Lincklaen State Forest
The Lincklaen State Forest consists of Chenango Reforestation Areas #18 and 23 and contains 4,655 acres. This state forest is located on a high elevation area in the Towns of Lincklaen and Pitcher in the northwest corner of Chenango County. The forest contains a series of parallel ridges interrupted by stream drainages which flow south into the Otselic River.
The land on which the state forest exists was purchased by the State beginning in the 1930's. At the time of acquisition, the land contained a mix of old agricultural fields and hardwood forests. Spruce and pine trees were planted on the open lands soon after their acquisition. This mixture of conifer plantations and hardwoods are a distinguishing feature of state forests. State forests are managed for wildlife conservation, timber production, watershed protection and outdoor recreation.
New York's state forests provide a sustainable source of high quality wood products. Timber harvesting takes place on a regular basis to thin the trees or to regenerate forest areas. The trees removed from the forest provide an important source of raw materials for local and out-of-state industries which produce lumber, log cabins, utility poles, furniture, paper, and other wood products.
Although there are no recreational trails on the forest, unlimited discoveries await the observant visitor. A sample of the wildlife species one might encounter on the Lincklaen State Forest include deer, turkey, grouse, coyotes, porcupines, red squirrels, mink, great blue herons, goshawks, pileated woodpeckers, and numerous species of song birds. The experience a visitor can expect changes with the seasons.
As soon as the winter's snow melts, spring wildflowers begin to push their way up through the leaf litter. By mid May, the spring flowers are in full bloom and the trees have leafed out. If you visit the area in the spring, remember to stop at a country store and pick up some locally produced maple syrup.
Summer is the season of growth and activity for the flora and fauna on the forest. Lush, green growth is everywhere and wildlife is abundant. Although forest songbirds can often be heard throughout the day, mornings and evenings are often the best times to see or hear wildlife.
As the cooler temperatures of fall arrive, the leaves begin to change color. Peak fall foliage usually occurs around the second week of October. Vivid colors of the maples, ash and aspen contrast with the dark greens of the conifers. The frequent chatter of red squirrels can be heard as they gather spruce cones to prepare for the long winter. When planning your trip, remember that fall gun hunting season for deer begins in the third week of November.
When winter arrives, the forest becomes quiet and dormant compared to other times of the year. Lake-effect squalls usually bring the first snows by the end of November. Hike into the forest during mid-winter and one can experience true solitude. The only sounds you might hear are calls of the chickadees, woodpeckers, red squirrels and the sound of the wind moving through the tree tops. While there is little sign of them during other times of the year, coyote tracks are often visible in the snow.
Dirt town roads provide access through Lincklaen State Forest. During the wet seasons of spring and fall they are often muddy and in the dry periods of the summer they are usually dusty. In the winter, access is restricted unless one chooses to travel by snowmobile or on foot since many of the roads are unplowed.
Lincklaen State Forest is part of the Northern Chenango Highlands 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.
Pick your season and come explore one of the many state forests in Chenango County. Bring a camera and binoculars since you never know what you might discover!
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.
State Forest Office (M-F am-4 pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-316-3291
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850