Farmersville State Forest
Farmersville State Forest also known as Cattaraugus Reforestation Area #14, totals 1,147 acres. This state forest is located in Cattaraugus County in the town of Farmersville. The most common use of this area is for hunting and hiking.
State Forests are managed for multiple uses. They provide a source of raw material for New York's forest products industry which provides employment and income for many New Yorkers. They are managed for wildlife by the creation and maintenance of various habitats for many wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey. Other species like songbirds also use the same habitat. Forests are managed to provide recreational opportunities and for watershed protection.
The North Country Scenic Trail/Finger Lakes Trail passes through this unit. The trail crosses Farmersville State Forest from South to North starting at a trail head near the intersection of Bush Hill Road and West Branch Road. There is one primitive designated camp site along the trail in the southern end of this state forest. Trail location may vary due to active timber sales and reroutes due to these. In these instances the trail is moved to protect public form the harvesting operations. More information on this trail can be found on the right hand side of this page under the Finger Lakes Trail link.
Coordinators of organized trail events must obtain a Temporary Revocable Permit for use of the trails prior to the event. These can be obtained at the Allegany forestry office by calling 716-372-0645.
Hunting and fishing
Hunting is allowed on Farmersville State Forest. Due to windstorms and active forest management wildlife habitat is very good and forest roads provide good access for hunting. Fishing is not a major use of this area but can be found nearby at Harwood Lake Multiple Use Area.
Hunting and Trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails.
There is one tent camp site on this property along the Finger Lakes Trail, also individuals may set up camp at any location which is at least 150 feet from water bodies, streams, roads or trails. Look for the "Camp Here" yellow camp disk for the designated location along the trail. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.
Skiing and snowshoeing
The North County Scenic Trial can be used for snowshoeing and skiing.
Geo-caching is allowed although caches must be marked with the owner's contact information and may not be placed in dangerous or ecologically sensitive locations.
In the 1930s and Farmersville State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC. The CCC's established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the depression. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine, larch and spruce trees in the open areas on this property.
Water holes were constructed to provide water for fire protection of young plantations and in some cases to water trees. Some of these rock lined water holes still exist on this unit.
Most of this property was cleared for farm land at some time in the past. House holes and stone foundations, stone barn foundations and sometimes old wells can be found.
Maple syrup production was historically a common farm activity in this area. The remains of " sugar arches' can be found in some parts of the forest. These consisted of large metal pans built over a rock base, and a wood fire was built under the pan to boil sap.
This area has been managed to provide a large amount of young forest habitat. This type of habitat is good for Ruffed Grouse cover and White tailed deer browse on the young tree shoots. Other mixed stands of hardwood and conifer are nearing the stage where the stand canopy will soon fill in and shade the understory. These mature stands of trees provide mast in the form of acorns and hickory nuts, and pine cones provide food for squirrels and seed eating song birds. More stands will be cut to provide more young forest habitat as the other stands mature, creating a constant rotation of tree size classes to support a variety of wildlife habitat.
Conifer - The stands of pine, larch and spruce were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. These have been or will be converted to hardwoods by removal of the conifer overstory and allowing the hardwood seedlings that usually exist in these stands to grow to maturity. Many of the conifer stands on this unit are at a high risk of blowing down in storm events.
Hardwood - Hardwood trees are not usually planted as they spread vast amounts of seed and naturally regenerate. Thinning of the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees more growing space. This helps to keep the forest healthy and provides openings for new seedlings, a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife and source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but are in almost all cases not. These stands have been harvested prior to state ownership, or managed during state ownership to favor large trees. Many other stands are mature and ready to be regenerated to new stands. This is usually done by a thinning to promote regeneration of new seedlings and followed by an overstory removal. Forest stands that are dominated by species that require direct sunlight for reproduction are managed in this way. Forest stands that contain oak species may require the use of fire or other types of disturbance to maintain this forest type.
Tips for Using State Forests
Anyone enjoying this property must observe the rules which protect both the users and the forest environment.
From Franklinville follow route 98 east to Bush Hill Road. This is a right turn. Turn Right on Peet Hill Road for access to Fox Cross Forest Road and the North Country Trail on Bush Hill State Forest or continue on Bush Hill Road to the trail head parking lot on Farmersville State Forest. Access to Farmersville State Forest is from the parking lot at the intersection of Bush Hill Road and West Branch Road, Huyck Road, or the Hess Road.
Allegany DEC Forestry Office (M-F 8:30-4 p.m.): 716-372-0645
Emergencies, Search and Rescue, Wildfire, or State Land Rules and Regulation enforcement call a Forest Ranger:
Martin Flanagan - (716)771-7191
Bob Rogers - (716)771-7199
Wayne Krulish - (716)771-7156
Or you can reach the Forest Ranger general dispatch number at: 1(877)457-5680
General Emergencies: 911