East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest
State Reforestation Area Lewis 45
New York State purchased in October of 2005 a 1,350-acre corridor of land along the East Branch of Fish Creek to become the East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest.
The East Branch of Fish Creek State Forest (see map) has had its entire boundary surveyed and blazed with yellow paint and signs posted. It is most accessible by motor vehicle from the Michigan Mills Road, a town road in the town of West Turin. Motor vehicles can be driven into the property nearly to the bridge over the East Branch of Fish Creek. The road will be signed as open to public motor vehicle use to a turnaround and parking area just short of the bridge.
This state forest is comprised of two parcels, the upper portion and the lower portion, both parcels are directly adjacent to the East Branch of Fish Creek, thus it's name. Bordering this state forest are the GMO public conservation easement lands. Some of these easement lands are available for specific types of public recreation at specific periods of the year. (Please see information regarding these easement lands.)
The majority of this state forest was heavily cut during several previous paper company ownerships. The trees of this forest are slowly growing into larger yellow birch, red maple, hard maple, hemlock and balsam fir, along with some pine and spruce. DEC forestry staff will conduct a forest inventory and carefully control timber sales on this forest. Management will protect water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and maintain a vigorous forest while at the same time providing society and the forest products industry with critical raw materials.
Trout fishing opportunities on the namesake of this state forest have been called outstanding. Some portions of the banks of the East Branch of Fish Creek are gentle with an occasional outwash from the confluences of entering streams, while others have precipitous drops from overhanging cliffs cut by the path of this free-flowing stream. In some areas the stream channel even has a braided appearance.
The public can cross the land on foot (walking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing) Trail bicycling is allowed on the trails and roads. Horses or other similar animals are allowed the on the trails and roads. The public has the right to access waterways from portions of the property. This use is limited to canoes and other non-motorized vessels.
Camping is prohibited within 150' of any road, trail, spring, stream, pond, or other body water. It is also prohibited to camp overnight in the same spot more than three nights in a row, without a permit. A camping permit must be obtained for groups of 10 or more people. Campfires are permitted for cooking, warmth or smudge, provided that firewood is only gathered from dead and downed trees on site. Hunting, fishing, and trapping is permitted in accordance with NYS seasons, applicable rules and regulations.
NYSDEC Lands and Forests
7327 State Route 812
Lowville, NY 13367
Telephone: (315) 376-3521