Skyline Drive State Forest
- Primitive Camping
- Hunting, Wildlife Management Unit 7S
- Nature Photogrpahy/Observation
Skyline Drive State Forest covers 533 acres and is located within the towns of Kirkwood and Windsor in Broome County. The area is ideal for passive recreation, such as hunting, bird watching and fishing. No formal trails exist on the forest.
The forest is named after the 2.3 miles Public Forest Access Road that winds across the ridge top of the forest, providing dramatic view of the Susquehanna River valley. The forest was acquired in 1933 from five different owners of land.
The topography on this forest is generally quite steep. Although the northernmost section of forest has rather gentle topography, the remainder of the forest has many steep slopes. Slopes of 35% are not uncommon, and slopes of 50% or more may be encountered while traversing this land. The highest elevation on the forest is 1729 feet, on a peak just off the east side of Skyline Drive. The lowest elevation is 1150 feet, along the south boundary in the western portion of the forest.
The forest cover on the Skyline Drive State Forest is predominantly oak species. Red oak, black oak, chestnut oak, and white oak can all be found on this forest. These trees are well adapted to the drier soils on the high elevations of the forest. The northern section of the forest, where more water is available, has a northern hardwood - hemlock mixture. There is also a wetland in this portion of the forest and a tributary to Trowbridge Creek. Several sections of the property have also been planted with conifer species such as red pine and Norway spruce. These plantations were established by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's
Many species of wildlife can be found on the Skyline Drive State Forest. White-tail deer and wild turkey are the two most popular game species. The forest provides excellent habitat for a wide variety of birds. Although fairly uncommon, black bear are occasionally sighted in southern Broome county, and are believed to visit the forest periodically..
Skyline Drive 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.
State Land Use Regulations (link leaves DEC website)
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.
Skyline Drive State Forest covers a total of 533 acres and can be accessed by traveling from NYS Route 11 to Grange Hall Road to the Public Forest Access Road. The Village of Kirkwood is only about 2 miles from the forest and the City of Binghamton is less than 10 miles away. There are five parking areas off of Skyline Drive, the access road through the forest.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-648-6247
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850