Beaver Meadow State Forest
Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 7 Sherburne Office: (607) 674-4017 8 am- 4 pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: (518) 408-5850 or 91
- Location: Otselic and Smyrna, Chenango County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 7M
- Map: View Beaver Meadow State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (291 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Beaver Meadow State Forest consists of 5,816 acres and is located between State highway 80 and County highway 16. Popular recreation activities on this forest include hunting, trapping, snowmobiling and nature observation.
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
Information about hunting for antlerless deer through DEC's Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) is available.
General information on snowmobiling 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.
Common wildlife one might encounter include deer, red squirrels, turkey, grouse, beaver, and a wide variety of song birds, owls and hawks. Coyotes, though rarely seen, also live on the forest.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
There is a short trail located off of Bliven Hill Road for those with mobility impairments and a permit from the DEC Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).
This state forest can be accessed by a variety of dirt roads maintained by the local towns. The primary road used for all season access is the Reit Road which traverses north from Beaver Meadow on County Route 16 to Route 80. The remaining dirt roads through this forest are mostly not plowed so automobile access is limited during the winter.
- Bliven Hill/Coye Hill Road & MAPPWD Parking (42.685252,-75.680438) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Graham Road (42.708296°N, 75.705893°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 Beaver Meadow State Forest
Beaver Meadows 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.
Beaver Meadow State Forest was first established in 1933 as the Chenango Experimental Forest. Its creation came about through a cooperative agreement formed between the New York State Conservation Department and the United States Forest Service. Using the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) for much of the labor, a wide variety of studies were conducted to determine the effects of planting trees on the abandoned farm lands. These studies examined the growth rates of a wide variety of different tree species so as to determine which species were most suitable for planting on state forests. Other studies examined different planting methods, rainfall runoff before and after planting trees on abandoned farm lands, and the effectiveness of various chemical treatments to kill undesirable hardwood trees. A weir dam and road to access it were built by the CCC. The dam was built for watershed studies; it also contained a small meteorological station. In 1939, people came from as far away as Yale University in Connecticut to see the Chenango Experimental Forest.
By 1941, most of the work on the experimental forest had stopped as people and government financial resources were directed towards America's involvement in World War II. When the federal government withdrew it's involvement in the Chenango Experimental Forest, the land area became known as Beaver Meadow State Forest.
Today this forest is managed for wildlife habitat, timber production, outdoor recreation, and watershed protection. The tree planting efforts on this area continued through the 1950's and 60's creating a forest that is a mixture of native and planted hardwoods and conifer trees. A wide variety of species are present on this forest, due in part to the experiments of planting different kinds of trees. Timber harvesting, managed by DEC foresters, commonly occurs on this area. Forested areas are periodically thinned to grow large, high quality trees while other areas of maturing plantations are being gradually harvested and converted to native hardwood and conifer tree species
If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us email@example.com
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
Chenango County Tourism Webpage (leaves DEC website)
Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Norwich and Sherburne.
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.