Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Red Brook State Forest

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingparkingicon key

Red Brook State Forest locator map

Red Brook State Forest consists of 601 acres. The forest is named after the stream and its tributaries that pass through the western portion of the forest. Another stream, Strong's Brook, crosses through the eastern section of the forest. Both Red Brook and Strong's Brook are tributaries to Genegantslet Creek. Nearby hamlets include McDonough and Smithville Flats.

There is ample deer habitat in the area. Popular activities at Red Brook include primitive camping, fishing, hiking, trapping, and nature photography/observation. Please be aware that the state forest is bordered by privately owned forests and agricultural lands.

A small cemetery is located on the forest, off the east side of Ridge Road. Inscriptions on some of the markers are still visible. The highest elevation in the forest is approximately 1,592 feet, located on a peak midway between Ridge Road and Hollow Road. The lowest elevation is about 1,300 feet and is found along Strong's Brook. The forest has a mixture of well-drained and poorly-drained ground. If you are walking through this forest, you should be prepared to encounter areas of wet ground.

Featured Activities



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

There are no formal trails on this state forest, but hiking is allowed anywhere not posted otherwise.


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.



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

Fishing information for Central NY is available.

Red Brook State Forest

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 7M

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


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 Red Brook State Forest include: deer, raccoons, squirrels, porcupines, chipmunks, opossum, coyotes and foxes. The deer population within the town of German is quite high, and the forest cover of Red Brook State Forest is a good example of the habitat that supports this population.


Take State highway 41, travel north on County Route 2 (Ridge Road). The State forest is found on both sides of County Route 2, beginning at the intersection of Willet Line Road. Although roadside parking is difficult along Route 2, places can be found to park along the side roads, including Willet Line Road, Cross Road, and Hollow Road.

  • County Route 2 (42.4627375°N, 75.844315°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 Red Brook 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 Five Streams Unit Management Plan (UMP) that covers Red Brook, Five Streams, and Balsam Swamp State Forests. 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.

DEC developed a draft update to the Five Streams UMP that describes in detail proposed management activities for public recreation on Red Brook State Forest. DEC accepted comments on the draft until July 31, 2021. Questions can be emailed with the subject line "Five Streams Unit" to

Forest Management

The forest cover types in Red Brook 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, Norway spruce, hemlock and larch. Large portions of this forest (over 50%) were planted with conifer species. All of the red pine, Norway spruce, and larch trees on the forest where planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCCs) in the late 1930s.

Another 30% of the forest is comprised of hemlock and hemlock-hardwood mixtures. Eastern hemlock is a native conifer, and it occurs naturally on the forest. Scenic stands can be found along the stream corridors of Strong's Brook and Red Brook.

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 Cortland and Norwich.

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.

  • Important Links
  • Links Leaving DEC's Website
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 607-674-4017.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Region 7
    Sherburne Sub-office
    2715 State Hwy 80
    Sherburne, NY 13460
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 7