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Ludlow Creek State Forest

hikingprimitive campingcamping with a lean tomountain bikingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingsnowshoeingcross country skiinghorseback ridingicon key
Ludlow Creek State Forest locator map

This 3,197-acre forest is located at the midpoint of a triangle formed by the villages of Oxford, Smithville Flats, and McDonough. State Route 220 and County Route 3 form a loop between these villages and around the forest. The forest is named after the outlet creek of Lake Ludlow which runs through the central section of the forest.

A multiple use trail allows for cross country skiing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking runs between Engaard Road and Tucker Road. It should be noted that the majority of Engaard Road through the State forest has been abandoned and is no longer maintained.

Featured Activities



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

A one mile length of the Finger Lakes Trail (leaves DEC website) runs through the center of the forest and is popular with both through-hikers and day hikers.


camping with lean to
primitive camping

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

Forest at Ludlow Creek State Forest

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.

The Ludlow Creek lean-to was dedicated in the summer of 2000 and is located along the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail just south of the High Bridge.


mountain biking

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



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

Ludlow Creek supports both native brook trout and stocked brown trout, as well as several other fish species.

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

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 7M

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



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

Snowmobiling can be undertaken on a portion of Engaard Road in the winter.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

snow shoeing
cross country skiing

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.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding

General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.


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


From State Highway 220, east of McDonough, turn south on Chestnut Street, then right onto Shorer's Woods Road, then left onto Hammerle Road. Two miles on Hammerle will bring you to the northwest end of the forest.

Trail Road Parking (42.447394°N, 75.705002°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

The majority of town roads on the forest are good quality, gravel-surfaced roads, which may be traveled with any passenger car. Most of these roads are plowed during the winter; however, some sections may be left unplowed. There is one designated parking area on the forest located near the corner of Tucker Road and the Public Forest Access Road. However, there are many additional places to park vehicles along the sides of the town roads, as well as on old log decks adjacent to the roads.

Town roads that cross through the forest include Tucker, Hammerle, Ludlow and Hogan Roads. Tucker Road was originally built in the 1930's as a truck trail by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's). The CCC's also built the bridge on this road spanning Ludlow Creek, locally known as the High Bridge. Tucker Road is now owned and maintained by the town of Smithville. The Department of Environmental Conservation maintains one section of the Public Forest Access Road between Tucker Road and Engaard Road.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) 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 Ludlow Creek 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 Ludlow Creek State Forest

Ludlow Creek State Forest is part of the McDonough 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 at

The Ludlow Creek State Forest has relatively gentle topography. The highest elevation on the forest is approximately 1,670 feet and is located on a peak between the Public Forest Access Road and Engaard Road. The lowest elevation is about 1,300 feet and is found along Ludlow Creek at its southernmost point on the forest. Most of the slopes on the forest are gentle to moderate. The surface water on the eastern half of the forest flows into Ludlow Creek and its tributaries, while the surface water on the western half of the forest flows into the tributaries of Kedron Brook. The tributaries to Kedron Brook in the forest do not support trout or other game fish.

The Ludlow Creek State Forest generally has four different types of forest cover: pure northern hardwoods, mixtures of northern hardwoods & native conifers, plantations of non-native conifers, and wetlands. These forest types comprise 32%, 22%, 43%, and 3% of the land area, respectively. One of the objectives of the forest management practices on this forest, as detailed in the McDonough Unit Management Plan, is to convert the plantations to native species and use uneven-aged techniques, with extended cutting intervals to replicate old-growth forest conditions. Once implemented, individual timber stands will only be disturbed with timber harvests once every 50 years. This forest also contains wetlands which will be protected from disturbances. Corbin Swamp in the northeast, Spruce Swamp in the south-central, and several wetlands in the western section of the forest, cover more than 90 acres of the forest.

Some of the most scenic areas on this state forest can be found along Ludlow Creek and in the areas surrounding the wetlands. Ludlow Creek State Forest is bordered by a mix of privately owned woodlands and agricultural lands.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

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

Chenango County Tourism (Leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

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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