Melondy Hill State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- Location: Sanford, Broome County and Afton, Chenango County
- Wildlife Management Unit:4O
- Map: View Southern Map || View Southern Map in PDF (249 Kb) || View Northern Map || View Northern Map in PDF (271 Kb) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Melondy Hill State Forest is comprised of 5,417 acres of contiguous state forests lands located in Southeastern Chenango County and Northeastern Broome County. The forest has a multiple use trail that runs from east to west in the northern part of the forest. Hiking, cross-county skiing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling can be undertaken on this trail. In addition, opportunities for fishing, hunting, nature observation and primitive camping abound. These forests are easy to access as many town roads pass through the area.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. There is one multiple use trail and many town roads may be used for hiking. Hiking is also allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.
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
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The proposed management plan proposes to have the NYS Snowmobile Corridor Trail #2 pass East-West through the Northern portion of these forests.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to 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.
The varied habitats sustain populations of turkey, deer, squirrels grouse, numerous song birds, vertebrates and invertebrates. A few bears have inhabited the area's forests in recent years. Evidence of their presence in the area is seen frequently.
To get to the State Forest, take State Route 41 South from Afton. After crossing the Susquehanna River, take County Route 39 North to Melondy Hill Road. Follow this road to the State Forest entrance. This property can also be accessed by many town roads.
Stillson Road (42.174959,-75.442093) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Melondy Hill Road (north parking on southern map) (42.191806,-75.462842) 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.
How We Manage Melondy Hill State Forest
Melondy Hill State Forest is part of the Treaty Line 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. A copy of the Treaty Line UMP is available at the Lands and Forests Office in Sherburne. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
These forests are located on the hilltops just south of the I-88 interstate corridor and the Susquehanna River valley near Bainbridge and Afton. Often visitors of Oquaga Creek State Park will include excursions to or through these state forests in their area stays.
The Melondy Hill State forests attained their name from early settlers on these foot hills of the Catskills. In the early 1800's much of the land was cleared for agriculture. Most of the areas not put into agriculture were heavily logged back in the early 20th century. As with many state forests, they now offer a wide array of other flora and fauna to see, hear or observe. Purchased with Hewitt Amendment funds in the 1930's, the State Forests are a blend of planted forests of red pine, white pine, Scotch pine and Norway spruce, and natural forest stands consisting mostly of red maple, American beech, sugar maple, red oak, black cherry, white ash, white pine and eastern hemlock. Various forest products have been removed during the years. Forest management objectives are to maintain a variety of habitats from young forests to old forests, and evergreens to hardwoods.
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
Broome County Tourism Webpage (Leaves DEC website)
Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Afton and Deposit.
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.