Hunts Pond State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year-round., Camping in the former Hunts Pond State Park area is only allowed at designated campsites (year round) and requires a permit between May 1 and Sept. 30
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- Location: New Berlin, Chenango County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 7P
- Map: View Hunt's Pond State Forest Map || View Same Map as a PDF (1.7 MB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper || Hunts Pond Camping Brochure (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Acquired during the 1960's, Hunts Pond State Forest is the most recently established State Forest in Chenango County. Its 1,397 acres traverse the valley of a feeder stream to the Unadilla River, giving way to a very diverse landscape of open fields, softwood plantations, hardwood forests and beaver meadows.
Views of the Unadilla river valley are spectacular from the large open field on the western part of the forest. For those who want to see a beaver family hard at work, be sure to visit the beaver meadow in the south central area, just off of Buttermilk Falls Road.
Various unmarked trails and logging lanes crisscross the forest; they can be used for hiking and cross country skiing. Whether you are a hunter, hiker, camper, skier or just a general outdoor enthusiast, Hunt's Pond State Forest is sure to provide the recreational opportunity you are looking for.
General information on boating includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Hunts Pond is open to boating and has a hand launch on the northeastern side of the pond. Electric motors only, no gas motors.
General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations
Hunts Pond is open to paddling and has a hand launch on the northeastern side of the pond.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
At-large primitive camping is available anywhere in the forest throughout the year except for the previous Hunts Pond State Park area (see map).
Camping in the previous Hunts Pond State Park area is only allowed at the 12 designated campsites around the perimeter of Hunts Pond. May 1 to September 30, campers must get a free permit from the DEC Sherburne office. Call 607-674-4017 to reserve a site. Sites generally are booked two weeks or more in advance, so it's important to call early for a site.
Each site contains a fire pit. There is no potable water source. Two portable toilets are available for campers . See Hunts Pond Camping pamphlet (PDF, 2 pages, 1.1 MB) for more information.
Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
There are no formal trails on the property, but cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed anywhere in the forest.
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.
Hunts pond contains largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead, chain pickerel and rock bass.
Hunting & Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed in the forest with the proper licenses from the State.
When driving through Hunt's Pond State Forest, one will see a number of open grassy fields. These fields are maintained as such to provide habitat for numerous wildlife species that inhabit grass and open lands. Other animals rely upon the shelter of wooded areas and use neighboring open areas in which to graze, forage or hunt. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, bluebirds and many varieties of hawks are commonly seen throughout the forest.
General information on snowmobiling includes hot-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations. Nearly two miles of a formal snowmobile trail runs from south to north on the state forest.
From the North: Take N.Y. State Rte. 8 south, through the village of New Berlin. Continue on Rte. 8 for 4.1 miles and take a right onto Buttermilk Falls Rd. (there is a sign pointing to Hunt's Pond State Park at the intersection). The State forest begins less than one mile up the road. Take a right onto Hunt's Pond Rd. to continue up to the northern end of the forest.
GPS coordinates: 42.594337°N, 75.369561°W, Google Map (leaves DEC website)
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
State Land Use Regulations (link leaves DEC website)
Practice Leave No Trace principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.
Camping in the former Hunts Pond State Park area is only allowed at designated campsites and requires a permit May 1 through September 30.
How We Mange Hunts Pond State Forest
In 2011 the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation transferred all the lands formerly administered as Hunts Pond State Park to DEC to be managed as part of the Hunts Pond State Forest.
A special characteristic of Hunt's Pond State Forest is the relatively young softwood plantations that dot the land. These were planted during the late 1960's, after the State acquired the land. Observing the differing growth rates of European larch, red pine and Norway spruce, one will discover how different tree species adapt to the soils in which they are planted.
Hunts Pond State Forest is part of the Between Rivers Unit Management Plan which is currently in draft format. 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.
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
Chenango County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.
Gas, food and dining can be found in the nearby community of New Berlin. Lodging is available in Norwich or Oneonta.
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.