Ranges from easy to difficult, depending on the trail
While most of this trail is not handicap accessible, there is a small portion of trail at the beginning of Star Stanton Hill that is accessible.
The Hammond Hill State Forest was established between 1935 and 1950. During this period, the recently formed State Reforestation Commission was beginning to reforest abandoned farmlands throughout the state. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, much of the land in the state that farmers had once cleared to make fields was abandoned because of difficulties making a profit off their work. The vast majority of farmers had been forced off their land by the time of the Great Depression; New York State took this opportunity to relieve farmers of their land.
It took only one year for the State Reforestation Commission to collect enough evidence to pass the State Reforestation Law. The law aimed to retire farmland as an agricultural use for good and to reforest vacant farmland in order to provide a large range of resources. Reforestation areas had to consist of at least 500 continuous acres, and are forever devoted to watershed protection, timber production, and recreational activities. These areas were the beginnings of the State Forest program.
The land at Hammond Hill was planted with countless pine, larch, cherry, oak, spruce, maple, and ash seedlings, and is now a thick forest. It is over 3,600 acres and has an average elevation of 1,800 feet.
The trails at Hammond Hill can be used for hiking, fishing, hunting, trapping, bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Camping is also permitted but must be 150 feet from any water, roads or trails. Prohibited activities include unauthorized off-road motorized vehicles this includes cars, trucks, ATV’s, and motorcycles. The trails are marked by numbered trail junctions as well as colored/numbered plastic markers.
Basic trail use guidelines are as follows: pass only in flat areas after vocally indicating the desire to do so; downhill skiers have the right-of-way; if you fall, move off of the trail as quickly as possible; no hiking, snowshoeing, or biking in ski tracks; don’t hike, bike, or ski alone; and carry warm clothing, a map and compass, water, and quick energy food.
Some other general regulations follow:
• Unauthorized cutting of live trees or building of new trails is prohibited
• Camping permits are required for groups of 10+ persons or those staying for more than 3 consecutive nights
• Only dead wood which has fallen down can be used for open fires
• Camping stoves are preferred over cooking fires
• All fires must be extinguished with water and coals must be stirred until cold
• Keep the area as natural as possible if you brought it with you, take it back as well
• Don’t put anything into the streams and springs!
• Let nature take care of human wastes dig a shallow hole in the forest floor about 4-6′ deep and at least 150 feet away from water, trails, and campsites. Cover holes with leaf litter and dirt when done
• Do your best to keep pets under control; restrain them when necessary, bury their droppings away from water, trails, and camping areas, and keep them away from water sources
• Leave No Trace
Contact Information: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
1285 Fisher Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045
Phone: (607) 753-3095
DEC Hammond Hill State Forest: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/8204.html
|Hammond Hill State Forest Pictures|
Last Updated: August 15, 2008