Brookfield Railroad State Forest
Trails at Brookfield Railroad State Forest are impassable due to trees being uprooted by the July 3,, 2014 storm. Please call the Lands and Forests office at 607-674-4017 ext. 2 for updates on trail accessibility.
- Accessible Trail
- Primitive Camping
- Mountain Biking
- Nature Photography and Observation
Originally purchased in the 1930's like most of the State Reforestation Areas throughout the New York, Brookfield Railroad State Forest is part of the highly acclaimed Brookfield Trail System which is located in southeast Madison County, New York. The majority of the horse trails, including the assembly area, are located on Charles E. Baker State Forest. The Brookfield Auto Tour (PDF, 1.9 MB) is also located on Charles E. Baker State Forest.
A multiple use trail system on Brookfield Railroad State Forest provides miles of enjoyment for hiking, snowmobiling and horseback riding. Significant portions of the trail system are accessible for those with mobility impairments. Organized trail rides or events need a temporary revocable permit (TRP) that can be obtained through the DEC's Lands and Forests Office in Sherburne. Plan on two to three weeks for processing of your permit prior to the event. An application fee for the TRP is also required.
This State Forest is named for the railroad line that was designed to connect the Villages of Brookfield to North Brookfield and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad back in the late 1800's. The area still holds evidence today of the historic attempt by immigrant workers to build a spur line over four miles of rugged terrain with continual elevation challenges. Construction was started in 1886 with $100,000 worth of capital stock funded to a local charter company. The workers nearly completing the grade for the spur line before financial hardship doomed the project's completion without a single rail ever being laid. Even today, much of the original rail bed is still evident throughout parts of the State Forest.
Brookfield Railroad State Forest is part of the Brookfield 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. Lands and Forests staff are currently working on the draft UMP which will be made available to the public when it is completed.
State Forest Regulations
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. Three foot radius must be cleared around fire.
- All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off road use of motorized vehicles, such as, 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.
- Permanent structures, including tree stands or blinds, are not allowed.
Special Regulations for Brookfield Railroad State Forest
Off road trails are closed to horse and mountain bike travel from October 31 to May 1.
- Horse owners must have a current negative Coggins certificate in accordance with Agriculture and Markets Rules and Regulations, Part 64 and carry such with them.
- Out-of-state horse owners may be required to produce a 30 day health certificate.
- Horses may not be run, galloped or cantered in the assembly area
Horse owners may be required to produce a current Coggins certificate in accordance with Agriculture and Markets Rules and Regulations, Part 64.
State Forest Office (M-F 8 am-4 pm): 607-674-4017
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 315-886-1669
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850
Emergencies : 911