Trout Brook State Forest
Trout Brook State Forest (Oswego #12) encompasses 622 acres and is located in the town of Boylston in Northern Oswego County. Secluded and scenic, it is a great place for recreational activities such as hiking, cross country skiing, hunting, trapping and fishing.
The land that is now known as Trout Brook State Forest originally was used by the Iroquois for hunting and fishing. However, as is the case with many of the lands that have since become managed by the state, the land was later cleared for farm land and timber by Revolutionary War Veterans and early settlers. Unfortunately, the upland soils of the Tug Hill Plateau are characteristically rocky, highly acidic, and not highly fertile. Combined with intense winters common to the region, the fact that many farmers abandoned their properties in pursuit better lands in the mid-West is understandable.
The State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931 provided legislation which authorized the Department of Conservation 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).
Trout Brook State Forest was purchased by New York State during the 1930s for reforestation purposes under this program. During this period, lands that had once been almost completely cleared for agricultural practices were restored to forests. This practice reduced the problem of soil erosion, protected water quality, and provided forest products and recreational opportunities. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) planted thousands of conifer seedlings on the newly acquired lands. Red pine, white pine, white spruce, Norway spruce, and European and Japanese larch decorate the landscape and give witness to the tremendous planting efforts made not so long ago.
Today, the landscape in Trout Brook State Forest is almost completely wooded, and the forest provides diverse ecological, economic, and recreational services for hundreds of people each year.
Trout Brook State Forest is a blend of mature natural hardwood and northern hardwood-hemlock cover. Species such as red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch, red oak and hemlock provide a wide variety of habitats for many different species of plants and animals. The conifer plantations planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s , 1940s and 1950s add to the richness of the forest and are important sources of both food and shelter.
Many opportunities for visitors to view wildlife exist within the rural setting of the woods. Birds such as wild turkey, bald eagles, and ruffed grouse, as well as a wide variety of song birds and raptors can be heard and seen within the boundaries of the forest. An abundance of deer, mink, weasel, fox, raccoon, beaver and rabbit provide excellent hunting and trapping opportunities.
Trout Brook, after which the forest is named, makes its way through the thick of the woods, providing essential habitat to many of the creatures. This area allows many different reptiles and amphibians to thrive, including the blue-spotted salamander, slimy salamander, spring peeper, wood frog, wood turtle, common snapping turtle, eastern hognose snake, five-lined skink and northern water snake.
Trout Brook State Forest is part of the Eastern Lake Ontario Unit Management Plan. The plan is currently being written by DEC staff. 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.
From NY I-81, take Exit 36 and follow NY Route 11 North until Miller Road. Take a right. Follow Miller Road until County Route 48 and turn right. From County Route 48 make a left onto Edwards Road, and then a right onto Lacona Orwell Road ( County Route 22). From Route 22 make a left onto Bremm Road and follow it until the intersection with Van Auken Road. There is parking access off of the side 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 State Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850