Tracy Creek State Forest
Extensive Informal Trail System
Tracy Creek State Forest was purchased in 1933 from several different landowners and covers 512 acres. It is located in the town of Vestal in Broome County and the town of Owego in Tioga County. The forest is named for Tracy Creek which flows north from nearby the forest, to the Susquehanna River. Although no formal trails exist on the forest, access through the woods is good due to extensive trails created by firewood cutters. For over twenty years, the upland hardwoods have been thinned by firewood sales to promote timber growth. Now these trails are used for hiking, skiing, horseback riding and mountain biking.
The forest contains a wide array of different cover types. The types include Northern Hardwood, Northern Hardwood-Hemlock, Northern Hardwood-White Pine, oak, Red pine and Norway spruce. The elevation of the forest ranges from 1200 to 1850 feet above sea level.
The south boundary of the forest runs for a quarter of a mile along the New York - Pennsylvania Border. A roadside stand of planted Norway spruce along Crumm Road provides great winter cover for wildlife. There is a scenic, two-acre wetland along the southeast boundary of the forest. This area is a good place to see geese, ducks, beaver, herons and other wetland wildlife species
Tracy Creek State Forest is part of the Broome State Forests Unit Management Plan. 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. The plan schedules forest product sales for some forest stands, while protecting other areas which have special scenic, riparian or wildlife values.
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.
Access to the forest is gained by traveling south from Ross Corners along Tracy Creek Road for about three miles. Tracy Creek Road turns into Collins Road which runs through the forest before entering Pennsylvania. The forest also fronts on Crumm Road which runs west into Tioga County. There are four parking areas in the forest, two along Collins Road and two along Crumm Road.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-798-1797
DEC State Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850