DeRuyter State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 7 Sherburne Office: (607)-674-4017 M-F 8 am- 4 pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: (518) 408-5850 or 911
- Location: DeRuyter, Madison County
- Wildlife Management: 7M
- Map: View DeRuyter State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (193 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
The 972-acre DeRuyter State Forest has a horse carriage trail that runs from north to south through the center of the forest. A public snowmobile trail passes through the property also running north to south. A section of the North County Trail crosses the forest running east to west. Finally, there is a horse trail on the far eastern boundary of the forest that runs from north to south.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
A portion of the North Country Trail (leaves DEC website) crosses this property. Hiking is allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.
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.
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.
Hunting & Trapping
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
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 horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
This forest is located just west of State Route 13 in the Town of DeRuyter and is easily accessed from Fairbanks, Stanton and Tromp Roads.
- North Fairbanks Road (42.819562°N, 75.85572°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- South Fairbanks Road (42.807561°N, 75.853885°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Tromp Road (42.819375°N, 75.862883°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.
How We Manage Deruyter State Forest
DeRuyter State Forest is part of the Tioughnioga 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 email@example.com.
DeRuyter State Forest, occupies a narrow ridge-top with a deep cut channel that feeds the Middle Branch of the Tioughnioga Creek. The 1875 Atlas of Madison County reveals a well established population of farmers in and around what is today DeRuyter State Forest. Cheese factories, sawmills and tanneries operated throughout the town and the New York, Oswego & Midland and the Cazenovia & Canastota Railroads linked distant markets with local farm and manufactured goods. During the late 19th century DeRuyter was a wide open landscape of farms, and fields and one could look west from Stanton Road and see the shimmering light reflected from DeRuyter Reservoir, built in 1863 as a feeder to the Erie Canal. Soon, however, industrialization and heeds to the cry of "go west young man" drew people away from rural New York and the pastures and cropland of DeRuyter that once fueled the local economy were slowly reclaimed by native forest.
Using funds authorized from the State Reforestation Act of 1929, the Conservation Department purchased land from, among others, Charles Boyd, Fred Hurt, Anna Granville and George Congers to create DeRuyter State Forest. Beginning in 1935, recruits from the Civilian Conservation Corp Camp S-103, located in DeRuyter, planted hundreds of acres of red pine and Norway spruce on the forest. Today these planted forests mask ,but don't completely hide, a rich history of settlement, abandonment and regrowth.
The Boyds, Hurts and Granvilles, along with their herds of cattle and sheep, have moved on; but today DeRuyter's regrown forest is home to a different group of residents. In early spring hawks nesting in planted pine fiercely protect their young while turkey toms pump up and show off in search of a mate. A buck deer bounds off through a thicket of witch hazel while a flock of cedar waxwings perch in a cherry tree to share in its juicy fruit. The low croak of a raven, a grouse drumming on a stump and a chorus of screaming spring peepers remind us that these seemingly lonely woods are alive with activity.
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
Chenango County Tourism Webpage (Leaves DEC website)
Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Cazenovia and Cortland.
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.