Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Klondike State Forest

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowshoeingcross country skiingaccessible trailicon key

Klondike State Forest locator map

Klondike State Forest encompasses 867 acres of diverse landscape. Recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping and nature observation are frequently enjoyed on the property. There is a multi-purpose trail that can also be used for hiking or cross country skiing.

A portion of the property bounds North Pond and leads into a naturally occurring bog. This area provides excellent habitat for many different species of rare and common plants and animals. Water fowl and insects can often be observed in great numbers. Another large wetland complex which boasts some rare and endangered species of both plants and animals lies just to the south of North Pond.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. The one hiking trail loops in with Klondike Public Forest Access Road (Cusson Drive). Do not hike in ski tracks.

Camping

primitive camping

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

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.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.

Fishing Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Klondike State Forest in Oswego County

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

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

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

snowshoeing
cross country skiing

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

Klondike Public Forest Access Road (Cusson Drive) and the hiking trail are designated as a cross-country ski trail. Do not hike in ski tracks.

Wildlife

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

Accessible Features

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

The multi-purpose trail allows motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities.

Directions

From NY Route 69 turn onto Tanner Road, which runs through the eastern portion of the forest. Roadside parking is available there; other access routes throughout the forest can be reached from Tanner Road.

Klondike Public Forest Access Road (Cusson Drive) (43.3657458°N, 75.989627°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 Klondike 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 Klondike State Forest

In the near future Klondike State Forest, along with Orton Hollow State Forest, Stone Hill State Forest and Kasoag 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. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us info.r7@dec.ny.gov.

Klondike 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, larch and spruce plantations that were planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps between the 1930's and the 1950's.

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.

History

The land that is now Klondike State Forest was originally cleared and used for farm land and timber products by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. Unfortunately for many farmers in the area, soil and weather conditions were not fit for intensive agriculture. Shale and sandstone rocks created an area that was moderately rocky with highly acidic soil characteristics. Less than premium soils and prolonged freezing and wet periods made turning a sustainable profit very difficult. As a result, many farmers abandoned their farms and headed out to the Midwest in search of more productive land.

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, and kindred purposes" (Article 9, Title 5, Environmental Conservation Law).

During the 1930's the majority of Klondike State Forest was purchased under this program by New York State. Lands that had once been cleared for timber and farm land were restored to forests. This reforestation program reduced the problem of soil erosion, protected water quality and provided forest products and recreational opportunities. Today Klondike State Forest provides diverse ecological, recreational, and economic benefits for both society and wildlife.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Oswego County Tourism Office (Leaves DEC website)

Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby community of Pulaski.

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.