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Palmer's Pond State Forest

hikinghuntingtrappingfishingsnowmobilingcross-country skiingsnowshoeinghorseback ridingprimitive campingaccessibleparkingicon key

Palmer's Pond State Forest Locator Map

Palmer's Pond State Forest totals 3,645 acres. This area provides opportunities for outdoor recreational activities like snowshoeing, hiking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, camping, hunting, fishing, bird watching and nature photography.

The state forest is also a source of raw material for New York's forest products industry which provides employment and income for many New Yorkers and provides for various habitats for many wildlife species such as deer, rabbit, grouse and turkey.

In the 1930s, Palmer's Pond State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the depression. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine and spruce trees in the open areas on the property.

Featured Activities



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

Palmer's Pond State Forest has 12 miles of marked trails. Two large parking areas opposite each other on Miller Road are trailheads for two 5-mile loops for multi-use recreational use.

Hunting and Trapping

hunting trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 9P

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 on the property. Campers can set up in the parking areas and also at the log landings that have been graveled for vehicle access. Permanent tree stands and ATVs are prohibited. Please be sure to abide by all game laws.



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

Fishing is allowed on Palmer's Pond in the southern part of the state forest.



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

The Allegany County Federation of Snowmobilers (leaves DEC website) has marked trails which they maintain through this state forest. Snowmobiles are allowed throughout the state forest except on Trails 1 through 6 which run through Palmer's Pond, Turnpike State Forest and Phillips Creek State Forest.

Cross-country Skiing and 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.

The multi-use recreational trails on the property can be used for skiing and snowshoeing.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding

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

Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate. The West Almond Trail System is a series of loops and spurs, covering about 29 miles open to horses. These trails are multipurpose and also allow hikers and cross-country skiers to use the trail system. The trail system is closed to horses between October 1 and May 31 annually.

The main trailheads are located on Stewart Forest Road and State Route 244. The Stewart Forest Road location provides an accessible mounting platform and one accessible picnic pavilion with fire rings. There are four additional covered picnic tables with fire rings and tie stalls available. In the summer months there is an accessible port-a-potty, and a water pump available at this location. The State Route 244 trailhead has 1 covered picnic table with a fire ring and tie stalls available on a first come first serve basis.

Portions of this trail system are located on Turnpike, Phillips Creek, and Palmers Pond State Forests. All horses must have a negative Coggins test. A portion of the maintenance is done by the volunteers of the Allegany County Saddle Dusters under a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement.


primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations. Please review the camping rules before visiting this area for an overnight stay.

The Stewart Forest Road trailhead provides for camping, and picnicking on a first come first serve basis. There are five covered picnic tables with tie stalls and fire rings. Other facilities include an accessible horse-mounting platform, and covered horse stalls. During the summer months a port-a-john and a water pump are available. The camp area is only accessible during the summer months by vehicle, as it is located on a seasonal use road.

The State Route 244 trailhead offers 1 camp site that includes a fire ring and picnic table, along with covered tie stalls. Self-contained units can be used in the parking lot area as well. This area is accessible year-round by vehicle.

If you plan on staying more than three nights or have more than ten persons at your site you will need to contact the forest ranger(s) for a camping permit at 585-415-1521 or 585-278-7777.

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.

Accessible Features


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

Two trails off Miller Road are open for motorized access by people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) for ATV use. No other ATV use is allowed. Miller Road East (Trail 10) is marked with yellow trail markers and also has a shortcut trail marked with blue trail markers. Miller Road West (Trail 11) is marked with yellow trail markers and has a shortcut trail marked with red trail markers. Both trails offer a large parking area for truck and ATV trailers.


To reach Palmer's Pond: From Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and head west on Karr Valley Road towards village of West Almond. By the town barns, make a sharpleft onto Turnpike Road and then an immediate right onto South Road, continue for 1.6 miles, then turn right onto Palmers Pond road, go 1 mile to the pond day use and parking area.

To reach the parking areas on Miller Road: From Interstate 86, take exit 32 (West Almond) and head west on Karr Valley Road for 0.2 miles, then turn right onto Miller Road. After 1.8 miles the parking areas and trailheads will be on the right and left, opposite each other.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum. Besides the parking areas listed below, roadside parking is also available at points throughout the property.

  • Miller Road East parking area and trailhead (42.325358°N, 77.885155°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Miller Road West parking area and trailhead (42.325404°N, 77.885644°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Palmer's Pond parking area - Follow directions above only.

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 Palmer's Pond 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.

Camp Area Guidelines

  1. No paddocks or temporary fencing allowed. Please tie horses in stalls provided, to horse trailers, or use "High-Tie" methods only.
  2. No damaging live trees, including tying horses directly to them.
  3. No loose horses or pets in the camp area. Keep dogs leashed.
  4. Clean up after all your animals.
  5. No littering. Use "carry in / carry out" principles.
  6. Scatter manure into the surrounding woods away from camp sites or take it with you upon departure.
  7. Camp sites are available on a first come, first served basis. A free camping permit is required for stays longer than 3 nights or for groups of ten or more people. For a permit, please contact the forest rangers at 585-415-1521 or 585-278-7777.
  8. Quiet time is 10pm-7am.
  9. There is no water, sewer, or electric hookups provided. Self-contained camping trailers only.
  10. Trails open June 1 - September 30th for equestrian users. All other approved uses are permitted year-round.

Planning and Management

DEC has developed a Draft Allegany Unit State Forests Unit Management Plan (UMP) which describes the proposed management activities for these lands. 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

Timber Management

Image of truck hauling logs on Geitner Forest Road
Load of softwood logs on the Geitner Forest Road
heading to the sawmill from Palmer's Pond.

Conifer - The stands of pine and spruce were planted in old farm fields as they need open areas with direct sunlight to thrive. They are usually managed by a series of partial harvest thinnings. These thinnings provide openings of sunlight to encourage natural regeneration of native hardwoods. The removal of the conifer overstory in the final harvest allows the hardwood seedlings to grow to maturity.

Hardwood - Hardwood trees are not usually planted as they spread vast amounts of seed and naturally regenerate. Periodic thinning of the forest through the sale of forest products gives the residual trees more growing space. This helps to keep the forest healthy and provides openings for new seedlings, a revolving supply of food and cover for wildlife, and a source of future crop trees. Some stands will contain large trees, giving an illusion of old growth - in reality, these stands have been harvested prior to state ownership.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, food and other supplies, dining opportunities, and lodging can be found in the nearby communities of Alfred Station and Angelica.

Allegany County Tourism (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.