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Jenksville State Forest

primitive campingsnowshoeingcross country skiingfishinghikinghorseback ridingmountain bikinghuntingtrappingIcon key

Jenksville State Forest locator map

Jenksville State Forest encompasses 1,349 acres in northeastern Tioga County. The forest has a multiple use trail system that provides family based recreation for hunting, hiking, bird-watching, horseback riding, snowshoeing, mountain biking, trapping, and cross-country skiing. 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. ATV use is prohibited on State Forests. Target shooting is prohibited on this state forest.

Featured Activities



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

The Jenksville State Forest Brochure (PDF, 1.25 MB) describes the forest, the available recreational activities on the forest and includes two detailed maps with trails.

Trails are available to serve beginner and intermediate users. Maintenance of the 12-mile Jenksville 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 makers. All trails are designed by color and number. Trail head parking is provided in two locations - a small lot on Shirley Road and a larger lot (to accommodate horse trailers) on Allison Hill Road. The trails are classified by the user's ability. Beginner trails have very gentle slopes and are fairly short in length. Intermediate trails have gentle to somewhat steep slopes and are moderate 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.

Jenksville State Forest Sign

Red Trails- Total length 3.9 miles

  • Trail 1- beginner trail 0.7 mile long
  • Trail 2- beginner trail 0.5 mile long
  • Trail 3- beginner trail .3 mile long
  • Trail 4- beginner trail 1.3 miles long
  • Trail 5- intermediate trail 1.1 miles long
  • Trail 6- beginner trail 0.1 mile long

    Trail 1 utilizes an access road leading to the radio tower. Trails 2, 3, 4, and 5 are narrow trails that meander though the forest.

Blue Trails - Total length 5.0 miles

  • Trail 1- intermediate trail 1.0 mile long
  • Trail 2- beginner trail .4 mile long
  • Trail 3- advanced trail 2.0 miles long
  • Trail 4- intermediate trail .4 mile long
  • Trail 5- intermediate trail .3 mile long
  • Trail 6- advanced trail .4 mile long
  • Trail 7- intermediate trail .4 mile long

    The blue trails have the highest elevation, 1690'. Therefore, these trails are probably best suited for cross-country skiing. Trails 1 and 7 utilize old logging roads and fire lanes. Trails 2,3, 4, 5 and 6 are narrow trails that meander through the forest.

Yellow Trails-Total length 3.0 miles

  • Trail 1- intermediate trail 1.1 miles long
  • Trail 2 -intermediate trail .1 mile long
  • Trail 3- intermediate trail .7 mile long
  • Trail 4- intermediate trial 1.1 miles long

    The Yellow trails are a mix of lanes, access trails, and narrow trails that meander through the forest. The westernmost point of Trail 4 provides a scenic view of Jenksville and the valley to the south. From this point, the trail runs northeast through a clear-cut that was harvested in 1993. The goal of the harvest was to convert the softwood stand planted in 1941 to natural hardwoods and to provide a seedling/sapling forest type which is in decline in this landscape.


primitive camping

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.


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.

A fishing access map for the county is available. Nearby fishing easement maps are available.

Hunting & Trapping


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

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

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.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state. The habitat diversity on the Unit allows for a moderate diversity of wildlife species including many game species. Deer, turkey, song birds, grouse, and squirrels are numerous. Black bear are becoming more common.


From the south, take NY Route 38 north to Tappen Road (north of the Village of Newark Valley), then turn right onto Howard Hill Road, then right onto Shirley Road or alter-natively onto Allison Hill Road.

From the north, take NY Route 79 to West Creek Road also known as County Route 33 (about 2 miles west of the Hamlet of Richford) then turn left onto Old 76 Road in the Hamlet of Speedsville (Old 76 Road turns back into West Creek Road), to Ford Hill Road to Shirley Road.

Alternatively follow West Creek Road to Allison Hill Road. There is a parking area located on Shirley Road and a larger one for equestrian use located on Allison Hill Road

  • Allison Hill Road (42.271215°N, -76.214317°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Shirley Road (42.274986°N, 76.202555°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 Jenksville 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

Trail Etiquette

  1. 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.
  2. Try not to pass on a downhill. Save passing for the flat areas where the slower trail user can maneuver more easily.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Don't hike, bike or ski alone. Long tours should not be attempted alone. Serious injury can occur when using the trails.
  6. Do not hike or bike in the ski tracks.
  7. Treat all other users with respect. Mountain bikers and hikers should yield to horses. Horses can become skittish or spooked by sudden movements.
  8. Horses and mountain bikes are only allowed on trails from May through October.
  9. DEC requests that horseback riders and mountain bikers not ride during wet conditions.

How We Manage Jenksville State Forest

Jenksville 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.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us


The forest was established between 1940 and 1945 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 planted this land with 837,000 pines, spruce, fir, cedar, larch and oak seedlings. The planting was accomplished in 1940 and 1941 using Civilian Conservation Corps labor. Today Jenksville State Forest is fulfilling the vision which started in 1940. Almost 99% of the area is forested, the soils have been improved, and the harvesting of forest products supports all management activities including recreation'

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

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

Gas, Food, Dining and Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Whitney Point, Ithaca or Binghamton.

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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