Bucktooth State Forest
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 9 Allegany Office (M-F 8:00AM - 4:00PM): 716-372-0645; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: (518) 408-5850 or 911
- Location: Towns of Napoli, Little Valley, and Salamanca in Cattaraugus County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9R
- Map: View Bucktooth State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (202 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
The 2,248-acre Bucktooth State Forest provides many outdoor recreational opportunities, the most common of which are hunting and hiking.
In the 1930s Bucktooth State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the depression. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine, larch and spruce trees in the open areas on the property.
Information from old forestry records show that this property had some timber on it when the state purchased the property. Most other properties purchased during that era were old farms devoid of trees. Stands appear to be even aged so most of this forest was cleared at some time. Later inspection showed that many of these mature stands appeared to have been "high graded." High grading is selective cutting that removes the best trees and leaves the rest of the poorer quality stems to grow. Evidence of what may have been a small logging camp was found which suggests that much of this area was subject to this type of cutting in the past. An older stand near Bailey Hollow has been retained and still shows the result of this type of cutting. Most of these types of stands have either been blown down and salvaged or been clear cut and regenerated. Due to the rocky nature of the soils on this property only a few areas appear to have been plowed.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The North Country Scenic Trail (leaves DEC website) passes through this property and is maintained by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (leaves DEC website). Hiking from the south, the trail passes across the top of an outcrop of conglomerate rock known locally as the "Cat" rocks. From here the trail takes you down the hill across West Branch Bucktooth Run Road then across West Branch Bucktooth Run on a foot bridge and up the hill. At the top of the hill is a row of trees near an old house site known locally as "The Avenue of the Maples." From the top of the hill the trail carries you off the property down to East Branch Bucktooth Run Road.
Coordinators of organized trail events need to obtain a Temporary Revocable Permit for use of the trails prior to the event. These can be obtained at the Allegany DEC Office by calling the number above.
Hunting and Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed on Bucktooth State Forest. Wildlife habitat is very good due to active forestry management, and forest roads provide good access to these areas for hunting. Be sure to abide by all New York State game laws. 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 fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.
West Branch Bucktooth Run provides the only fishing opportunity on this state forest. This stream may dry out in the summer.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The North Country Scenic Trail can be used for snowshoeing. Skiing traverses some steep hills and is for the more advanced cross-country skier.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
There is one designated camp site on this property along the North Country Trail (see map for location). At-large primitive camping is also 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 animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
This area has been managed to provide a large amount of young forest habitat. There are also some areas in the south along Bailey Hollow that are managed as old forest habitat and provide a sheltered deer wintering area. Management to reproduce oak stands on this property is planned to provide acorn mast for wildlife.
Varying hare trap-and-transfer has been done on this property in the past. Habitat exists for the hare but no recent evidence of hares has been found. New access roads have been built and grasses and legumes have been planted along them to provide turkey chick rearing habitat. Some mammals that can be seen on the property are white-tailed deer, skunk, red fox, mink, and coyote. Game birds that can be found here are ruffed grouse and turkey. Some forest roads may be opened during the hunting season for access but are usually closed to vehicle traffic during other times of the year.
There are no designated parking areas on the unit, however roadside parking is available. The state forest is located at (42.196280°N, 78.815008°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
From Salamanca take Route 353 north to Washington Street. The bridge may be out so follow the detour if necessary. Take Washington Street west to Bucktooth Run Road. Take a right onto Bucktooth Run and drive north to where the road splits. Stay to the left on West Branch Bucktooth Run Road. The trail head for the North Country Trail is marked with a sign. Further north is the Ewing Road on the left which has a yellow gate. This road gives access to the top of the hill and Bowers Hollow when the gate at the top of the hill is open.
Alternately, West Branch Bucktooth Run Road intersects Route 242 at its northern end giving access from the north. Another option is to take County Road 10 south from Napoli and then take a left on Manley Hill Road, just past the cemetery. The Manley Hill Forest Road starts where the town road ends.
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.
Mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.
How We Manage Bucktooth 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 at 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 provides employment and income for many New Yorkers. They are managed for wildlife by the creation and maintenance of various habitats for many wildlife species. They are managed to provide recreational opportunities and for watershed protection.
Conifer - The stands of pine, larch and spruce were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. Many conifer stands on this property have been converted to hardwoods by removal of the conifer overstory and allowing the hardwood seedlings that usually exist in these stands to grow to maturity. The hardwood regeneration is doing well in these treated stands. You have to look carefully for the remains of pine stumps to even know that there were once plantations.
Hardwood - Hardwood trees are not usually planted as they spread vast amounts of seed and naturally regenerate. Thinning of 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 will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but in almost all cases they are not. These stands have been harvested prior to state ownership and managed since to favor large trees. Many other stands are mature and ready to be regenerated to new stands.
This area has been impacted by a number of wind events that have damaged or blown down a significant number of trees. One micro burst caused major damage to this area, most of which was on adjacent private lands, but the state forest was hit as well. Some of the timber management of this property has been to salvage damaged trees. The result of this removal of blown down trees is a regenerated stand that has a new crop of trees. Tipped up stumps can be seen on the forest floor in these new stands.
Road construction is a part of timber management. New access roads and landings have been created on this property to remove forest products. These will be managed as grassy openings to provide some variety to this forest habitat. Some will be kept closed most of the year.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands & Facilities
- Elkdale State Forest
- Rock City State Forest
- Randolph Fish Hatchery
- Allegany State Park (leaves DEC website)
Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Little Valley, Salamanca and Randolph.
Dining opportunities as well as food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Randolph and Salamanca.
Lodging can be found in the nearby community of Salamanca.
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.