Perkins Pond State Forest
- Primitive Camping
- Camping, With Lean to
- Nature Photography/Observation
Perkins Pond State Forest is located southeast of the hamlet of South Otselic in Chenango County. The forest abuts Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area, state land that is managed by the Bureau of Wildlife. Part of the Finger Lakes Trail travels through the eastern section of the forest. A primitive camp site with a lean-to was recently constructed in the northeast portion of the forest between Mud Lane and the Plank Road. The lean-to is in a remote area of hardwoods on the forest. It provides shelter for long-distance hikers on the Finger Lakes Trail, as well as others who desire solitude and a remote camping experience.
Perkins Pond, for which the forest is named, is a private inholding in the middle of the forest. Is is visible from County Route 42. The outlet from the pond flows downstream through a scenic gorge. Plank Road follows this gorge from its intersection with Rte. 42 near Perkins Pond and leads to the hamlet of South Otselic. This road is an unplowed, narrow dirt road which is closed to motor vehicles west of the intersection with Purse Road.
Visitors who wish to view the gorge can best see it by hiking along Plank Road. The west portion of the gorge is in private ownership but is visible from the hiking trail on the abandoned road. Access to this area is from the hamlet of South Otselic at the Plank Road trail head. Parking is also available at the intersection with Rte. 42 for accessing the upper end of the gorge on the State forest. To view this end of the gorge, one needs to bushwhack a short distance off the road.
During the fall, deer hunting is a popular activity on he forest; and in winter Plank Road is used as part of the snowmobile corridor trail system.
This forest consists of conifer plantations intermixed with native hardwoods and conifers spread across a hilltop on an area approximately two miles wide and three miles long. The plantation conifer species include: red pine, Norway and white spruce, larch and scotch pine. Common native hardwoods or conifers found on the forest include: sugar and red maple, white ash, black cherry and hemlock. This forest is managed for a diversity of forest conditions which provide habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. Some of the common wildlife species found on the forest include: deer, turkey, red squirrels, and a variety of forest song birds.
Perkins Pond State Forest is part of the Pharsalia Woods 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.
From the hamlet of South Otselic take the Plank Road south to where it intersects with County route 42. The state forest is on either side of the road where these two roads intersect. One can also proceed southwest on Rt. 26 from the hamlet of South Otselic. At the intersection of County routes 26 and 42, take 42 east directly into the heart of the state forest.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4036
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-316-3291
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850