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Crab Hollow State Forest

Crab Hollow State Forest locator map

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The 1,154-acre Crab Hollow State Forest contains a mixture of native hardwood species and planted conifers. "Crab" is actually a misspelling of "Crabb", the name of an early resident. In recent years, the name of the nearby town road has been corrected to "Crabb Hollow Road".

The unit is a popular destination for hunting both big and small game. There are no trails on the unit but hiking is allowed throughout the property.

Lumbering was a major industry in the area during the early 1800s due to the abundant hardwoods, the availability of water power along Black Creek, and the development of the Genesee Valley Canal for transportation. Later, as more land was cleared for agriculture, many cheese factories dotted the countryside.

Crab Hollow borders the 4,571-acre Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Its namesake waterbody, Hanging Bog, straddles the State Forest/WMA boundary. It contains a floating mass of vegetation typical of a bog but is actually a lake, as it has an outlet into Crawford Creek. This is in contrast to the nearby Nature Conservancy-owned Moss Lake, which is actually a kettle hole bog.

Geese float along the water at Crab Hollow State Forest

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping


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

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails.


primitive camping

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

There are no designated campsites but 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.

Camping on the neighboring Hanging Bog WMA is only allowed at designated campsites and requires a permit available from a Forest Ranger.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.


Crab Hollow State Forest lies halfway between the hamlet of Rushford and the Village of Cuba and can be accessed by several town roads: Mount Monroe Road on the western side, Crabb Hollow Road in the middle, and New Hudson Road on the eastern side.

There is one parking area near Hanging Bog on the border between the state forest and WMA. All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

  • Briggs Road parking area (42.305342°N, 78.250598°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 Crab Hollow 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.

Specific Rules

Hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

How We Manage Crab Hollow 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.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

Timber Management

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 & Facilities

Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Belfast, Cuba and Rushford.
Dining and lodging opportunities as well as food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Belfast and Cuba.

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.