Coventry State Forest
Long a favorite amongst the hunting community, Coventry State Forest located in south/central Chenango County, has much to offer. With 1,156 acres of diverse landscape, the opportunities for recreation are boundless. One of the benefit of Coventry State Forest are the All Terrain Vehicle access trails for people with mobility impairments. These allow individuals who normally would not be unable to enjoy the forest to access the woods and fields. For details on obtaining an access permit, as well as details of trail locations, please contact the Sherburne DEC office.
The northern part of the forest is comprised of Norway spruce and Japanese Larch plantations, with a few hardwood stands mixed in. Old roads and logging trails wind their way throughout, ideal for the hiker or cross-country skier. Following these trails, one ends up at a hardwood/hemlock swamp, which is ideal habitat for all kinds of wildlife.
In the western part of the forest one can see the results of a recent timber harvest in which the declining red pine trees were removed to make way for natural hardwoods. Deer need these young saplings for browsing in the harsh wintertime, and ruffed grouse rely on this type of cover for protection from predators. Scattered amongst the now vigorous hardwood saplings are acres of blackberry bushes, perfect for late summer berry picking! An open marsh can be found just off the North Road, along with all the waterfowl that inhabit it.
Bisecting the center of the forest is Harvey Road. As one travels down this dead end road, beautiful stands of mixed red pine and Norway spruce tower to either side. Trails veer off both north and south from the road, and are well worth taking a stroll down. Lush ferns and Norway spruce seedlings provide a green carpet beneath the forest canopy. One can follow Harvey Road north, at its intersection with the State Forest, and enter into a hemlock swamp reminiscent of pre-historic times. Following the property line to the south and then to the east will bring the avid adventurer to one of two small ponds located on the forest. Be sure to respect the rights of the private landowners that border our State lands and keep within the State forest boundaries.
The east side of the forest can be accessed off of Owlville Road. There one will find a jewel of a pond with opportunity for fishing and canoeing, or just a quiet picnic lunch. Beavers have been busy creating a marshland in the southeast corner of the forest and are sure to be seen hard at work. Between the pond and the beaver meadow are some newly acquired parcels which have been planted with both Norway spruce and black locust trees.
Coventry State Forest is part of the Chenango Trail 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.
From the west, travel east on Route 206 from the village of Greene. Either turn left at the four corners in the village of Coventry onto North Road, or take the next left onto Owlville Road. The forest will begin about a mile and a half up each road. From the east, take County Route 206 from the village of Bainbridge, pass through the hamlet of Coventryville and turn right onto Owlville Road, or North Road.
When traveling through southern Chenango County, be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities this great state forest has to offer. There is something for everyone to enjoy within its boundaries.
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