Red Brook State Forest
- Primitive Camping
- Nature Photography/Observation
Red Brook State Forest consists of 601 acres and is located in the town of German in Chenango County. Red Brook State Forest is bordered by privately owned forest lands and agricultural lands. Nearby hamlets include McDonough and Smithville Flats.
There are no trails in this state forest; recreational activities are limited to primitive (back country) camping, fishing, hiking, trapping and nature photography/observation.
Red Brook State Forest is named after the stream and its tributaries, that pass through the western portion of the forest. Another stream, Strong's Brook, crosses through the eastern section of the forest. Both Red Brook and Strong's Brook are tributaries to the Genegantslet Creek highest elevation in the forest is approximately 1592 feet and is located on a peak, midway between the Ridge Road and Hollow Road. The lowest elevation is about 1300 feet and is found along Strong's Brook.. The forest has a mixture of well-drained and poorly-drained ground. If you are walking through this forest, you should be prepared to encounter areas of wet ground. The forest cover types in Red Brook State Forest include pure northern hardwoods (beech, birch, maple, oak, cherry, ash, and basswood), and mixtures of northern hardwoods with several species of conifers. The conifers include red pine, Norway spruce, hemlock and larch. Large portions of this forest (over 50%) were planted with conifer species. All of the red pine, Norway spruce, and larch trees on the forest where planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) in the late 1930's. Another 30% of the forest is comprised of hemlock and hemlock-hardwood mixtures. Eastern hemlock is a native conifer, and it occurs naturally on the forest. Scenic stands of this forest cover type can be found along the stream corridors of Strong 's Brook and Red Brook
Mammals that are common residents of Red Brook State Forest include: deer, raccoons, squirrels, porcupines, chipmunks, opossum, coyotes and foxes. The deer population within the town of German is quite high, and the forest cover of Red Brook State Forest is a good example of the habitat that supports this population.
A small cemetery is located on the forest, off the east side of Ridge Road. Inscriptions on some of the markers are still visible.
Red Brook State Forest is part of the Five Streams 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.
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.
Take State highway 41, travel north on County route 2, the Ridge Road. The State forest is found on both sides of County route 2, beginning at the intersection of Willet Line Road. Although roadside parking is difficult along the county road, places can be found to park along the side roads, including Willet Line Road, Cross Road, and Hollow Road.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4036
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-648-6247
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850