Basswood State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 7 Sherburne Office: (607) 674-4017 8 am- 4 pm, info.r7 @dec.ny.gov email
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: (518) 408-5850 or 911
- Location: Oxford, Chenango County
- Wildlife Management Unit:7P
- Map: View Basswood State Forest Map || View Same Map in PDF (173 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Basswood State Forest covers 938 acres. A multiple use trail runs between Quarry Road and Pickerville Road and allows for hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. The most popular recreational activities on the forest are hunting and hiking. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
The highest elevation on the forest is approximately 1,630 feet and is located near the eastern end of the Public Forest Access Road. The lowest elevation is about 1200 feet and is found on the far western edge of the forest, along Shapley Brook.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Several miles of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail (leaves DEC website) are found on the forest. The trail can be accessed from the Public Forest Access Road.
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.
Shapley Brook and Padget Brook are the two main streams on the forest. Both of these streams are tributaries to Bear Brook, which flows into the Chenango River. Neither of these streams is considered to be a significant trout stream, but surveys have found they both support brook trout.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
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 hiking trails.
General information on horseback riding includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. 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.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
The mammals that are common residents of the Basswood State Forest include deer, raccoons, squirrels, porcupines, chipmunks, and opossum. Coyotes and foxes are also present, but less common. There is also a large variety of birds, including songbirds and hawks. Great blue herons are occasionally seen in the wetland adjacent to Basswood to Irelands Corner Road. Turkeys are also abundant on this forest, especially in areas where beech and oak trees are prevalent.
Access to the forest is primarily gained by traveling on County Routes 27 or 35. Brookbank Road crosses through the forest and connects to Route 27. Quarry Road also crosses through the forest, and it connects to Route 35. A Public Forest Access Road is located on the forest between Quarry Road and Dr. Crouch Road.
The town roads on the forest are all good quality and are gravel-surface roads which may be traveled with any passenger car. The Public Forest Access Road is also a good quality, well maintained road. The eastern portion of Quarry Road and the entire Public Forest Access Road are not plowed during the winter. All of the other town roads near the forest are plowed. There are no true parking areas located on the forest, but there are many places to park vehicles along the sides of the town roads. One may also park on old log decks next to the roads.
- Brooksbank Road west (42.39052°N, 75.566233°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Puckerville Road (42.384286°N, 75.563841°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Crouch Road and visitor kiosk (42.382974°N, 75.553048°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 Basswood State Forest
Basswood State Forest is bordered by a mix of privately owned woodlands and agricultural lands. Wiley Brook State Forest is also in close proximity. Basswood State Forest is part of the Between Rivers 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.
The forest name is attributed to the "Basswood Meeting House", which was a church built in the late 1800's in South Oxford. Much of the wood used inside of the church was basswood. Three of the roads which lead from South Oxford to the state forest incorporate the name of the historic building: Basswood Road, Basswood to Irelands Corner Road, and Basswood - Hoveys Road. The tree species, American Basswood, is still prevalent in the area.
The forest has a mix of well-drained and poorly drained ground. The most visible wetland is along Basswood to Irelands Corner Road, south of Dr. Crouch Road.. The forest cover on the Basswood State Forest is generally a mixture of either native or planted conifers with northern hardwood species. The northern hardwoods include beech, birch, maple, oak, cherry, ash, and basswood. The planted conifers include red pine, scotch pine, white pine, Norway spruce, and white spruce. The native conifers include white pine and hemlock. All of the conifer plantations in the forest where planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC's) in the late 1930's.
If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearby Amenities and Attractions
- Wiley Brook State Forest
- Chenango County Tourism Webpage (leaves DEC website)
- The Finger Lakes Trail (leaves DEC website)
Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby community of Norwich.
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.