Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

McCarthy Hill State Forest

McCarthy Hill State Forest locator map

hikingprimitive campinglean-tocross-country skiingsnowshoeinghuntingtrappingaccessible featuresparkingicon key

The 794-acre McCarthy Hill State Forest focuses on rustic experiences with a limited amount of development. Today, McCarthy Hill 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

Hiking

hiking

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

Located on the area is a portion of The Crystal Hills Branch Trail off of the Finger Lakes Trail (foot traffic only). Maintenance has been continued by the volunteers of the Finger Lakes Trail Conference (leaves DEC website) under a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement. It is also a segment of The Great Eastern Trail (leaves DEC website).

Camping

primitive camping
lean-to

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

a interpretation kiosk and the DEC sign at the trailhead
Facility Sign and Kiosk for McCarthy Hill

The McCarthy Hill Lean-to is the only designated camping spot.

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.

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.

There are approximately 8 miles of designated cross-country ski trails on McCarthy Hill State Forest.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 8X

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

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons.

Wildlife

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

New York's Southern Tier 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 call the Southern Tier of New York home. 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. Visitors from across New York State flock to this area year round for its exquisite wildlife watching and unbeatable hunting.

Accessible Features

accessible features

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

There is a section of trail in the western portion of the forest that allows motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD).

Directions

To gain access to this forest from the village of Addison, travel south on County Route #5, turn left (east) onto Ackerson Road, which dead-ends at the state forest parking lot.

  • Ackerson Road: (42.095291°N, 77.203939°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 McCarthy Hill 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

Mountain biking, snowmobiling and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Erwin 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 us at r8.ump@dec.ny.gov.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Dining and lodging opportunities as well as gas, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Corning and Painted Post.

Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau (leaves DEC website) and Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance (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.