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Gee Brook

 

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The 833 acre Gee Brook State Forest is located in the town of Cincinnatus in Southeastern Cortland County.  This popular state forest has two seperate parcels, a southern parcel accessed via the Ace of Spades Forest Access seasonal dirt road off Gee brook Road and a northern parcel which includes the highly popular Calico Pond.  Calico Pond is accessed via hiking an old road and a small parking area is on dirt Calico Pond Access Road off NY 41. 

We have more information on the short scenic hike to Calico Pond below, including a map, pictures and a video.  This easy, pleasant walk can be enjoyed by all members of the family.

The Calico Pond area of Gee Brook State Forest used to be a very popular formal camping area. However, the access bridge leading to Calico Pond over Gee Brook was condemned for cars and is now a footbridge (see panorama above).  One camping spot (#7) is still being used by some visitors and is located near the pond.

Directions:

Gee Brook State Forest is divided into two main sections. The northern section may be accessed by taking NY 41 to the Calico Pond Public Forest Access Road at the DEC sign for Calico Pond Day Use Area, and parking is available, but limited to the shoulder of the road plus a small parking area near the gate.  There is room for three cars in the small parking area.

The southern section can be accessed by taking NY 41 to Gee Brook Road, and then Gee Brook Road to the Ace of Spades Public Forest Access Road. Again, parking is limited, but available along the shoulder of the road.  This road gets rough as you enter the main forest past the boulders.


Calico Pond Hike

A pleasant 0.4 mile walk to scenic Calico Pond is main feature of this easy hike.  You can explore further on a trail that leads past the pond (we went 0.25 miles before turning around) and has nice views of Gee Brook down below in a ravine.  There are also small waterfalls on Gee Brook reached by following a faint herd path off the main trail.

From the small parking area near the gate on Calico Pond Access Road, start your hike by passing by the yellow stop gate.  There is a steep trail that leads from the parking area, however we would recommend taking the old road.  The old road curves down on many small rounded stones as it makes its way to large boulders at the old bridge.  The bridge once took vehicles to the pond, now allows hikers a way to cross Gee Brook.

After crossing the bridge, the trail turns right at 0.1 miles onto the old Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad bed.  At 0.2 miles there is a faint herd path that leads a few hundred feet to small waterfalls on Gee Brook.  You may hear the gentle sounds of the waterfalls that may make you want to explore as it did us.  The waterfalls are small but are very scenic and looks to be a nice spot to relax.

The trail curves and ascends as it moves off the railroad bed at 0.3 miles and back on an old woods road.  Soon you see an opening ahead before reaching views of the pond at 0.4 miles.  Across an outlet of rocks a trail continues past an old campsite on the right (campsite #7) that looks like it is still being used.  Soon the other trail goes into the forest and you'll notice views of Gee Brook below.

Calico Pond looks to be a pleasant spot to spread a blanket and have a picnic.  To return simply retrace your steps back to your vehicle.  The overall elevation gain for the main hike to Calico Pond is less than 60 feet making this an extremely easy hike.  Look below for a few pictures, a video and map of this hike as well as a DEC map of the state forest.

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Calico Pond

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Trail in Gee Brook State Forest

 

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