Buck's Brook State Forest
- Primitive Camping
- Hiking, Wildlife Management Unit 7M
- Nature Photography/Observation
- Snowmobiling (informal)
Buck's Brook State Forest consists of 2,178 acres located between State highway 26 and County highway 13 in the Town of Otselic in the northwest corner of Chenango County. A portion of the Finger Lakes Trail traverses the forest. The trail enters the forest on the northwest side along Ratville Road and traverses east and then south to where it exits the forest on Buck's Brook Road near its junction with Rt. 26. Popular recreational uses of this forest are hiking, nature observation, snowmobiling and hunting. The Otselic River, which runs along Rt. 26, offers nearby trout fishing opportunities and is easily accessible due to the numerous DEC parking areas.
Buck's Brook State Forest is a mixture of softwood plantations, consisting of red pine, white pine, spruce and larch trees on old farm lands, and native hardwoods. The softwood plantations were generally planted in either the 1930's or 1960's. Periodic timber harvests, managed by DEC foresters, thin the woods and regenerate forest areas. The harvested trees are used for the production of hardwood and softwood lumber, hardwood furniture, utility poles, paper and log cabins
Buck's Brook Road offers a scenic drive through the Buck's Brook gorge. As one travels up the gorge, state forest is on both sides of the road, protecting the fragile steep slopes. Turning left at the intersection with Ridge Road will bring one to a hill top known as Cary Hill having an elevation of 1,957 feet. This hill top was struck by a tornado in 1993 and an information sign along the roadside describes the event. Food and gas are available nearby at South Otselic.
Bucks Brook State Forest is part of the Northern Chenango Highlands 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.
Whether you enjoy hiking, hunting, snowmobiling, bird watching or just driving country roads to view brilliant fall foliage, pick your season and come explore one of the many state forests in Chenango County
State Land Use Regulations (link leaves DEC website)
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.
Buck's Brook State Forest can be accessed by either the Buck's Brook Road from State highway 26 or the Ridge Road which traverses north from South Otselic to its junction with County highway 16. These are both dirt roads that are plowed in the winter
State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4036
Forest Ranger (Evenings, Weekends and Holidays): 607-316-3291
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850