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Perkins Pond State Forest

hikingprimitive campingcamping with a lean tofishinghuntingtrappingsnwomobilingsnow shoeingcross country skiingparkingicon key

Perkins Pond State Forest locator map

Perkins Pond State Forest features a portion of the Finger Lakes Trail, a primitive campsite with a lean-to, and a section of snowmobile connector trail. The forest offers ample deer hunting opportunities and abuts Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area.

This state forest is named for Perkins Pond, a private inholding in the forest that can be viewed from County Route 42. The outlet from Perkins Pond flows downstream through a scenic gorge. Visitors who wish to view the gorge can best see it by hiking along Plank Road. The west portion of the gorge is in private ownership, but visible from the hiking trail on the abandoned road.

Featured Activities



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

Part of the Finger Lakes Trail (leaves DEC website) travels through the eastern section of the forest. Hiking is allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.


primitive camping
camping with a lean to

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

A primitive campsite with a lean-to is located in the northeast portion of the forest between Mud Lane and Plank Road. The lean-to is in a remote area of hardwoods on the forest. It provides shelter for long-distance hikers on the Finger Lakes Trail, as well as others who desire solitude and a remote camping experience.

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 Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Scarlet Tanager in Perkins Pond State Forest

Hunting & Trapping


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

During the fall, deer hunting is a popular activity on the forest.



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

In winter Plank Road (Gorge Road) is used as part of the snowmobile corridor trail system.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing

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.


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


From the hamlet of South Otselic take Plank Road south to where it intersects with County route 42. At the intersection, the state forest comprises land on both sides of the road. The forest can also be reached by traveling southwest on Rt. 26 from the hamlet of South Otselic. At the intersection of County routes 26 and 42, take 42 east directly into the heart of the state forest. (42.6346483,-75.7481438) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Plank Road (Gorge Road) follows this gorge from its intersection with Rte. 42 near Perkins Pond and leads to the hamlet of South Otselic. This road is an unplowed, narrow dirt road which is closed to motor vehicles west of the intersection with Purse Road. Access to this area is from the hamlet of South Otselic at the Plank Road trail head. Parking is also available at the intersection with Rte. 42 for accessing the upper end of the gorge on the State forest. To view this end of the gorge, one needs to bushwhack a short distance off the road.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles 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 Perkins 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.

Planning and Management

Perkins Pond State Forest is part of the Pharsalia Woods Unit Management . A unit management plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email

This forest consists of conifer plantations intermixed with native hardwoods and conifers spread across a hilltop on an area approximately two miles wide and three miles long. The plantation conifer species include: red pine, Norway and white spruce, larch and scotch pine. Common native hardwoods or conifers found on the forest include: sugar and red maple, white ash, black cherry and hemlock.

This forest is managed for a diversity of forest conditions that provide habitat for a wide array of wildlife species. Some common wildlife found on the forest include deer, turkey, red squirrels, and a variety of forest song birds.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Chenango County Tourism Webpage (leaves DEC website)

Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Cazenovia and Norwich.

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.

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