Raecher Hill State Forest
Raecher Hill State Forest, also known as Cattaraugus Reforestation Area #19, is a small state forest consisting of 832 acres. This state forest is located in Cattaraugus County in the Towns of Great Valley and Humphrey. The most common recreational use of this area is hunting.
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 such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey. They are managed to provide recreational opportunities and watershed protection.
Camping can be done on this state forest as long as you are 150 feet from a road, trail, water body or stream. In addition, there are two designated camp sites on the property; one is off Raecher Hill Road and one is located off the forest access road. For general locations on these sites please see the map at the top of the page.
Hunting is allowed on Raecher Hill State Forest. Please abide by all game laws in effect. More information can be obtained from your local DEC Office by calling the Wildlife Office at 716-372-0645. This property is managed to provide a variety of habitats to support many common game species.
Skiing and Snowshoeing
All roads may be used.
In the 1930s Raecher Hill State Forest was the site of work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC. The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the depression. Projects included the planting of thousands of pine, larch and spruce trees in the open areas on the property.
This property was mostly farm land at one time that was planted into conifer trees or grew into the mature hardwood trees that you see here today.
This area has been managed to provide young forest habitat. This unit contains a mix of sizes and species of trees. Management for a variety of habitats will continue. Wildlife that can be observed on the unit include white tail deer, grouse, turkey and bear.
Conifer - The stands of pine were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. These will be converted to hardwoods by removal of the conifer overstory and allowing the hardwood seedlings that usually exist in these stands to grow to be a new hardwood forest. Since much of this property was old field planted to conifer trees there have been some major conifer removal projects on this property. These projects will continue until these sites have been harvested and converted to native hardwood trees.
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 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 are not in almost all cases. These stands have been harvested prior to state ownership or 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 followed by an overstory removal. Forest stands that are dominated by species that require direct sunlight for reproduction are managed in this way. Forest stands that contain oak species may require the use of fire or other types of disturbance to maintain this forest type.
State Forest Regulations
Raecher Hill State Forest offers a limited variety of recreational opportunities. 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:
- What you carry in - carry out. Leave the area cleaner than you found it. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
- If you are planning to camp for more than three nights or have a group of ten or more, obtain a permit from a forest ranger. Do not camp within 150 feet of water, roads or trails.
- If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and down trees only.
- All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off-road use of motorized vehicles, such as ATVs, trail bikes and four-wheel drives, is not allowed.
- No permanent structures shall be established, including tree stands or blinds.
From Salamanca travel north on Route 219 to Peth and make a right turn onto County Road 68, continue west onto County Road 18 to Raecher Road which will be a left turn to the north. Drive to the end of Reacher Road to the State Forest property.
NYS DEC Allegany Forestry: (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