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Bonaparte's Cave State Forest

State Reforestation Area Lewis #28

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Bonaparte's Cave State Forest locator map

As it's name would indicate, this 1435 acre state forest and the surrounding countryside have historical roots tied to Napoleon Bonaparte. Local legend, along with some historical fact, has it that Napoleon Bonaparte's brother and his family escaped from Europe to this area after his famous brother was arrested. It is said that they eluded hired assassins by hiding out in the rocky ledges and small caves on the northwest edge of what is today known as Green Pond.

This forest includes three ponds: Green, Mud, and Duck. The latter two are both quite shallow, with few fish, but the deep waters of Green Pond provide excellent early season trout fishing. In the 1990's, a state record brook trout was caught here. Public hiking access to Green Pond is provided by the 0.5 mile Green Pond Trail which is also a motor vehicle access by permit only road. There is an accessible fishing pier at end of the trail to Green Pond. This state forest shares a common boundary line with a forest preserve lot to the north. Hunting for resident white-tailed deer and small game are popular in-season pursuits, as are hiking and canoeing.

Most of this forest is natural hard maple, red maple, hemlock, basswood and a small but unique component of black ash. Black ash is harvested locally and is used by artisans in the making of baskets.

The 0.8 mile Corbine Forest Access Road is an extension of the Corbine town road and provides vehicular access to this forest westerly from the Hands Flats Road. The Mud Pond Road is also 0.8 mile in length, and provides right-of-way public access off the North Shore Road to the north side of Mud Pond.

Green Pond Accessible Fishing Pier

a view of Green Pond
Green Pond Accessible Fishing Pier
Universal symbol of accessible site

Green Pond trail is located on Bonaparte's Cave State Forest. It is accessed by a .4 mile road that requires a MAPPWD permit (see MAPPWD link under Important Links at right) for motorized conveyance or it may be accessed on foot by others. There is an accessible fishing pier located on the shoreline of the pond which features excellent fishing opportunities for brook trout.

Note: The road to Green Pond Accessible Fishing Pier is locked by a gate as it is open only to ATV's with MAPPWD permits. Permit holders can call the Lowville DEC office (315-376-3521) and get the lock combination. Call ahead to confirm the combination before each planned trip, as it changes.

Full listing of DECs Accessible Recreation Destinations.


Map of Bonapartes Cave State Forest

From Harrisville, take NY State Route 3 south .6 mile to North Bonaparte Road. Turn right and proceed 2 miles.