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Winona State Forest

State Reforestation Area Oswego #2

View Winona State Forest Map || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper

Winona State Forest locator map

The Winona State Forest is located on the boundary of southern Jefferson County and northern Oswego County. It is east of interstate #81, west of Littlejohn Wildlife Management Area and is on the western edge of the Tug Hill Plateau.

This 9,233-acre state forest offers many recreational opportunities, including: hiking, skiing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, trapping, dog sledding, birdwatching and horseback riding. The unit contains 21.8 miles of cross-country ski trails, 8.7 miles of snowmobile trails (some designated New York State Snowmobile Corridor Trails), 9.9 miles forest roads, and 5 parking lots.

This reforestation land was once farmland, and during the late 1930's and 1940's, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) planted evergreen trees, built roads, ponds, and buildings on this land. As the trees have grown to maturity, foresters have marked many stands for wood products, including red pine poles going overseas, pulpwood to local paper mills, black cherry to Harden Furniture and chips for energy.

Around 1980, DEC staff and local cross country skiing enthusiasts met to discuss a trail system, including one for cross country ski racing. This was logical since the Tug Hill Plateau has the biggest snowfall east of the Rockies and has reliable snow cover throughout the winter. The trails became known as the Tug Hill Tourathon Trails. Each year since then, new trails have been added. Much volunteer work went into this project and DEC Operations crews, with their heavy equipment and manpower, has made these trails what they are today.

Over the past years, many different groups have enjoyed the use of these trails, but this has made for some difficulty in how to designate which trails would be used and for what purpose. The Western Edge Recreational Association was developed around 1995 to bring together all the users: skiers, snowmobilers, dog sledders, horse owners, hunters, bikers, and orienteering people.

With the melding of ideas, resources and manpower, Winona State Forest has become one of New York State's best venues for recreation, and at the same time, provides valuable timber resources.

Location Map of Winona State Forest

In 2005, DEC began developing a unit management plan (UMP) for Winona State Forest. A UMP must be completed before significant new recreational facilities, such as trails, camping sites, and parking areas can be constructed. The plans involve an extensive analysis of the natural features of an area and the ability of the land to accommodate public use. The DEC has primary responsibility for developing management plans for the State-owned lands.

The Winona Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) was finalized in late 2013. Anyone with questions about the UMP or how the state forest is managed should feel free to contact Edwin Sykes, Planning Team Leader, in writing, by phone or by fax at: 7327 State Route 812, Lowville, New York 13367, Phone: (315) 376-2513 or 376-3521, FAX: (315) 376-8059. E-Mail comments can be sent to: Region 6 UMP mail box.

Directions

To get to this forest, from interstate 81, take Mannsville exit 39, then take county route 90 east through Mannsville. About 2.75 miles out of Mannsville, county route 90 meets Dixon Road and turns to the right. This route bears left at the intersection with Wart Road and then right at Brown Road. The historical CCC camp is another mile down the road.

Trails on Winona State Forest
Trail Name Miles Use
Bargy (main) 3.1 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile, Car
Tucker 2.6 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile, Car
Hessel 2.0 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile, Car
Hawley 1.5 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile, Car
Wart 0.7 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile, Car
Adsit 1.3 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile
Gold Spike 1.2 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile
Bacus Bend 2.6 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile
Dog Leg 1.2 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile
Dog Leg Ext. 0.4 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog, snowmobile
Bronze Trail 1.4 walk, ski, bike, sled dog, snowmobile
Tucker Ext Trail 1.2 walk, ski, sled dog, snowmobile
Musher Ridge 1.2 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Pussycat 0.5 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Tail 0.4 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Skinner Creek 0.8 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Frank's Fancy 1.6 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Tie 0.3 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Shady Shuttle 2.0 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Jimmy's Jaunt 0.7 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Hiscock 1.7 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Ted's Turn 0.6 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Sally's Ride 0.4 walk, ski, bike, horse, sled dog
Bill's Belly 2.0 walk, ski, bike, sled dog
Raspberry (Larrabee) Trail 1.9 walk, ski, bike, sled dog
Alice's Alley 2.5 walk, ski, bike, sled dog
Winona Way 5.0 walk, ski, bike, sled dog
Sycopath 0.9 walk, ski, snowmobile