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Sonyea State Forest

Sonyea State Forest locator map

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The 922-acre Sonyea State Forest offers a rustic experience with a limited amount of development. This forest shares a common boundary with Groveland Correctional Facility. As regulations differ between these areas, users should remain aware of which unit they are on. Today, Sonyea and all state forests in New York are managed for multiple benefits to serve the needs of the people of New York. Sustainable management practices will ensure a perpetual supply of timber, a diversity of wildlife habitats, compatible recreational opportunities and clean water.

Featured Activities


primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

At-large 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.

Note: This is a carry in-carry out facility.



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

The Genesee Valley Greenway State Park (GVG) (leaves DEC website) passes through Sonyea State Forest, following the remains of the Genesee Canal and of a major branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The old railroad grade/canal tow path offers the best access by foot along the bottom of the gorge. However, in the Keshequa Gorge difficulties with access and high water eroding the old rail bed away means that an alternate route for the GVG is needed, this re-routing is still in progress.



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

The Keshequa Creek Gorge occurs along the western boundary of this state forest, and the eastern portion includes the headwaters of Two Mile Creek.

Hunting & Trapping


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

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons.


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

Green covered cliff.
Cliff face in Keshequa Creek Gorge.

Although there are no facilities developed for viewing wildlife, like many places in the New York you are likely to see wildlife on this land. New York's Finger Lakes region encompasses a wide variety of habitats and landscapes made up of mountainous hills, forests, grasslands and wetlands. Everything from black bear to black-throated blue warblers and brook trout to wild turkey reside in the Finger Lakes of New York. The grasslands are home to a variety of bird species including northern harrier and state endangered Henslow's sparrow. White-tailed deer and fisher thrive in the forested hills, while beaver and mink flourish in the wetlands. Outdoorsmen and women from across New York State flock to this area year round for its exquisite wildlife watching and unbeatable hunting.


To gain access to this forest from I 390, exit 6, head south on State Route 36, then south (right) onto County Route 72, then north (right) onto Union Corners Rd, which ends on the State Forest. (42.657131°N, 77.841382°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).

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 Sonyea 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.

Specific Rules

Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

How We Manage Sonyea State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Livingston Unit Management Plan (UMP). The Livingston Unit Management Plan was prepared by a committee of DEC Professionals at the Region 8 DEC office in 2000.

Revision of the UMP is underway. You are encouraged to review the draft UMP and provide comments on the proposed plan. You are invited to attend public information meeting on Feb 15, 2017, at the Dansville High School Cafeteria, 282 Main St. Dansville, NY 14437.

A half-hour presentation on the draft plan will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by a question and answer period. Staff will be available until 8:30 pm to accept comments. The Dansville High School cafeteria is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Linda Vera at (585) 226-5324 for any further specific accommodations by Feb 1, 2017.

It is comprised of three state forests; Canaseraga, Ossian and Sonyea State Forests, and two Wildlife Management Areas; Conesus Inlet and Rattlesnake Hill Wildlife Management Areas. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

State Lands & Facilities

Gas, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Nunda, Geneseo, Dansville and Mt. Morris.

Dining and lodging opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Hornell, Geneseo, Dansville, and Mt. Morris.

Livingston County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website) and Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

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.