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West Osceola State Forest

primitive campinghikingsnowshoeingcross country skiingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingicon key

West Osceola State Forest locator map

West Osceola State Forest encompasses 1,900 acres of forested landscape. Activities such as hunting, trapping and snowmobiling are best suited for the remote and primitive nature of this state forest.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

There are no trails designated specifically for hiking but hiking is allowed anywhere on the property.


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.



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

Trout are found in some of the streams. Various salmon and trout are found in the Salmon River.

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

Hunting & Trapping


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

The secluded and remote setting of this property provides incredible hunting and trapping opportunities. Wild turkeys, ruffed grouse, deer, weasel, fox, coyote, muskrat and rabbit are all abundant.

snowy stream



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

West Osceola State Forest currently has a section of a snowmobile trail within its boundaries.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing

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

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted anywhere on the property.


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

The East Branch of the Salmon River, as well as Prince Brook, meander through the trees. Both provide ample opportunities for observing a diversity of nature and wildlife. For example, amphibians and reptiles flourish in this area, including the marbled salamander, red-spotted newt, eastern painted turtle, common snapping turtle, rat snake and five-lined skink


From NY I-81 Take Exit #36, then follow NY Route 13 toward Williamstown. Make a left onto County Route 17 and proceed north until the intersection with County Route 27, go straight through onto Waterbury Road. Follow Waterbury until Fox Road, make a right. Parking is available off of Fox Road, or you may continue until Redfield Road and make a left, parking areas are available off the road.

Ryan Road Parking next to the Salmon River (43.508894°N, 75.758992°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 West Osceola 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 West Osceola State Forest

West Osceola State Forest is part of the Upper Salmon River 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. Land management actions will be guided by the UMP.

The cover types within West Osceola State Forest consist mainly of mature natural hardwood and northern hardwood-hemlock cover types, including species such as red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch, red oak and hemlock. The conifer plantations planted by the CCC during the 1930s and 1950s can also be found throughout the property, consisting of mainly white pine, red pine, larch and spruce.

The responsibility of managing State Forests to enhance and maintain a diverse and healthy forest ecosystem for both society and wildlife falls to DEC Foresters. These staff strategically employ forest management to develop a balanced mix of young, middle-aged, and old (late successional) forest types that will continue to benefit New Yorkers for many generations to come.


As with the majority of other state forests, the land that now encompasses West Osceola State Forest was originally purchased for reforestation by the State of New York during the 1930s. Prior to this, the landscape was comprised of a diverse matrix of crop lands, open fields, forest, meadows and homesteads. Unfortunately, the upland soils of the Tug Hill Plateau are characteristically rocky, highly acidic, and steep. 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).

West Osceola State Forest was purchased during the 1930's under this program and has been intensely managed to promote forest health, timber production, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Through the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), who planted thousands of softwood tree seedlings on the newly acquired state lands, the landscape in West Osceola State Forest has been restored to thick woodland; it provides a myriad of economic, ecological and recreational services to hundreds of people each year.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us info.r7@dec.ny.gov

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.