Oakley Corners State Forest
Oakley Corners State Forest is located in the towns of Newark Valley and Owego in eastern Tioga County.
The forest was established between 1933 and 1947 in an effort to reduce soil erosion problems, produce forest products, and provide future recreational opportunities. Most of the property was former pasture or tilled acreage that was suffering from poor agricultural practices. The DEC immediately planted this land with 837,000 pine, spruce, cedar and larch seedlings. The planting was accomplished in 1936 using Civilian Conservation Crops labor. Today Oakley Corners State Forest is fulfilling the vision which started in 1933. Almost 100% of the area is forested, the soils have been improved, and the harvesting of forest products supports all management activities including recreation.
DEC foresters are charged with the responsibility of managing State forests. The goal of management is to provide recreational opportunities, to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem, and to improve the forest for future generations. This is a work in progress that started in 1933 with poorly used and/or abandoned farmland. We now have a rich and diverse forest. Future forest management will be aimed at converting the even-aged softwood plantations to more natural mixed hardwood and softwood forests.
Oakley Corners State Forest is a popular area for recreation. Present activities include: hunting, boating, hiking, fishing, bird watching, camping, cross-county skiing and snowshoeing. ATV use is prohibited on State forests except on designated ATV routes with a DEC issued permit for individuals with qualifying mobility impairments. There are two ponds on the forest that receive heavy recreational use in the form of fishing, camping and boating. Target shooting is prohibited on this forest.
Oakley Corners State Forest is part of the Tioga 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.
The Oakley Corners State Forest Multiple Use Trial System has been designed to offer family-based recreation for hiking, mountain biking and cross-county skiing. Trails are available to serve beginners, intermediate and advanced users. Horseback riding and snowmobiling are not permitted on the Multiple Use Trails.
The 13 mile Oakley Corners Multiple Use Trail System is a cooperative effort between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Lands and Forests, and volunteers from the Volunteer Stewardship Program.
The trails are marked with circular trail markers. All trails are designated by color and number. Trail head parking is provided along Hullsville and Dutch town Roads. There is a small parking lot near the north gate and another on Hullsville Road that provide easy access to the trails and the ponds. The trails are classified by the users ability. Beginner trails have very gentle slopes and are fairly short in length. Intermediate trails have gentle to somewhat steep slopes and are moderates in length. Advanced trails have gentle to steep slopes and some sections with difficult side slopes. These trails are usually longer in length than intermediate trails.
- Trial 1- beginner trail 1.9 miles long
- Trail 2- intermediate trail 1.1 miles long
- Trail 3- beginner trail 0.2 miles long
- Trail 4 -beginner trail 0.7 miles long
- Trail 5- beginner trail 0.9 miles long
- Trail 6- advanced trail 1.1 miles long
- Trail 7- intermediate trial 0.3 miles long
The south/Yellow trails are 6.2 miles in length and have higher elevations than the north/blue trails. Most yellow trails are above 1400 feet in elevation. Therefore these trails are probably best suited for cross-county skiing.
- Trail 1- intermediate trail 1 mile long
- Trail 2- advanced trail 1.5 miles long
- Trail 3 -advanced trail 0.7 miles long
- Trail 4- advanced trail 1.6 miles long
- Trail 5- intermediate trail 1.1 mile long
- Trail 6- intermediate trail 1 mile long
There are two ATV routes for persons with a DEC issued Motorized Access Permit for people with mobility impairments.
- Pass only in flat areas. A faster trail user should vocally indicate the desire to pass. The slower trail user should yield by moving to the right where possible.
- Try not to pass on a downhill. Save passing for the flat areas where the slower trail user can maneuver more easily.
- The user going downhill has the right-of-way, since he or she is moving faster and may have less control. Do not descend a hill until the trail is clear.
- Move off the trail as quickly as possible after a fall. This will prevent possible collisions and allow other trail users to pass. When skiing, fill in sitzmarks before proceeding.
- Don't hike, bike or ski alone. Long tours should not be attempted alone. Serious injury can occur when using the trails.
- Do not hike or bike in the ski tracks.
- Mountain bikes are prohibited on trails when snow covered.
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.
Oakley Corners can be accessed via Dutch town Road which runs east and west across the middle of the forest. Another access road is the Hullsville Road which approaches the forest from the south and intersects with Dutchtown Road at about the mid-point of the forest.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-753-3095
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-798-1797
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850