Hawkins Pond State Forest
- Primitive Camping
- Cross County Skiing
- Nature Photography/Observation
Hawkins Pond State Forest covers 539 acres and is located in the Town of Windsor in Broome County. There is an extensive cross country ski trail on the forest which adjoins Hawkins Pond County Park. The ski trail continues into the county property.
The forest is named after Hawkins Pond, located on the adjacent county park The forest was acquired in three purchases. The first, in 1932, was the largest purchase with the acquisition of 506 acres of land. In 1997 another 30 acres were obtained and in 1998 three acres were added to the forest.
The forest contains a wide array of different forest cover types. The types include Northern Hardwood, Northern Hardwood-Hemlock, Northern Hardwood-White Pine, Oak, Red Pine and Norway Spruce. The elevation of the forest ranges from 1350 to 1750 feet.
Scouten Hill Road crosses through the northeastern section of the forest. Here one can see a plantation of mixed Red Pine and Norway Spruce timber. After three treatments, this 44-acre stand of 70 year-old evergreens is one of the most impressive in the county. Mcallester Road passes through a central portion of the forest. At the sharp bend in this road a shaled state forest haul road begins. A quarter-mile walk up the road leads to a stand of mixed hardwood saplings about ten years old. The Red pine overstory was removed in 1990, creating a dense cover for many wildlife species. By following the logging trail downhill less than half a mile, one comes to a 10-acre wetland. This remote area is a good place to spot hawks, herons, and many other wetland wildlife species.
Also beginning at the sharp bend in Mcallester Road, an old town road heads downhill to the north. After a short 100-yard walk down this road, look for the old stone foundation of a large dairy barn on the left. The ski trail also runs next to the foundation.
Hawkins Pond State Forest is part of the Broome State Forests 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. The plan schedules timber harvests for some stands, while protecting other areas which have special scenic or riparian values
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.
Access to the forest is gained by traveling Route 79 South from the village of Windsor. After three miles, turn right onto Edson Road, go two miles and turn left onto Scouten Hill Road. At the top of the hill, turn right onto Mcallester Road and find a parking area on your left.
The parking area is a trailhead for a cross-country ski trail located on both state and county land, and is about six miles in length. Another trailhead is located to the south along Scouten Hill Road on the county park land
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-648-6247
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850