Farmersville State Forest
- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 9 Allegany Office: 716-372-0645 (M-F, 8:00AM - 4:00PM); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emergency, Law Enforcement & Rangers: 1-877-457-5680 or 911
- Location: Town of Farmersville, Cattaraugus County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 9W
- Map: View Map of Farmersville State Forest || View same map in PDF (156 KB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
The 1,144-acre Farmersville State Forest is a popular hunting and hiking destination.
In the 1930s Farmersville was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC. The CCC, 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 the 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 the unit.
Most of the property was cleared for farm land at some time in the past. House holes, stone 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. A wood fire was built under the pan to boil sap.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
A section of the North Country Scenic Trail (leaves DEC website) managed by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (leaves DEC website) passes through this unit. The trail crosses from south to north, starting at a trailhead near the intersection of Bush Hill Road and West Branch Road. Trail location may vary because of reroutes due to active timber sales. In these instances the trail is moved to protect the public from the harvesting operations.
Hunting & Trapping
Hunting and trapping are allowed on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Due to windstorms and active forest management, wildlife habitat is very good and forest roads provide good access for hunting. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on state land must be at least 100 feet from public trails.
General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
There is one primitive designated campsite along the trail in the southern end of the state forest. The site is marked with a yellow marker. At-large backcountry 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.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
The North County Scenic Trial can be used for snowshoeing and skiing.
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
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.
From Franklinville follow Route 98 east and take a right on Bush Hill Road. Continue to the trailhead parking lot on the state forest at the intersection of Bush Hill Road and West Branch Road.
All coordinates are provided in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
- West Branch Road Parking Area (42.391037°N, 78.324758°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) 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 Farmersville State Forest
DEC has developed a Draft Cattaraugus Unit Management Plan which describes the proposed management activities for these lands. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.
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 to provide recreational opportunities and for watershed protection. They are also 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.
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 removing 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 a source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth, but in almost all cases they are 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 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.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
State Lands and Facilities
- Bush Hill State Forest
- Harwood Lake Multiple Use Area
- Swift Hill State Forest
- Crab Hollow State Forest
- Hanging Bog Wildlife Management Area
Gas can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade, Fillmore, Franklinville and Machias.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade and Fillmore.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade, Fillmore, Franklinville, Houghton and Machias.
Lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Arcade and Fillmore.
Cattaraugus 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.