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Pharsalia Woods State Forest

hikingprimitive campingmountain bikingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnow shoeingaccessibleparkingicon key

Pharsalia Woods State Forest locator map

Hunting, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, hiking and wildlife observation are some of the more popular recreational uses of Pharsalia Woods State Forest (formally New Michigan State Forest). Access is made easy by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Nine Mile Truck Trail that passes atop a forested plateau and offers visitors many great views.

accessible viewing platform overlooks Round Pond wetlands
New accessible viewing platform overlooks
Round Pond wetlands.

Pharsalia Woods now features an accessible boardwalk that leads to an elevated, covered viewing platform overlooking the 90-acre Round Pond wetland complex that contains several protected plants, including the carnivorous pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) with the ability to digest insects. The wetland also provides habitat to many wetland bird species including sandhill cranes (Antigone canadensis), rare visitors to New York State.

The platform is located on the south side of Reservoir Hill Road in the town of Plymouth and may be accessed from NYS Route 23 via Reservoir Hill Road if travelling from the west or by taking Cumber Road to Reservoir Hill Road if travelling from the east.

Featured Activities



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

The forest contains six miles of the Finger Lakes Trail (leaves DEC site). Hiking is allowed on all parts of the property unless 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.


mountain biking

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



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

Fishing information for Central NY is available.

Pond at New Michigan 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 snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

The forest has eleven miles of the NYS Snowmobile Corridor Trail (see map).

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.


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

The forest supports a number of interior nesting bird species and has been designated by the National Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area.

Accessible Features


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

The Round Pond accessible viewing platform and parking lot are located on the south side of Reservoir Hill Road in the town of Plymouth and may be accessed from NYS Route 23 via Chan Aldrich Road or Moon Hill Road.


From Norwich, take State Highway 23 to North Road. Travel south on North Road through two intersections. The second intersection is the State Forest Access Road. Turn left to enter the heart of the forest.

  • State Highway 23 and North Road access point to the western end of the property (42.6080571°N, 75.7264934°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

To get to the accessible viewing platform on Round Pond from points East: From NYS Route 23 West, take a left on Cumber Rd. (becomes Doing Rd.). Turn right on Reservoir Hill Rd and follow for 3 miles. At the intersection of Reservoir Hill, Blackman and Moon Hill Roads, keep left to stay on Reservoir Hill Rd. Look for Round Pond Observation Platform sign on the left.

From points West: From NYS Route 23 East, turn right on Reservoir Hill Rd. Look for Look for Round Pond Observation Platform sign on the right.

  • Round Pond Parking Area on Reservoir Hill Road (42.587338°N, 75.623103°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 Pharsalia Woods 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 Pharsalia Woods 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


Approximately 40% of Pharsalia Woods State Forest is conifer plantations established by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) with the remaining area in mature stands of northern hardwoods. Dark stands of planted spruce are interrupted by wide open vistas created after a tornado touched down on the forest in 1998. The roadside fire ponds with laid up stone and neatly channeled waterways recall the fastidious work of the CCC. A woodland cemetery pays tribute to Revolutionary War heroes, and the miles and miles of stone walls are monuments to the brute labor necessary for transforming forest into farmland. The cows and plows are gone but the walls remain as a reminder of both faded agriculture and nature's power to reclaim the fields.

Perhaps the most striking feature on Pharsalia Woods is the large swath of open land that resulted following the May 1998 tornado. Approximately 900 acres of land were impacted by the tornado, and all trees within this area were either uprooted, shattered or broken at some point along the main stem. Timber salvage operations with varying intensities of utilization were conducted on 700 acres with the remaining 200 acres left untreated due to sensitive soils, low timber value and for the purpose of retaining controls for comparative studies. Reforestation within the tornado zone has focused on promoting conditions favorable for natural regeneration of native species, restoring vegetation along riparian zones and reestablishing a conifer component on select plantation sites. To date, 30,000 conifer and hardwood seedlings have been planted in the tornado zone.

Following the 1788 treaty signed at Fort Schuyler between Governor Clinton and the Oneidas, what had previously been referred to as terra incognita- "unknown land"- was suddenly the twenty towns of Chenango County. In 1797, John Randall and seven other families arrived from Connecticut and began to carve a claim deep within the New York wilderness. A tell tale sign of the area's shallow soils and marginal farming conditions is revealed in Randall's choice of Stonington as the towns's original name. He may have been persuaded by land speculators to select a name more attractive to the wave of immigrants arriving from the east, because by 1808 the town was changed to Pharsalia. Despite the name change, poor soils resulted in high rates of farm abandonment such that by 1923 the population of Pharsalia had dropped to one half its 1850 level. With high rates of abandonment, Pharsalia became an early focus of state land acquisition programs and today nearly one half of the town is in public ownership.

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 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.

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    Sherburne, NY 13460
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