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Red Brook State Forest

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Red Brook State Forest locator map

Red Brook State Forest consists of 601 acres. 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.

Featured Activities


primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

At large primitive camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.

Fishing Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Red Brook State Forest

Hunting & Trapping


General Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

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.


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.

County Route 2 (42.4627375°N, 75.844315°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Red Brook State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How We Manage Red Brook State Forest

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. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us info.r7@dec.ny.gov.

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

A small cemetery is located on the forest, off the east side of Ridge Road. Inscriptions on some of the markers are still visible.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Chenango County Tourism Webpage (Leaves DEC website)

Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Cortland and Norwich.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.

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