Pitcher Springs State Forest
Pitcher Springs State Forest, also known as Chenango Reforestation Area # 16, consists of 1,835 acres and is located in the town of Pitcher in Chenango County.
This forest consists of conifer plantations intermixed with native hardwoods. The conifers sprawl across rolling hills in an area approximately two miles wide by three miles long. Over half of the forest consists of conifer plantations. These extensive plantations indicate the prevalence of land that was previously cleared for agricultural purposes. These farms were subsequently abandoned in the 1930's due to the poor soil conditions. Foundation sites from the homes and barns of this era can still be found on the forest. The conifer species include: red pine, white pine, Norway and white spruce and larch. These plantations are now maturing and are being periodically harvested. New, young seedlings of native hardwoods typically regenerate after harvesting the plantations. Common native hardwoods or conifers growing on the forest include: sugar and red maple, white ash, black cherry, beech, aspen, and hemlock.
Some of the common wildlife species found on the forest include deer, turkey, red squirrels and coyotes. The diversity of forest conditions in this area also support a great variety of forest birds such as: broad-winged hawk, Cooper's hawk, hermit thrush, wood thrush, black-throated blue warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, mourning warbler, Canada warbler, and golden crowned-kinglet. Many of these birds can be seen or heard singing in the forest. The 4.5 miles of town roads through the forest provide easy access for stop-and-go roadside birding.
During the autumn deer season and the spring and fall turkey seasons, hunters often visit the forest in search of a prize to take home. At all times of the year, Pitcher Springs State Forest provides a place to escape from the stress of daily concerns and experience the refreshing sights, sounds, and beauty of nature.
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.
The forest is located between State Route 26 to the north and State Route 23 to the south. Hakes-Calhoun Road, Kenney Road and Pitcher Springs Road are the primary town roads that provide easy access to the forest from the State highways. These are all gravel surfaced roads that are in suitable condition for travel by car or truck.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-316-3291
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850