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South Hill State Forest (Chenango County)

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnowshoeinghorseback ridingparkingicon key

South Hill State Forest locator map

The 1,314-acre South Hill State Forest is located in the town of Guilford in Chenango County. The forest is named after a 1,760-foot elevation ridge that runs in a northwest - southeast direction across the northern portion of the forest. South Hill State Forest contains a multiple-use trail and a hiking/snowmobile trail.

Popular activities on this forest include deer and turkey hunting, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

The main hiking trail on this property runs north-south with parking on Parker Smith Hill Road and Charles Wicks Road.

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.

Fishing

fishing

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

Fishing access information and fishing easement information is available.

South Hill state forest photo

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 7P

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

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

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

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing
snow shoeing

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 hiking trails.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding

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

South Hill State Forest is known as an attractive and convenient place for horseback riding. There are no designated horse trails on the forest property, but many people ride on the town roads that cross through the forest.

Wildlife

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

Mammals that are common residents of South Hill State Forest include: deer, raccoons, squirrels, porcupines, chipmunks and opossum. Coyotes and foxes are also present but less common. There is also a large variety of birds, including songbirds and hawks. You can often hear the calls of goshawks and owls during the summer. Turkeys are also abundant on this forest, especially in areas where beech and oak trees are prevalent.

Directions

Access to the forest is primarily from County Route 38, between the villages of Guilford and Bainbridge, and then tuning onto either Parker Smith Road or Hohreiter Road. Access to the forest from Route 8 is also possible by taking Junction Road near the village of East Guilford.

The town roads on the forest, including Charles Wicks Road and the southern portion of Hohreiter Road, are good quality, shaled-surface roads which may be traveled with any passenger car. The northern portions of both Parker Smith Road and Hohreiter Road are narrow and have relatively steep grades. These road sections are more difficult to travel and they are not plowed during the winter.

There is a short section of Public Forest Access Road located on the south side of Charles Wicks Road. This road is approximately 1/3 of a mile in length, and there is no outlet. This road was not designed for passenger car travel and the entrance to the road is gated. However, the roadway may be used for several forms of recreation, including horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

There are no true parking areas located on the forest, but there are many places to park vehicles along the sides of the town roads.

  • Charles Wicks Road (42.3583634°N, 75.4633725°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 South 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.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Between Rivers 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 and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at R7Forestry@dec.ny.gov.

Forest Management

South Hill State Forest is bordered primarily by privately owned agricultural lands. The highest elevation on the forest is approximately 1,760 feet and is located on the "south hill ridge", near the northern border of the forest, east of Parker Smith Hill Road. The lowest elevation is about 1,400 feet and is found in the southwest corner of the forest.

Few streams are found in this forest. One stream originates in the 30 acre northern hardwood-hemlock stand and is a tributary to Yaleville Brook, which then flows into the Susquehanna River. Another stream originates southeast of the intersection of Charles Wicks Road and Hohreiter Road. It flows south along Hohreiter Road and is a tributary of the Unadilla River. The portions of these streams that run through the state forest do not support trout or other game fish.

The forest cover types on the South Hill State Forest include pure northern hardwoods (beech, birch, maple, oak, cherry, ash and basswood) and mixtures of northern hardwoods with several species of conifers. The conifers include: red pine, white pine, Norway spruce and hemlock. All of the red pine and Norway spruce trees where planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s. Approximately 45% of the acreage of the forest cover is pure northern hardwoods; 55% is a mixture of hardwoods and conifers.

History

An atlas of Chenango County, published in 1875, shows several homes that were located on what is now the South Hill State Forest. These homes belonged to: W. Penn, N. Morgan, W. Hovey, I. Bennet and H. Evans. There was also a school house located at the intersection of Charles Wicks Road and Hohreiter Road.

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 community of Sidney.

Chenango County Tourism Webpage (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.


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