Wiley Brook State Forest
Wiley Brook State Forest is located in the towns of Oxford and Guilford in Chenango County. The forest is named after the stream and its tributaries that run though many sections of the forest. The Wiley Brook State Forest covers a total of 1,240 acres. The highest elevation in the forest is approximately 1,840 feet and is located in the far northeastern corner of the forest. The lowest elevation is about 1,440 feet and is found in the eastern, central section of the forest. Most of the slopes in the forest are gentle to moderate. All of the surface water in Wiley Brook State Forest flows south to the Susquehanna River. Although the Basswood State Forest is nearby, the water in that forest flows west into the Chenango River.
Wiley Brook is a tributary to Yaleville Brook, which flows into the Susquehanna River near the village of Bainbridge. The branches of Wiley Brook in the state forest represent the beginnings of the stream, and are unlikely to support any game fish, such as brook trout. The forest cover in Wiley Brook State Forest is generally a mixture of either native or planted conifers with northern hardwood species. The northern hardwoods include: beech, birch, maple, oak, cherry, ash and basswood. The planted conifers include red pine, scotch pine, white pine, Japanese Larch, Norway spruce and white spruce. The native conifers include white pine and hemlock. All of the conifer plantations in Wiley Brook State Forest where planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) between 1931 and 1940. More than 600 acres, or approximately 50%, of Wiley Brook State Forest was planted by the CCC's. At the rate of 700 planted trees to the acre, this adds up to more than 400,000 trees that were used to reforest the unproductive agricultural lands of the 1800's. Many of these plantations are now mature, and are being converted to native forest cover, including northern hardwoods and hemlock.
Some of the most scenic areas on this state forest can be found near the ponds. Wiley Pond (also known as Puckerville Pond) is located in the southwestern corner of the forest. A primitive camping site can be found on the east side of the pond, and the site can be reserved by contacting the Sherburne office. Although the site is located near the road, it has a remote atmosphere and is surrounded by tall timber trees. Another pond, which is only partially located on the State forest, can be found between Quarry Road and Shapley Road. This pond is in a remote location, and many species of water foul can be sighted here.
Wiley Brook State Forest is bordered by a mix of privately owned woodlands and agricultural lands. The most popular recreational activities on the forest are hunting and hiking. Hikers often use a one mile section of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail which runs through the forest. It can be accessed from Shapley Road, near Puckerville Corners. Hunting is most popular during big game season. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as snowmobiling on the sections of unplowed town roads.
Wiley Brook State Forest is part of the Between Rivers Unit Management Plan which currently is in draft format. A Unit Management Plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management.
Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe the following rules which protect them and the forest environment:
- Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
- If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and downed trees only. Never leave a fire unattended.
- 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, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC permit.
- Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water, roads or trail.
- No permanent structures should be established, including tree stands or blinds.
Wiley Brook State Forest is a rather fragmented property and there is not a main entrance to the forest. The town roads that cross through the forest include: Shapley Road, Quarry Road, Brussel Hill Road (formerly Ives Settlement Road) and Glovers Corners to Yaleville Road. All of these roads connect into either County Route 35 or 38.
Most of the town roads on the forest are good quality, gravel-surface roads which may be traveled with any passenger car. Quarry Road and Brussel Hill Road are more narrow than roads such as Shapley Road, and they may have some sections of rough surface. Ward Loomis Road, in the southwest corner of the state forest, is a rough shaled surface road. Quarry Road, Brussel Hill Road, and Ward Loomis Road are not plowed during the winter. There are no true parking areas located in the forest, but there are many places to park vehicles along the sides of the town roads, as well as on old log decks next to the roads.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-648-6247
DEC State Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850