Battle Hill State Forest
Battle Hill State Forest (Oswego # 14) encompasses 1, 569 acres and is located in the town of Redfield in Northern Oswego County. The forest is named for a battle which took place nearby during the Revolutionary War and is a great place to experience activities that are enjoyed within a wild forest setting.
The majority of the land that now makes up Battle Hill State Forest was originally purchased during the 1930's. Prior to this, the landscape had been comprised of a matrix of crop lands, open fields, forest, meadows and homesteads. However, the soils that are commonly found in this area are thin, highly acidic, and predominately filled with stones. Together with the long, harsh winters which typically ravage the area, it is easy to understand why many of the early farms were unsuccessful.
The Roosevelt Administration developed the State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931. This new legislation authorized the Conservation Department to acquire land, by gift or purchase, for reforestation areas. These State Forests, consisting of no less than 500 acres of contiguous land, were to be "forever devoted to reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, and kindred purposes" (Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, Environmental Conservation Law). Since that time, Battle Hill State Forest has been intensely managed to promote forest health, timber production, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities.
Battle Hill State Forest is predominantly comprised of northern hardwood- hemlock cover types, including such tree species as maple, pine, spruce, beech and basswood. The dense wooded area provides excellent habitat for many game species such as raccoon, beaver, snowshoe hare, turkey and grouse. There are also sections in the forest which serve as deer wintering areas; thus, deer are frequently seen here during winter months. Along with the many diverse sceneries which already exist within Battle Hill State Forest, the Mad River and the North Branch of the Salmon River wind through the woods as well. Good fishing opportunities exist along the banks of these rivers.
DEC foresters are charged with the responsibility of managing State Forests to enhance and maintain a diverse and healthy forest ecosystem for society and wildlife. Therefore, forest management is strategically employed to develop a balanced mix of young, middle-aged, and old (late successional) forest types that will continue to be a strong asset for the communities of New York State for generations to come. .
Battle Hill State Forest is part of the Upper Salmon River Unit Management Plan. A Unit Management Plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management. Land management actions will be guided by the UMP which is currently being developed.
There are no designated trails on this state forest. Snowmobile trails make use of the road sides and seasonal public road through much of the forest.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out On The Trails***
Battle Hill State Forest is located along County Route 17 north of Redfield. The forest may be accessed from County Route 17, Old State Road and Otto Mills Drive.
State Forest Regulations
- Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
- If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and downed trees only. Never leave a fire unattended. Three foot radius must be cleared around fire.
- All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off road use of motorized vehicles, such as, trail bikes and four-wheel drives is not allowed, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC Permit.
- Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water, roads or trail.
- Permanent structures, including tree stands or blinds, are not allowed.
State Forest Office (M-F 8 am-4 pm): 315-298-7467
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 315-625-7261
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850