Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Melondy Hill State Forest

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntinghuntingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnowshoeinghorseback ridingparkingIcon key

Melondy Hill State Forest locator map

Melondy Hill State Forest is comprised of 5,417 acres of contiguous state forests lands located in Southeastern Chenango County and Northeastern Broome County. The forest has a multiple-use trail that runs from east to west in the northern part of the forest. Hiking, cross-county skiing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling can be undertaken on this trail. In addition, opportunities for fishing, hunting, nature observation and primitive camping abound. These forests are easy to access as many town roads pass through the area.

Melondy Hill is located on the hilltops just south of the I-88 interstate corridor and the Susquehanna River valley near Bainbridge and Afton. Often visitors of Oquaga Creek State Park (leaves DEC website) will include excursions to or through this state forest in their area stays.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

There is one multiple-use trail and many town roads may be used for hiking. Hiking is also allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.

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 for the area.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 4O

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.

The proposed management plan proposes to have the NYS Snowmobile Corridor Trail #2 pass East-West through the Northern portion of these forests.

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.

Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.

Wildlife

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

The varied habitats sustain populations of turkey, deer, squirrels grouse, numerous song birds, vertebrates and invertebrates. A few bears have inhabited the area's forests in recent years. Evidence of their presence in the area is seen frequently.

Directions

To get to the State Forest, take State Route 41 South from Afton. After crossing the Susquehanna River, take County Route 39 North to Melondy Hill Road. Follow this road to the State Forest entrance. This property can also be accessed by many town roads.

  • Stillson Road (42.174959,-75.442093) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Melondy Hill Road (north parking on southern map) (42.191806,-75.462842) 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) 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 Melondy 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 Treaty Line 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 R7Forestry@dec.ny.gov.

History

Melondy Hill State Forest attained its name from early settlers on these foothills of the Catskills. In the early 1800s, much of the land was cleared for agriculture. Most of the areas not put into agriculture were heavily logged during the early 20th century. As with many state forests, they now offer a wide array of other flora and fauna to see, hear, or observe.

Purchased with Hewitt Amendment funds in the 1930s, Melondy Hill features a blend of planted forests of red pine, white pine, Scotch pine and Norway spruce, and natural forest stands consisting mostly of red maple, American beech, sugar maple, red oak, black cherry, white ash, white pine and eastern hemlock. Various forest products have been harvested throughout the years. Sustainable forest management objectives are to maintain a variety of habitats from young forests to old forests, and evergreens to hardwoods.

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 Afton and Deposit.

Broome County Tourism Webpage (leaves DEC website) and Chenango County Tourism (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.