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Rush Creek State Forest

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Rush Creek State Forest locator map

Rush Creek State Forest covers a total of 1,404 acres and borders the 4,475-acre Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area. The forest cover types here are primarily native hardwood species, with a smaller number of planted conifers. There are no designated trails but hiking is allowed throughout the property.

Unlike many of the state forest areas in Allegany County, most of Rush Creek State Forest has been in continuous forested cover throughout its history. Only about a third of the acreage was ever cleared for cultivation or pasture. Some of the largest unbroken areas of hardwoods on state forests in Allegany County can be found here.

Lost Nation Civilian Conservation Corps crew planting trees
Lost Nation Civilian Conservation Corps crew planting trees. Newly-
built Rushford Lake is in the background (constructed by Rochester
Gas & Electric Corporation to store water for their hydroelectric
generating station on the Genesee River). June 1936

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping

huntingtrapping

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. 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.

Camping

primitive camping

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

There are no formal camp sites on the property but 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.

Please note that camping on the adjacent Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area is only allowed at designated campsites and requires a permit, available from one of the Forest Rangers.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

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

New York State Snowmobile Corridor Trail 2C passes through Rush Creek State Forest. The New York State Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC website) has interactive trail maps and additional information about snowmobiling.

Directions

Rush Creek State Forest lies directly southeast of Rushford Lake, and is accessible via County Route 49, Rush Creek Road, Slusher Hill Road and McNamara Hill Road.

From Interstate 86, take exit 28 and head north on Route 305 for 7.3 miles, then turn left on Cloverleaf Road. At the first intersection, turn right to stay on Cloverlead Road. After 2.0 miles at the four way intersection, continue straight onto Slusher Hill Road, which enters the state forest from the south. Russell Forest Road branches off and continues north through the state forest.

There are no designated parking areas on the unit but roadside parking is available. The state forest is located at 42.355072°N, 78.206975°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 Rush Creek 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 Rush Creek 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 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 Belfast and Cuba.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Belfast, Cuba, Fillmore, Houghton and Rushford.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Belfast, Cuba, Fillmore and Houghton.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Belfast, Cuba, 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.