Golden Hill State Forest
Golden Hill State Forest, also known as Cattaraugus Reforestation Area #13 and #16, covers 2,283 acres. This state forest is located in Cattaraugus County in the Towns of Humphrey and Franklinville. The most common recreational uses of this area are hunting, hiking, mountain bike riding and snowshoeing.
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.
There are four designated camp sites on the property, please see map for general locations. Camp site locations: one site is on Putnam Rd, one is at the intersection of Golden Hill Rd and Fire Lane Rd, and one on the corner of Putnam and Fire Lane Rd, and one is on Chapman Rd. All are designated with a yellow camp disk. 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 (phone number below).
A series of multiple use/mountain bike trails cover this unit and multiple trail heads exist. These can all be used for hiking. Please see the map link for locations and access. Please see map link above for access locations.
Hunting is allowed on Golden Hill State Forest. Access is good using forest roads and town roads. Forest management has provided a variety of habitats to hunt. Please abide by all game laws in effect. More information can be obtained from your local DEC Office by calling 716-363-2052 or 716 372 0645.
Skiing and Snowshoeing
All multiple use trails may be used.
The multiple use trails on this unit are used mainly for mountain biking but most of these trails require a high level of skill. They are a great ride if you are an expert rider and a great hike if you are not. Most are somewhat less difficult than the trails at Little Rock City State Forest. The Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association has adopted these trails. See link at right to their website for trail maps and more information.
There are no horse trails on this area, but forest roads may be used for this activity.
Trails are planned to minimize impacts to the forest environment and to not conflict with other management objectives while providing a pleasant and interesting ride.
Organized trail events need to have their coordinators obtain a Temporary Revocable Permit for use of the trails prior to the event. These can be obtained at the Falconer DEC Office at 716-363-2052.
In the 1930s the Golden Hill State Forest unit was the site of many 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. 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.
This area has been managed to provide young forest habitat. This unit contains a good mix of sizes and species of trees. Management for a variety of habitats will continue.
Conifer - The stands of pine, larch and spruce were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. These have been or 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 maturity. Many former conifer stands exist on this unit as young hardwood stands.
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 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.
Young hardwood stands that have been created by clear cutting the former pine plantations are now approaching the stage where they may require some silvicultural work to release future crop trees.
State Forest Regulations
Golden Hill State Forest offers a 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 take 219 North to Great Valley, go straight at the intersection to Route 98 past Sugartown and take a right turn onto Golden Hill Road and drive to the top of the hill.
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