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Elm Ridge Wild Forest - Unit Management Plan

The Elm Ridge Wild Forest (WHPWF) consists of 1,355 acres of state Forest Preserve land, and lies at the northernmost edge of the Catskill Forest Preserve in the Greene County Towns of Windham, Durham, and Cairo. The unit contains a 1.5 mile portion of the Escarpment Trail, the 1.1 mile long Elm Ridge Trail, and numerous shorter trails available for multiple uses, including hiking, x-country skiing, and mountain biking. There are two parking areas that serve the unit, one on NYS Route 23 to the northwest and the other at the end of Peck Road to the south.

For a description of recreational opportunities in the unit, please visit the Elm Ridge Wild Forest recreation page.

Status of the UMP

In 2008, the Department adopted a revision to the Catskill Park State Land Master Plan (CPSLMP). In the CPSLMP, the Elm Ridge Wild Forest was designated through the re-classification of a portion of the former Windham High Peak Wild Forest. In 1994, a Unit Management Plan (UMP) was adopted for the Windham High Peak Wild Forest, and still affects management of the Elm Ridge Wild Forest today. If you have questions about the UMP, please email us at

Download the UMP

1994 Windham High Peak Wild Forest Unit Management Plan - (PDF 2.9 MB)

2017 Draft Amendment (Scoping)

This amendment will include the newly acquired parcel known as Mt. Hayden to the Elm Ridge Wild Forest unit. An initial scoping meeting took place on August 10, 2016. The presentation from this meeting is available below. At this time, the public comment period is closed, and a draft amendment is being written.

2016 Elm Ridge Amendment - Mt. Hayden Initial Scoping Meeting - (PDF 1.04 MB)

2015 Amendment - Multiple-Use Trail Development

This amendment proposes the establishment of additional recreational trails that build upon the 2009 UMP amendment and addresses the growth in use seen over the past 6 years. All of the trails proposed in this amendment will be open to multiple non‐motorized uses, including hiking, mountain biking, and x‐country skiing.

2015 Elm Ridge Wild Forest UMP Amendment - (PDF 2.1 MB)

2009 Amendment - Multiple-Use Trail Development

A proposal to develop a system of mountain bike trails was received in early 2006 from local mountain bike enthusiasts. The amendment also makes recommendations to address the need for multi-use trails and additional parking at the Peck Road parking area.

2009 Elm Ridge Wild Forest UMP Amendment - (PDF 2.4 MB)