Kasoag State Forest
Kasoag State Forest (Oswego #1) encompasses 909 acres and is located in the town of Williamstown in northern Oswego County. While it is remote and somewhat primitive, it is a great place for activities that can be enjoyed in a remote forest setting such as hunting, trapping and fishing.
The land that is now Kasoag State Forest was originally formed millions of years ago as massive glaciers that had once covered the region began to recede. The last glacier, the Wisconsin Glacier receded twelve thousand years leaving behind, shale and sandstone rocks, giving the area its defining moderately rocky and highly acidic characteristics. The forest is located in the Tug Hill Plateau region of New York State.
Unfortunately for many farmers in the area, soil and weather conditions are not fit for intensive agriculture. Excessive erosion and prolonged freezing and wet periods made farming very difficult. As rail and waterways expanded, access to better crop land was more easily obtained, causing many farmers to abandon their properties in New York in search of greener, warmer land in the Midwest.
The State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931 set forth new legislation that 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, recreation and kindred purposes" (Article 9, Title 5, Environmental Conservation Law).
The majority of Kasoag State Forest was purchased by the state under this program in parcels during the 1930's. During this period, lands that had once been cleared of timber for farm land was restored to forests. The planting of trees created new job opportunities for hundreds of young men, and Kasoag State Forest today provides diverse ecological, recreational, and economic benefits for both society and wildlife.
Kasoag State Forest is comprised of mature natural hardwood and northern hardwood-hemlock cover types. The predominant species include red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple and hemlock. There are also conifer plantations throughout the forest consisting of mainly white pine, red pine, and larch and spruce plantations that were mostly planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. It is a locally held belief that the CCC built a camp adjacent to Indian Camp Brook, and evidence of a small man-made pond exists there that seemingly testifies to this truth.
The West Branch of Fish Creek and Indian Camp Brook traverse through Kasoag State Forest. Brook trout and rainbow trout are quite common here, and many anglers come to the forest to enjoy a relaxing day with their poles once one deals with the flies and mosquitoes. Fish Creek and Indian Camp Brook join within the property to form a diverse swamp habitat that attracts many different rare and common species of plants and wildlife.
Of particular significance, glacial features known as eskers can be found within the property. These are narrow, sinuous, steep-sided ridges that are only found in areas that were once glaciated. Those in Kasoag State Forest can often be found through and alongside wooded areas.
There is a short section of trail open for ATV use to individuals holding a Department permit for mobility impairments. The trail is about 1/4 mile in length heading southwesterly from the CC road toward Fish Creek. With few trails this forest is a favorite place for many hunters and trappers, as well as all those who desire to experience a rustic forest.
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. As such, forest management is strategically employed to develop a balanced mix of young, middle-aged, and old (late successional) forest types.
In the near future Kasoag State Forest, along with Orton Hollow State Forest, Stone Hill State Forest, and Klondike State Forest, will be part of the Fish Creek 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.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out In The Forest***
Kasoag State Forest is accessed by taking NY I-81 to exit #34. Continue toward NY RT 104 east. At the intersection with NY RT 13 bear right, then take an immediate left onto NY RT 30a. Continue for approximately 1.0 miles and turn left onto NY RT 30. Follow RT 30 for another 1.0 miles and then turn onto the CC road. In approximately 1.0 miles you will enter the forest, parking is available but limited to the shoulder of the road.
State Forest Regulations
Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe the following rules which protect them and the forest environment:
- 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