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Mad River State Forest

Mad River State Forest locator map

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingmotorized access program for people with disabilitiesparkingicon key

The 2,933-acre Mad River State Forest features rolling terrain with streams and wetlands interspersed throughout. It has tranquil, woodland areas that contain a mixture of plantations and natural forests. Many of the properties were purchased by the state in the 1930s and early 1940s as exhausted farmland with little or no tree cover. The first priorities after the establishment of a state forest were to reforest the land, prevent soil erosion, and minimize the threat of wildfires. This state land is currently managed for water quality protection, recreation, wildlife habitat and timber production.

The property has tranquil, woodland areas that contain a mixture of plantations and natural forests. The plantations on the property are primarily composed of white pine, red pine, Scotch pine, jack pine, Japanese larch, European larch, Dunkeld larch, Norway spruce, white spruce and Douglas fir. The natural forests species include eastern hemlock, black cherry, American elm, red maple, sugar maple, yellow birch, American beech and white ash.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

There are approximately 7.7 miles of paved and unpaved roads that cross the property that allow for hiking.


primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

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 and regulations.

Mad River, Finnegan Brook, Wickwire Brook and several tributaries of these streams all pass through this state forest. These are all protected trout streams capable of supporting trout populations. Mad River is stocked with 4,800 brown trout on an annual basis. There are also two ponds located on the property that may support warm water fish species.

For Public Fishing Rights (PFR) on Mad River, visit DECinfo Locator- Interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map (DECinfo Locator is best viewed on a desktop computer. Users are encouraged to visit the Trout Stream Fishing Map User Guide first for "how to" instructions on using the fishing map).

North Central NY Fishing provides information on fishing in the area and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 6K

General Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

The area is open for hunting and trapping though not notable for any particular species. The most commonly pursued species is deer.


General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Accessible Features

motorized access program for people with disabilities

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

Wickwyre Hill Road is a 1-mile marked route that runs between McSpirit Road and Wandell Road in the eastern portion of the forest that allows motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities


From the Town of Camden head north on Route 13 for 0.58 miles. Turn right on River Road and in 3.1 miles you will reach the property.

  • Phelan Road parking area (43.40975583°N, 75.75749254°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

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.

All users of Mad River State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Specific Rules

Mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding are all permitted on the property, however, there are no currently maintained trails for these activities.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in 46-Corners Unit Management Plan (UMP). 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.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, dining opportunities, lodging, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Camden, Osceola, Redfield and Taberg.

Oneida County Tourism website (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guidebooks 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.