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Hoxie Gorge State Forest

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnowshoeingaccessible trailparking icon key

Hoxie Gorge State Forest locator map

Hoxie Gorge State Forest encompasses 2,115 acres of land. Public Forest Access Roads off of Steve Russell Hill Road provide 2.6 miles of recreational access. There are also two separate segments of accessible trails for those with impaired mobility.

While the actual gorge for which Hoxie Gorge is named is located to the north of the forest, the stream that runs through the gorge does begin within its boundaries and continues to wind peacefully through the property. Certain sections of the woods are so rich and dense that they have the ability to make travelers feel as if they are in another world.

Featured Activities



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

Hoxie Gorge has a portion of the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail (leaves DEC website) located near its northern boundary. While there are no other designated hiking trails, hiking is allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.



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.

tree stands in the foreground and mountain peak in the back



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Fishing information for Central NY is available.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 7M

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.

Hoxie Gorge has six miles of snowmobile trail, designated as a secondary 5S corridor trail (leaves DEC website) by the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing

snow shoeing

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

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.


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

Wild turkey, foxes, white-tailed deer, and an interesting array of song birds and small mammals are just some of the creatures the visitor may see. The forest is also known to have large populations of ruffed grouse, which are particularly fond of the early successional habitat found in the forest.

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 are also two separate segments of trails in the southern portion of the forest that allow motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities.


Hoxie Gorge State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 11 to Hoxie Gorge-Freetown Road. To reach the southern portion of the forest (Cortland #14), follow Hoxie Gorge-Freetown Road to Marihew Road, and then to Steve Russell Hill Road. Parking is available along the shoulder of the road but is limited.

  • Steve Russell Hill Road (42.5060253,-76.0526596) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Hoxie Gorge Freetown Road (42.5378583,-76.0702884) 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) principles 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 Hoxie Gorge 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 Taylor Valley Unit Management Plan (PDF). 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


Hoxie Gorge was originally used for agriculture in the 1800s. However, due to poor soil conditions and short growing seasons, the land became damaged, unproductive and undesirable and was therefore sold to the state in the 1930s for reforestation. Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law authorizes DEC to manage lands acquired outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes. Today, with the help of DEC foresters, Hoxie Gorge State Forest provides a wide variety of recreational, economic, and ecological 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 community of Cortland.

Cortland 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.