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DeRuyter State Forest

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnow shoeinghorseback ridingicon key

DeRuyter State Forest locator map

The 972-acre DeRuyter State Forest has a horse carriage trail that runs from north to south through the center of the forest. A public snowmobile trail passes through the property also running north to south. A section of the North County National Scenic Trail crosses the forest running east to west.

Featured Activities



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

A portion of the North Country Trail (leaves DEC website) crosses this property. Hiking is allowed anywhere on the property unless posted otherwise.


primtiive cmaping

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.

Bridge in Deruyter 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.

A public snowmobile trail passes through the property also running north to south.

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.


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

In early spring hawks nesting in planted pine fiercely protect their young while turkey toms pump up and show off in search of a mate. A buck deer bounds off through a thicket of witch hazel while a flock of cedar waxwings perch in a cherry tree to share in its juicy fruit. The low croak of a raven, a grouse drumming on a stump and a chorus of screaming spring peepers remind us that these seemingly lonely woods are alive with activity.


This forest is located just west of State Route 13 in the Town of DeRuyter and is easily accessed from Fairbanks, Stanton and Tromp Roads.

  • North Fairbanks Road (42.819562°N, 75.85572°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • South Fairbanks Road (42.807561°N, 75.853885°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Tromp Road (42.819375°N, 75.862883°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 Deruyter 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 Tioughnioga Draft Unit Management Plan (PDF). 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


DeRuyter State Forest occupies a narrow ridge-top with a deep cut channel that feeds the Middle Branch of the Tioughnioga Creek. The 1875 Atlas of Madison County reveals a well established population of farmers in and around what is today DeRuyter State Forest. Cheese factories, sawmills and tanneries operated throughout the town and the New York, Oswego & Midland and the Cazenovia & Canastota Railroads linked distant markets with local farm and manufactured goods. During the late 19th century DeRuyter was a wide open landscape of farms, and fields and one could look west from Stanton Road and see the shimmering light reflected from DeRuyter Reservoir, built in 1863 as a feeder to the Erie Canal. Soon, however, industrialization and heeds to the cry of "go west young man" drew people away from rural New York and the pastures and cropland of DeRuyter that once fueled the local economy were slowly reclaimed by native forest.

Using funds authorized from the State Reforestation Act of 1929, the Conservation Department (now DEC) purchased land from, among others, Charles Boyd, Fred Hurt, Anna Granville and George Congers to create DeRuyter State Forest. Beginning in 1935, recruits from the Civilian Conservation Corp Camp S-103, located in DeRuyter, planted hundreds of acres of red pine and Norway spruce on the forest. Today these planted forests mask, but don't completely hide, a rich history of settlement, abandonment and regrowth.

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 Cazenovia and Cortland.

Madison 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 (link leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.

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  • NYSDEC Region 7
    Sherburne Sub-office
    2715 State Hwy 80
    Sherburne, NY 13460
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