Beaver Creek State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 7 Sherburne Office: (607) 674-4017 (M-F, 8:00AM - 4:00PM); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 518-408-5850 or 911
- Location: Town of Brookfield, Madison County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 7M
- Map: View Beaver Creek State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (750 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
The Beaver Creek State Forest totals 3,484 acres and makes up the northern section of the Brookfield Trail System. This highly acclaimed horse and snowmobile trail system has over 100 miles of trails located on three state forests (Charles E. Baker State Forest, Brookfield Railroad State Forest and Beaver Creek State Forest).
Visitors to this area have many options for their recreational pursuits. The Brookfield Trail System covers approximately 25 miles within the State Forest, and is open to hiking, horseback riding and snowmobiling during the appropriate seasons. The other recreational trails are open for hiking, horse back riding, mountain biking, cross country skiing or snowmobile use. Fishing, hunting and canoeing provide other recreational opportunities on the forest.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
There are several primitive campsites that are available on a first come, first serve basis. At-large primitive camping is also 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 biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The multiple use trails on the state forest can be used for biking and other recreational activities.
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules & regulations.
Several streams on the state forest can be used for fishing.
Hunting & Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed throughout the property. Please abide by all game laws.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
In addition to forest roads, all trails can be used for snowmobiling.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all equestrian trails.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
In addition to forest roads, all trails can be used for horseback riding.
Equestrian riding has a season set from May 1st through October 31st each year. Organized trail rides or events need a temporary revocable permit (TRP) which can be obtained through the DEC's Lands and Forests office in Sherburne. Plan on two to three weeks for processing prior to the event. An application fee is also required. Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses, and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.
The Little Assembly Area on Fairground Road provides trailer parking and stabling for equestrian users with convenient access to the trail system.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
Wildlife of all kinds abound within the forest including beaver, waterfowl, turkey, deer and the occasional sighting of black bear.
To access the forest from State Route 20, take State Highway 8 south from Bridgewater approximately 3.5 miles to Skaneateles Turnpike (County Route 80) and turn right. Proceed 4 miles west to the village of Brookfield. Turn right onto Fairgrounds Road and look for State land on both sides of the road approximately a 1/4 mile past the Madison County fairgrounds. For camping permits, contact the State Forest Ranger at 315-886-1669. (42.825738°N, 75.307202°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Little Assembly Area (42.858216°N, 75.302238°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.
Special Regulations for Beaver Creek 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.
How We Manage Beaver Creek State Forest
Beaver Creek State Forest is part of the Brookfield Unit Management Plan. The Unit Management Plan (UMP) guides 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 Brookfield UMP which will be available to the public when it is completed. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us email@example.com.
Beaver Creek passes through the heart of this State Forest, peacefully meandering through a large swamp that gives way to wooded hillsides of cedar, balsam fir and native hardwood forests. A canoe trip through these still waters is reminiscent of scenes from the wild areas of northern New York. Once home to a brick kiln along the east shore of Beaver Creek, today the area shows very little evidence of human intrusion upon the landscape, outside of the trail network situated around the swamp's perimeter. The swamp may be viewed from the bridge crossing the creek.
Like many of the other State lands found throughout Central NY, Beaver Creek State Forest has a variety of conifer plantations standing tall as a testimony to the hard work of the different public work programs of years gone by. These plantations, along with stands of native trees, provide wildlife habitat and wood products. A 15-acre plantation of Japanese Larch trees found within the forest serves as a seed orchard for the Department of Environmental Conservation's Saratoga Tree Nursery. This larch plantation, along with other designed conifer plantations around the state, provide a seed source for the growing stock planted for resale by the nursery.
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Hamilton and Clinton.
Madison County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.
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.