Boyce Hill State Forest
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 9 Allegany Office: (716) 372-0645 (M-F 8:00AM - 4:00PM); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 1-877-457-5680 or 911
- Location: Town of Franklinville, Cattaraugus County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9M
- Map: View Boyce Hill State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (249 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
View from Jackson Road leading to
The 971-acre Boyce Hill State Forest was mostly farm land and open field at one time. A house and barn used to be located at the end of Jackson Forest Road, near the present turn around. Another homestead site was located adjacent to this, near a natural spring lined with stone that still exists today. According to map records and existing evidence, there were two other houses with barns located along Bryant Hill Road and Phillips Road. In addition, natural gas lines that predate state ownership cross the property.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
North Country Trail
Part of the North Country Trail (leaves DEC website) crosses this property. It runs between Route 242 in the west and Jackson Forest Road in the east. The trail passes by the pond at the end of Jackson Road. The Finger Lakes Trail Conference (leaves DEC website) and Foothills Trail Club (leaves DEC website) have adopted this trail and maintain it.
Hunting and Trapping
Forest management has created a variety of habitats suitable for hunting. Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
There is one designated camp site along the North Country Trail on the eastern end of the state forest, near the pond at the end of Jackson Forest Road. This is a primitive tent camp site. There is also one lean-to along the trail in the middle of the state forest.
At-large backcountry camping is also allowed throughout the property but sites 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 snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The C2 and C2F state snowmobile trails cross the property in two locations. The Franklinville Snowmobile Club (leaves DEC website) has adopted these trails.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.
A horse trail, marked with yellow trail markers, starts at the end of Jackson Forest Road. The trail has very minimal maintenance so downed limbs may be a problem at times. Parking is at the end of Jackson Forest Road where the turn-around is. The trail makes a loop on the property and comes back out onto upper Jackson Forest Road, where riders need to follow the road back to the turn-around parking area to complete the loop. The trail can be ridden in either direction. Creekside Roundup (leaves DEC website) has adopted the trail.
Organized trail events require a Temporary Revocable Permit for use of the trails prior to the event. These can be obtained at the Allegany DEC Office at (716) 372-0645.
A pond at the end of Jackson Forest Road
in Boyce Hill State Forest
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.
Fishing is not a major activity on these lands, but the pond on Jackson Forest Road may provide some opportunity for fishing. For more information, call the DEC Allegany office at the number listed at the top of the page.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
There are a 0.6-mile Jackson Forest Road and a 0.4-mile Jackson Extension Road on the eastside of the forest that allows motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities.
The Jackson Extension is at the end of Jackson Forest Road and is only open during fall deer season from October 1st to December 31st. Note that the trail is sometimes in poor condition and no four-wheel drive trucks are allowed, only ATVs.
Boyce Hill State Forest is located west of Franklinville off County Road 17.
From Franklinville take County Road 17 west. Go straight on Bryant Hill Road for the south end of the property, or go around the bend and follow County Road 17 (Bakerstand Road) west to Jackson Road. Jackson Forest Road may be accessed through the yellow gate near the end CR 17. From Rt 242, take Phillips Road near Devereaux.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
- Jackson Forest Road parking area and primitive campsite (42.332448°N, 78.519725°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Lean-to campsite (42.334031°N, 78.532889°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.
Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and mountain biking are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.
How We Manage Boyce Hill State Forest
DEC has developed a Draft Cattaraugus Unit Management Plan which describes the proposed management activities for these lands. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.
If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us email@example.com.
State Forests are managed for multiple uses. They provide a source of raw material for New York's forest products industry, which generates employment and income for many New Yorkers. They are managed for wildlife so that species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey may thrive in various habitats. They are also managed to provide recreational opportunities and to protect watersheds.
Conifer - Stands of pine were planted in old farm fields because they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. These will be converted to hardwoods by removing the conifer overstory and allowing the hardwood seedlings that naturally exist in these stands to grow. Conifers planted by CCC have now reached maturity and are gradually blowing over. Mechanical harvesting of conifer species such as spruce and pine are ongoing projects.
A partnership between Ellicottville BOCES and NYSDEC foresters offers one example of an ongoing conifer management project. Students in the BOCES conservation class learn firsthand about logging operations, tree felling techniques, and equipment operation. The logs from these projects are utilized in the school sawmill. This project will continue to be an educational tool for many area youth considering a career in logging, forestry management or conservation.
Hardwood - Hardwood trees are not usually planted as they spread vast amounts of seed and naturally regenerate. Thinning the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees more growing space. This helps to keep the forest healthy and provides openings for new seedlings, a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife, and a source of future crop trees.
Some stands contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but in almost all cases they are not old growth. These stands were harvested prior to state ownership or managed during state ownership to favor large trees. Many other stands are mature and ready to bring forth the next generation of trees. This is usually done by thinning to promote regeneration of new seedlings, followed by an overstory removal.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
Lodging and dining opportunities as well as gas, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Ellicottville and Franklinville.
Cattaraugus County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.
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.