Genegantslet State Forest
The Genegantslet State Forest is a long, narrow property that is rather fragmented with private in-holdings and irregular boundary lines. The northern section of the forest is located near the village of McDonough and the southern section is near the village of Smithville Flats. The forest covers a total of 3,181 acres and is named after the creek that runs along the western side of the property.
The Genegantslet State Forest has some fairly steep topography. Many sections of the west-facing slopes leading down to the Genegantslet Creek have slopes of between 30 % and 40%. The highest elevation on the forest is approximately 1,740 feet and is located on a peak at the northern extent of the forest. The lowest elevation is about 1,100 feet and is found along the Genegantslet Creek, at its southernmost point on the forest, near Art Lake Road. The Genegantslet Creek not only supports trout populations, it is considered to be one of the premiere trout streams in the region. This stream holds native brook trout and is annually stocked with brown trout. One of the most popular activities on this forest is trout fishing.
Loomis Swamp, south of Stone Quarry Road, in combination with a northern hardwood & hemlock stand, forms a 200 acre forest block to be managed as a natural area. Natural areas allow trees to grow to their full biological maturity, providing a unique habitat for plants and animals that require an undisturbed environment.
In addition to fishing, hunting and snowmobiling are also popular in the forest. Hunting activity is most common in the fall, for both turkey and deer. Snowmobiles can travel through the forest on the corridor trail (#7). The trail extends from County Route 3, near Loomis Road, up to Art Lake Road and then follows the unplowed sections of Waldon Road and Shore Road.
The Genegantslet State Forest has many sections of town roads crossing through it, including Art Lake Road, Stone Quarry Road, Whitling Road, Waldon Road, Holtmart Road and Creek Road. Overall, the town roads that are located on the state forest are in good condition; but caution should be used when traveling with passenger cars, as there are some narrow and rough-surfaced sections. There are very few residences located along these roads, and many of the roads are not plowed in the winter. These narrow, unpaved roads, along with the heavily forested landscape and sparse population, make for a remote experience when visiting this property. The wilderness atmosphere of this area is further enhanced when hearing the calls of owls or coyotes, which is not uncommon.
Genegantslet State Forest is part of the McDonough 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.
Genegantslet Creek Accessible Platform
This site has been washed out by flood but a local group has recently constructed a new platform on the nearby Chittenango Creek in Chittenango. View a location map of the public fishing rights with accessible platform (PDF) (500 KB)
From Smithville Flats: Take State highway 41 to the intersection of State highway 220. Take 220 north to Art Lake Road. Turn right, cross the Genegantslet Creek, and enter the forest.
There is currently one designated parking area in the forest, on Art Lake Road. This parking area was built for fishing access to the Genegantslet Creek. A second designated parking area will soon be constructed on Creek Road. There are many additional places to park vehicles along the sides of the town roads, as well as on old log decks next to the roads.
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 8am-4pm): 607-674-4036
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-648-6247
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850