Klondike State Forest
- Accessible Trail
- Primitive Camping
- Cross Country Ski Trail
- Nature Photography/Observation
Klondike State Forest encompasses 867 acres of diverse landscape in the town of Amboy in southeastern Oswego County. 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. This trail is open for use by CP3 permit holders using an ATV.
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 North Pond. This diverse and beautiful area further adds to the value of this natural resource.
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.
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.
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.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out In The Forest***
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.
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