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Otselic State Forest

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Otselic State Forest locator map

Otselic State Forest encompasses 1,043 acres and is located on a hill top between State Highway 26 and County Highway 16 in the northwestern corner of Chenango County. Common activities on Otselic include hiking, hunting, trapping, and fishing.

Featured Activities



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

A portion of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT) (leaves DEC website) traverses Otselic State. From the Otselic River the trail climbs 500 feet to reach the top of the hill, an elevation of 1,780 feet . The trail then proceeds south through the forest climbing to an elevation of 1,940 feet before exiting the forest as it crosses Warner Road.

The FLT is marked by white trail markers and is for foot travel only.

Pink Lady Slipper at Otselic Brook State forest


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 Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Hunting & Trapping


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

The unplowed Public Forest Access Road is used by snowmobilers in winter.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

snow shoeing
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.


Otselic State Forest is best accessed by County Route 16. From Route 16, turn onto Stage Road, then Warner Road. The forest may also be accessed by Warner Road from Rt. 26, however this requires traveling up a steep hill on Warner Road that is often in rough condition. As you approach the forest, you will see mature Norway spruce and then the State Forest identification sign. The DEC Public Forest Access Road (also known as Circle Rd.) will lead you through the forest for 3.3 miles to the end of the road.

Warner Road (42.662166°N, 75.7384078°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

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 Otselic 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

Otselic State Forest is part of the Northern Chenango Highlands Unit Management Plan. 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 is managed for wildlife habitat, outdoor recreation, watershed protection, and sustainable timber production. The management of this forest creates a variety of forest habitat conditions necessary for a diversity of wildlife. These conditions range from areas of young sapling size trees growing in recently cut areas to other areas of mature forest which will eventually develop into old growth. Trees are periodically harvested to be used for the production of hardwood and softwood lumber, utility poles, paper, log cabins and furniture.

The hill on which Otselic State Forest is located is known by a variety of names including: Truman Hill, Raider Hill and Partridge Ridge. Otselic State Forest is a mixture of red pine and Norway spruce plantations and native hardwoods. The pine and spruce plantations were mostly established in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The trees were planted on abandoned farm lands that were purchased for the creation of this state forest.

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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    Sherburne, NY 13460
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