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Ketchumville State Forest

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Ketchumville State Forest locator map

Ketchumville State Forest encompasses 500 acres. Its rustic and primitive feel makes it ideal for recreational activities such as hunting, snowshoeing, bird watching, and nature viewing. Ketchumville State Forest is undeveloped and has no formally marked trails. Former logging trails, the public forest access road, and old town roads provide informal hiking opportunities. As such, this forest offers unique opportunities to those who wish to explore on their own. No target shooting is allowed on this state forest.

A small stream runs through the woods, reaching a particularly beautiful site surrounded by large hemlocks. Many different plant species, both common and rare, can be found mingling with the other flora, including painted trillium and wild hydrangea. Don't forget, although they are beautiful, the plants located on state property are protected; it is illegal to pick or transport them for any reason.

Featured Activities

Conifer stand in Ketchumville State Forest

Camping

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.

Hiking

hiking

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

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snowshoeing

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

Hunting & Trapping

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.

Wildlife

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

Thanks to the diverse range of habitats available within the forest, there is an abundance of both plant and animal life. Deer, raccoons, rabbits, foxes, salamanders and squirrels are just some of the creatures that can be found by the keen-eyed observer. Birds of all sorts can also be viewed, from the chestnut-sided warbler to the Cooper's hawk to the wild turkey.

Directions

From Newark Valley, New York: Head north on NY Route 38 for .75 mile. Take a right on Wilson Creek Road and stay straight; the road then becomes Davis Hollow Road. Head east on Davis Hollow Road for about 1 mile and bear slightly to the right onto Bailey Hollow Road. Travel southeast on Bailey Hollow Road for about 1.75 miles until it intersects with Smokey Zimmer Road. Make a left and continue northeast on Bailey Hollow Road for about .5 mile. The Ketchumville State Forest sign and public forest access road will be on the left near the crest of the hill.

Parking is available on the shoulders and at the end of the public forest access road.

  • Ketchumville Public Forest Access Road (42.237948°N, 76.1089011°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 Ketchumville 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.

Target shooting is not allowed on this property.

Planning and Management

image of trees within Ketchumville State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Tioga 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 or comments about this UMP, please email ust at R7Forestry@dec.ny.gov.

History

Ketchumville State Forest was purchased in 1941 by the State of New York from lands formerly owned by the Waite, Zimmer, Chamberlain, Bailey, and Andrews families. This area was not reforested until 1961, when more than 153,000 tree seedlings were planted. The delay in reforesting this property is due to the termination of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps and their programs as the United States entered World War II. Following the war, tree planting was resumed at a much slower rate.

Ketchumville State Forest, like many of New York's State Forests, had originally been cleared and farmed by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. Unfortunately, the soils common in the area are 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 quite understandable that farmers abandoned these lands for more fertile lands in the Midwest. In order to reduce soil erosion, protect water quality, provide forest products and recreational opportunities, the State of New York started acquiring property during the 1930ss and planted significant numbers of trees in order to reforest the land.

Existing evidence of the early settlers and the original inhabitants still remains, as stone walls, foundations, scattered quarries and even portions of the original road system can be found on Ketchumville State Forest. Even vegetative remnants of the old homesteads still exist as evidenced by the fruit trees and introduced ground cover and flowers (keep an eye out for creeping myrtle and day lilies). Today, with the land being transformed back to its original forested state, diverse ecological, economic, and recreational opportunities are provided for the many New York State residents and visitors.

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 Binghamton, Owego and Whitney Point.

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.