New Trails & Better Access for Disabled Coming to 24,000 Acres of State Forest in CNY
New hiking and ATV trails, and better access for the disabled are among several changes coming to over 24,000 acres of state land in Central New York over the next ten years.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized three new Unit Management Plans (UMPs) for state forests in Central New York. The Eastern Lake Ontario, McDonough, and Tioughnioga region will address timber, habitat, and water quality management activities. Enhanced recreational opportunities such as camping, fishing, boating, and limited all-terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments are also included.
"Unit Management Plans are an important tool to sustainably manage state lands, protect natural resources, and promote responsible recreation," said DEC Region 7 Director Matthew Marko.
Eastern Lake Ontario
Over 6,200 acres of public forests in Oswego County covering Altmar, Chateaugay, Sandy Creek, and Trout Brook State forests and nearly 100 acres of conservation easement lands are getting upgrades and additions under the UMP.
- Continue partnerships with local snowmobile clubs to maintain 3.2 miles of trail on Chateaugay State Forest
- Develop approximately one mile of foot trail from the Salmon River Falls Unique Area's Upper Falls Trail that leads to Dam Road
- Designate 0.5 miles of existing access trail on Trout Brook State Forest as a Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) route.
Public forests in Chenango County, covering more than 13,000 acres in Genegantslet, Ludlow Creek, and McDonough will see improvements to snowmobile trails, a new ATV route, and trail.
- Maintain 20 miles of snowmobile trails and more than nine miles of hiking trails in cooperation with local snowmobile clubs and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference
- Maintain historic sites including the Berry Hill Fire Tower and a Civilian Conservation Corps campsite
- Establish a 0.8-mile ATV access route (MAPPWD) for people with qualifying disabilities in Genegantslet State Forest
- Establish a 0.2-mile universal access trail on Ludlow Creek State Forest
UMP covers 4,646 acres of public forests in the towns of Cazenovia, DeRuyter, Fenner, Georgetown, and Nelson in Madison County. The State forests are DeRuyter, Morrow Mountain, and Stoney Pond. The Nelson Swamp Unique Area is also included in this UMP. Management objectives include:
- Redesign Stoney Pond State Forest Boat Launch
- Establish a 0.3-mile universal access trail at Nelson Swamp Unique Area
- Sustainably harvest 108 acres of timber each year
- Maintain 14 parking areas to provide safe access to the forests
You can see the final plans for each of the three regions at the DEC.