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Mariposa State Forest

primitive cmapingcamping with a lean tofishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilinghikingsnow shoeingcross coutnry skiingicon key

Mariposa State Forest locator map

The Mariposa State Forest, 3,002 acres in size, is located in the northwest corner of Chenango County and straddles the boundary between Chenango, Madison and Cortland counties.

Featured Activities


hikingGeneral information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

The Finger Lakes Hiking Trail (FLT) traverses across most of Mariposa State Forest and is identified in the woods by white trail markers. A parking area for access to the FLT is located off of Chenango County Route 13, along Bamberry Road.


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

A lean-to is located along the section of the Finger Lakes Trail west of Paradise Hill Road.

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.


fishingGeneral 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.

May Apple

Hunting & Trapping

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


snowmobilingGeneral information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

A snowmobile trail uses Mariposa and Fuller Roads which remain unplowed in the winter.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross county skiingsnow shoeingGeneral 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 animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Some of the common wildlife species one might encounter on the forest include: deer, turkey, grouse, woodcock, beaver, coyotes, red squirrels, mink, songbirds, pileated woodpeckers, hawks and owls.


Mariposa State Forest can be accessed from the south by following State Route 26 to either Chenango County Routes 12 or 13 (Mariposa Road). Both of these routes travel north crossing the state forest and then to the Madison county line into the town of DeRuyter. A variety of unplowed, secondary dirt town roads provide seasonal access to most areas of the forest.

(42.724779°N, 75.809233°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 Mariposa 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 Mariposa State Forest

Mariposa State Forest is part of the Muller Hill 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

Common native tree species found in this area are sugar maple, red maple, black cherry, white ash, quaking aspen and hemlock. The conifer plantations were established on former agricultural crop or pasture land and consist mostly of planted red pine, Norway spruce and white pine.

Mariposa State Forest is managed by DEC foresters for wildlife habitat, timber production, outdoor recreation and watershed protection. DEC foresters use sustainable forestry practices to ensure that the land is protected for future generations while also providing for current uses. Trees are periodically harvested to be used for the production of hardwood and softwood lumber, utility poles, paper, log cabins and furniture. The management of this forest creates a variety of forest habitat conditions necessary for a diversity of wildlife


The first pioneer settlements in this area began in 1784 when Deacon and Jesse Catlin created Catlin Settlement in what is now the hamlet of Lincklaen. The forested hills in this area were cleared for crops and pasture land. The settlers discovered that the hills in this area were well suited for sheep grazing, so sheep were common livestock on the early farms. After the Civil War, these agricultural lands were converted to dairy farms as the demand for dairy products increased. Many of the dairy farms went out of business during the 1930s due to the poor economy and less productive soils found on the hilltops. Beginning in 1932, these lands were acquired for the establishment of Mariposa State Forest.

This state forest is located on an area of rolling hilltops that are separated by a series of streams which flow south to the Otselic River. The forest consists of a mixture of native hardwoods with areas of conifer plantations that were mostly established by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1932 and 1940.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Madison County Tourism (Leaves DEC website)

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

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.