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Beaver Dam State Forest

primitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnowshoeingacceissible trailicon key

Beaver Dam State Forest locator map

Beaver Dam State Forest encompasses 1,151 acres. It is a popular area for recreational activities that can be enjoyed in a forest setting, such as hunting, snowmobiling, bird watching, nature viewing and fishing from the small brook. The 1.5-mile Public Forest Access Road, accessible from Sears Road, can be traveled by automobile, bike, horse, or foot.

Featured Activities



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.

Fishing information for Central NY is available.

Wetland complext on the forest, enhanced by beaver activity

A wetland complex on the forest, enhanced by beaver activity

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 7R

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



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

Beaver Dam State Forest has 1.8 miles of formal snowmobile trails running through its boundaries. The snowmobile trails are maintained by DEC Volunteer Stewardship Program volunteers.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.


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

Primitive and wild, Beaver Dam State Forest is home to a variety of habitats that foster a diversity of plant and animal life. As the name suggests, beavers are frequently seen along the small brook that winds through the woods. In addition to the beavers, a wide variety of song birds and amphibians such as salamanders can be found here.

Accessible Features

accessible trail

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

There is a 0.6 mile trail open for ATV use by individuals holding a permit through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).


From I-81 Take exit # 8 toward NY RT 79 West. Travel west on NY RT 79 for about 9 miles until you reach Michigan Hill Road and take a right. If you reach the hamlet of Richford, you've gone too far. Head north on Michigan Hill Road for about 0.75 mile, then make a right on Sears Road. Follow Sears Road for about 0.75 mile and then the entrance to the Public Forest Access Road will be on your right.

  • Sears Road & Public Access Forest Road (42.38512°N, 76.14683°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 Beaver Dam 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.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Rockefeller Unit Management Plan (PDF, 6.5MB). 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 at [email protected].


Most of the land encompassing what is today known as Beaver Dam State Forest was purchased between 1939 and 1942. Prior to this, the land had been cleared of natural vegetation and used for agriculture by early European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. However, because the soils common in the area are typically thin, somewhat steep and acidic, they are not fit for intensive farming. Harsh winters and short growing seasons further compounded the issue and provoked many farmers to abandon their properties in pursuit of more suitable land in the Midwest.

Fortunately, the State Reforestation Act of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment made it possible for the abandoned farmland to become productive once more through the planting of trees. Hundreds of young men found work, and the fruit of their labor is made evident by the forested landscape that now covers the land. Today, Beaver Dam State Forest provides diverse ecological, economic, and recreational services for the people of New York State.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Dryden, Marathon, Whitney Point and Ithaca.

The Tioga County Tourism Office (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.