klipnocky State Forest (Allegany Reforestation Area #6) is located in the Towns of Almond, Birdsall and Burns in Allegany County. It covers 2,634 acres and borders both Slader Creek State Forest and Gas Springs State Forest.
The origin of the name "Klipnocky" is uncertain. Local folklore includes stories about a race of Bigfoot-like creatures known as "The Hairy Women of Klipnocky". What is certain is that Klipnocky State Forest occupies some extremely rocky and remote country! Several old stone quarries can be found on the area. The most recent quarrying was during the construction of the Almond Dam in the 1940's. Several of the old quarries have been converted to wildlife ponds.
If you visit the area, check out some of the stone walls that run through the woods. You'll be amazed at the size of many of the rocks that were cleared, in the days before motorized equipment, in an attempt to bring the land under cultivation. Surprisingly, almost half of the acreage was cleared and farmed prior to State acquisition.
Scarlet tanager in old rock quarry near Finger Lakes Trail
The forest cover types are a mixture of native hardwoods, native conifers and planted conifers. The upland slopes are primarily hardwood species such as sugar maple, white ash, red maple, red oak and beech. Occasional stands of native eastern hemlock are present. The old fields were planted during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, with a variety of conifer species including red pine, Scotch pine, white pine, larch and spruce.
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 into 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 to maturity. These "early-successional" hardwood stands provide an important habitat component for a variety of songbird species, as well as ruffed grouse and woodcock.
Hiking along the Finger Lakes Trail in Klipnocky State Forest
The Finger Lakes Trail / North Country National Scenic Trail passes through Klipnocky State Forest and skirts the edges of several old quarries. Here also the trail crosses the divide between the Saint Lawrence and Susquehanna River drainages. This trial can also be used for snowshoeing and skiing, but keep in mind some of the terrain can be challenging for these activities. See the links in the right column for more information on the Finger Lakes Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail.
The area is a popular destination for hunting both small game and big game. Be sure to abide by all appropriate game laws.
New York State Snowmobile Corridor Trail 2 passes through the southern portion of Klipnocky State Forest. For more information, visit the New York Snowmobile Association website. A link is provided in the right column.
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.
Klipnocky State Forest lies approximately four miles southwest of the Village of Canaseraga and is accessible via several town roads and State Forest roads leading from County Route 13C in the north and County Route 32 in the south.
State Forest Office (M-F 8-4 p.m.): 585-466-3241
Forest Rangers: 585-403-9574 or 585-415-1521