Stone Hill State Forest
Stone Hill State Forest (Oswego #13) encompasses 866 acres of land in the town of Amboy in eastern Oswego County. There are no formal trails in this state forest, which makes it ideal for recreational activities that can be enjoyed within a primitive forest setting, such as hunting and trapping.
As with the majority of other state forests, the land that now encompasses Stone Hill State Forest was originally purchased for reforestation by the State of New York during the 1930s. Up until this point, the landscape had been comprised of a diverse matrix of crop lands, open fields, forest, meadows and homesteads. Unfortunately, the upland soils of the Tug Hill Plateau are highly acidic, rocky and of a very course texture. Taken together with the intense winters which blanket the area, it is easy to understand why many of the early farms were unsuccessful. As methods of transportation became more readily accessible, farmers moved to the mid-west where winters were less harsh and land was more productive.
The Roosevelt Administration developed the State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931. These two bills authorized the Conservation Department to acquire land, by gift or purchase, for reforestation areas. 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).
Stone Hill State Forest has been managed to promote forest health, timber production, wildlife habitat, and primitive recreational opportunities. The land has been restored to a beautifully rich and diverse forest, and it provides a myriad of economic, ecological and recreational services for hundreds of people each year.
Stone Hill State Forest is comprised mainly of mature natural hardwood and northern hardwood-hemlock cover types. Species including red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch, red oak and hemlock thrive within the forest. A few, small conifer plantations planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s can also be found throughout the property, consisting mainly of white pine, red pine, larch and spruce.
The majority of the forest is wetland, with some areas defined as hemlock swamps. These critical habitats provide food and shelter to hundreds of species of plants and animals.
The remote setting of this forest provides ample opportunities for visitors to view wildlife. It is not unusual to see turkeys, bald eagles, and grouse, as well as a wide variety of song birds and raptors. Game species such as deer, fox, rabbit, raccoon, mink , weasel and beaver make Stone Hill State Forest an excellent place for hunting and trapping.
In the future Stone Hill State Forest, along with Orton Hollow State Forest, Klondike 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.
There is almost one mile of snowmobile trail that makes use of an abandon town road along and and through the forest as part of the area's network of snowmobile trails. There is a trail designated for ATV use for those holding permits issued for individuals with mobility impairments. The trail is about ½ mile in length going southerly off Stone Hill Road.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out In The Forest***
Stone Hill State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 13 to Ball Road. Turn right onto Stone Hill Road. Parking and other access roads are off of Stone Hill Road.
State Forest Regulations
For your safety and protection of the resource, the following regulations are in place:
- DO NOT MOVE FIREWOOD! You could be spreading pests and diseases that kill our forests! A firewood regulation is in place to protect our forests and prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases. Do not bring firewood from home. Buy it from a source near your destination. All State Forests are Carry in Carry Out facilities.
- Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
- No camping within 150 feet of open water, roads, or trails Groups of ten or more persons, or for stays longer than three nights must obtain a permit from a DEC Forest Ranger.
- Use only dead, fallen wood for camp fires.
- All fires must be extinguished with water, and the coals must be raked until cool to the touch.
- Human waste should be buried in a shallow hole 4-6 inches deep, and at least 150 feet from water, trails, and campsites. Cover with leaf litter and dirt. Keep pets under control and on leash while other forest users are around.
- Unauthorized use of motor vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATV's.
State Forest Office (M-F 8 am-4 pm): 315-298-7467
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850