Jenksville State Forest
- Primitive Camping
- Cross Country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Biking
- Nature Photography/Observation
Jenksville State Forest encompasses 1349 acres of land in the towns of Berkshire and Newark Valley in northeastern Tioga County. Jenksville State Forest is a popular area for recreation. Present activities include hunting, hiking, bird-watching, horseback riding, snowshoeing, mountain biking, trapping, and cross-country skiing. ATV use is prohibited on State forests. Due to increased use, a formalized trail system has been established. Target shooting is prohibited on this state forest. The Jenksville State Forest Brochure (PDF) (1296 kB) describes the forest, the available recreational activities on the forest and includes two detailed maps with trails.
The Jenksville State Forest Multiple Use Trail System has been designed to offer family-based recreation for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-county skiing. 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 location-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.
- Trail 1- beginner trail 0.7 miles long
- Trail 2- beginner trail 0.5 miles long
- Trail 3- beginner trail .3 miles long
- Trail 4- beginner trail 1.3 miles long
- Trail 5- intermediate trail 1.1 miles long
- Trail 6- beginner trail 0.1 miles 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.
- Trail 1- intermediate trail 1.0 miles long
- Trail 2- beginner trail .4 miles long
- Trail 3- advanced trail 2.0 miles long
- Trail 4- intermediate trail .4 miles long
- Trail 5- intermediate trail .3 miles long
- Trail 6- advanced trail .4 miles long
- Trail 7- intermediate trail .4 miles 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.
- Trail 1- intermediate trail 1.1 miles long
- Trail 2 -intermediate trail .1 miles long
- Trail 3- intermediate trail .7 miles 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.
- 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.
- Try not to pass on a downhill. Save passing for the flat areas where the slower trail user can maneuver more easily.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don't hike, bike or ski alone. Long tours should not be attempted alone. Serious injury can occur when using the trails.
- Do not hike or bike in the ski tracks.
- Treat all other users with respect. Mountain bikers and hikers should yield to horses. Horses can become skittish or spooked by sudden movements.
- Horses and mountain bikes are only allowed on trails from May through October.
- DEC requests that horseback riders and mountain bikers not ride during wet conditions.
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
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.
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.
Jenksville State Forest is in the Towns of Berkshire and Newark Valley, Tioga County.
From the south, take NY Rt. 38 north to Tappen Rd. (north of the Village of Newark Valley), then turn right onto Howard Hill Rd, then right onto Shirley Road or alter-natively onto Allison Hill Road.
From the north, take NY Rt. 79 to West Creek Road also known as County Rt. 33 (about 2 miles west of the Hamlet of Richford) then turn left onto Old 76 Rd. in the Hamlet of Speedsville (Old 76 Rd. turns back into West Creek Rd.), 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
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-753-3095, ext. 217
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-798-1797
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850