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Gas Springs State Forest

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Gas Springs State Forest locator map

The 2,263-acre Gas Springs State Forest gets its name from the natural gas springs that occur in the area. More than half of the acreage of this state forest was cleared for agriculture in the early 1800s, but by the 1930s most of the farmland had been abandoned.

In the 1930s, the unit was the site of 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 Depression. The CCC used water holes like the one in the picture below to water the thousands of trees that they planted in tree plantations on the unit. Some of these water holes can still be seen today as small depressions near the plantation areas with rocks stacked around the edge to line the rim. This was a common practice by the CCC, especially in areas where a natural water source was scarce.

Waterhole constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps
Water hole constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
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 hunting both big and small game. Please be sure to abide by all applicable game laws.

Hiking

hiking

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

A section of the North Country Scenic Trail (leaves DEC website) managed by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (leaves DEC website) passes through the extreme eastern end of the unit. There are no other trails on the unit but hiking is allowed throughout the property.

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

The North Country Scenic Trail can be used for snowshoeing and skiing, but keep in mind that some of the terrain can be challenging for these activities.

Camping

primitive camping

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

There are no designated campsites; however, at-large primitive 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.

Pond at Gas Springs State Forest
Pond at Gas Springs State Forest

Directions

From Interstate 86, take exit 34N and turn right onto Route 36. After about 7.5 miles, turn left onto Route 70 and continue for about 5.5 miles. Take a left onto Route 15B, where several connecting roads lead into the state forest, including Malone Road and Newton Road.

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

  • Hiltonville Road Parking Area, 3 car capacity (42.390943°N, 77.86861°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) 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 Gas Springs 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 Gas Springs 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

Gas Springs State Forest is composed of 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 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.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Canaseraga and Hornell.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Canaseraga and Hornell.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Angelica, Canaseraga and Hornell.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Angelica and Hornell.

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.