Bumps Creek State Forest
Bumps Creek State Forest, also known as Chenango Reforestation Area #33, is a 528 acre State Forest located in the Town of Coventry, Chenango County. This State Forest is dominated by planted forests of largely Red Pine, but also includes Larch, Jack Pine, White Pine, and Norway Spruce. These forest cover types comprise about seventy percent of the forest area and were largely planted by Civil Conservation Corps in the 1930's. Natural forest stands which consist mainly of Red Maple, Red Oak, American Beech, Black Cherry, White Ash, Sugar Maple, and Eastern Hemlock cover the rest of the area.
Bumps Creek State Forest is located to the northwest of the village of Afton. Three town roads, Tracy, Sprague, and Buckley Hill, provide easy access to the forest. This is a long and narrow hillside forest, with springs and streams that furnish flow south and east into the Susquehanna River. Bumps Creek , a tributary in the southern portion of the forest, is the namesake for the forest. The most common visitors to the forest are hunters and woodland hikers
Several types of raptors have been observed on the forest including Northern Goshawk, Merlin, and the more common Red-tailed Hawk. Goshawks prefer the edges of mixed or coniferous forests, hunting medium-size birds in ambush attacks. By contrast the Red-tailed Hawk hunts mainly small mammals from a perch or by kiting. The small and very fast Merlin catches insects and small birds in midair by level sprints, finishing with abrupt turns as the prey attempts escape. Each of these winged predators nests in and around the Bumps Creek area. Other common forest inhabitants include deer, grouse, bats, squirrels and other small mammals. Frogs, snakes, salamanders, toads, and many small birds including chickadees, wrens, jays, and various types of woodpeckers, can also be observed throughout the forest.
Large areas of this forest were heavily impacted by weather events in the winter of 2003-2004. About 100 acres of forest was downed or damaged. Although most of the trees were salvaged for timber, these areas will show the effects both good and bad far into the future.
Bumps Creek 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.
Take State Highway 206, east from Greene, or west from Bainbridge to Coventryville. Take State Highway 41 south a short distance to Buckley Hill Road, continue southward on Buckley Hill Road to intersections with Tracy Road and Sprague Road and the forest.
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4036
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 607-648-6247
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850