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Maxon Creek State Forest

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Maxon Creek State Forest

Maxon Creek State Forest, sometimes referred to as Pease Hill, encompasses 905 acres. The forest is home to four small streams, which together total 2.4-miles in length and are a part of the east branch of the Tioughnioga River watershed.

Featured Activities



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

About 1.8 miles of the Finger Lakes Trail system (leaves DEC website) crosses the northeast portion of this property.


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.

Fishing Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Small stream in Maxon Creek

Hunting & Trapping


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.

A 2-mile portion of state corridor trail 5E, which is managed by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and maintained by volunteers from the Trail Hounds Snowmobile Club, traverses the northern section of the forest from Pardee Road to Midlum Road (see below for directions).

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.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all trails and anywhere on the property not otherwise marked as prohibited.


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


Maxon Creek State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 13 to Crains Mills Road. Head south about 0.4 miles until Pease Hill Road. Travel southeast on Pease Hill Road for about one mile into Maxon Creek State Forest, then proceed about 0.6 miles further to the Maxon Creek Public Forest Access Road; this is a dead end road that runs westward for one mile. Limited parking is available on the shoulder of the road.

Intersection of Pease Hill Road and the public forest access road (42.7077913,-75.9538109) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (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 Maxon Creek 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

Maxon Creek State Forest is part of the Cuyler Hill Unit Management Plan. A unit management plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email

A variety of different cover types envelop the land, including northern hardwoods, northern hardwood-hemlock, Japanese larch, Norway spruce, red pine, and white cedar. Within this secluded forest setting, one can find a diverse collection of wildlife and plant species.


The land where Maxon Creek State Forest is located was originally cleared and farmed by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. However, the upland soils of the Allegheny Plateau are thin, relatively steep, and acidic. As such, the ground is not fit for intensive farming. When combined with harsh winters and a short growing season, it is easy to understand why farmers abandoned these lands in pursuit of greener pastures in the Midwest. Most of the land was purchased by the State for reforestation between 1933 and 1963, with an additional purchase made in 1974.

The Truxton Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp S-118 hand planted over 222,350 trees in the area between 1936 and 1941. An additional 295,800 trees were planted by the DeRuyter CCC in 1935, and the Department of Environmental Conservation planted more than 18,000 trees in 1962. The planting of trees under the State Reforestation Act and Hewitt Amendment provided new jobs for hundreds of young men, and the future forests would yield products and services that would benefit both wildlife and society for generations to come.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Cortland County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website)

Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Cortland and Cazenovia.

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.