Bucktooth State Forest
Bailey Hollow Forest Road on this state forest is closed due to poor road conditions. It will be re-opened after repairs are made.
Bucktooth State Forest, also known as Cattaraugus Reforestation Areas #1 and #17 has a total of 2,248 acres. This state forest is located in Cattaraugus County in the Towns of Napoli, Little Valley, and Salamanca. This forest provides many outdoor recreational opportunities, the most common uses are hunting and hiking.
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.
The North Country Scenic Trail passes through this property. 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 at 716-372-0645.
Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and trapping is 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 form public trails.
Fishing - West Branch Bucktooth Run provides the only fishing opportunity on this state forest. This stream may dry out in the summer.
Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
The North Country Scenic Trial can be used for snowshoeing. Skiing is for the more advanced cross country skier and traverses some steep hills.
Camping -There is one designated camp site on this property along the North Country Trail (see map for location), also individuals may set up camp at any location which is at least 150 feet from water bodies, streams, roads, or trails. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a forest ranger listed at the bottom of this page.
Geo-Caching is allowed although caches must be marked with the owner's contact information and may not be placed in dangerous or ecologically sensitive locations.
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. Cattaraugus #1 was one of the first properties obtained by the state for the creation of state forests in Cattaraugus County. Information from old forestry records showed 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 leads us to believe 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.
This area has been managed to provide a large amount of young forest habitat. There are also some areas along Bailey Hollow along the drainage that exits this property to the south 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. The habitat exists for this species at this time 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.
Hunting is allowed on the property; be sure to abide by all game laws in effect. More information can be obtained from your local DEC Office by calling 716-372-0645.
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 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 and a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife and source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but in almost all cases are not. These stands have been harvested prior to state ownership and managed during state ownership to favor large trees. Many other stands are mature and ready to be regenerated to new stands. This is usually done by a thinning to promote regeneration of new seedlings and this cut is followed by an overstory removal. If advanced regeneration exists, or the stand has otherwise been damaged by insects or wind, stands may be salvaged or clear cut in one step without prior thinning. Forest stands that are dominated by species that require direct sunlight for reproduction are managed in this way. Thinning that does not allow enough light to hit the forest floor may change the species composition of the regeneration to more shade tolerant and undesired species like beech and striped maple. Many of the existing stands on this forest had been "high graded" prior to state ownership and contained a large percentage of poor quality beech that was infected with the beech scale. Many of these have since been regenerated using different techniques. For the most part those stands that were clear cut without prior thinning seem to have become the best quality stands both economically and biologically. Some release of oak trees by cutting other trees around them should be done to maintain oak as a component of these stands.
Forest stands that contain a high percentage of oak species may require the use of fire or other types of disturbance to maintain this forest type. Oak stands on this forest are "Transition Oak" stands. They are red oak mixed with red maple and other species. Other hardwood species, especially red maple, white ash and black cherry, may grow better on good sites and will crowd out oak over time. Oaks have a lower dollar value than some of these other hardwoods, but have a high value for wildlife and for species diversity. Oak stands will be maintained as part of this landscape if possible.
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.
State Forest Rules and Regulations
Bucktooth State Forest offers recreational opportunities such as hunting, hiking, bird watching and snow shoeing. State lands belong to all of us. Help care for this area and enhance the enjoyment of it for yourself and those who follow by observing these simple guidelines.
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 turn on 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 on Cattaraugus #17 is marked with a sign. Further north is the Ewing Road and 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. West Branch Bucktooth intersects Route 242 at its north end giving access from the north. From Napoli take County Road 10 south to Manley Hill Road. This will be a left turn just past the cemetery. The Manley Hill Forest Road starts where the town road ends.
Allegany DEC Forestry Office (M-F 8-4 p.m.): 716-372-0645
For emergencies, search and rescue, wildfire, or state land rules and regulation enforcement, call a Forest Ranger:
Or you can reach the Forest Ranger general dispatch number at: (877) 457-5680
General Emergencies: 911