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Hiking in Madison County
New York State Lands
Stoney Pond State Forest has 1,469 acres of state land to explore. The 44 acre Stoney Pond features largemouth bass and panfish. The pond is home to blue herons, Canadian geese, mallard ducks and other waterfowl. A parking area and boat launching ramp is located on the pond. No gas powered motors are permitted. A day use area is located adjacent to the boat ramp.
The 13 mile long Stoney Pond Nordic Ski Trail System is very popular in this state forest. The trails wind through both natural forests plus plantations and around Stoney Pond. Most trails are designed for skiers with a beginner or intermediate skill level. These trails are great for hiking during the spring, summer and fall.
Camping is only allowed at the 17 designated campsites and requires a use permit between May 1 and September 30. Free permits may be obtained from the DEC Lands & Forests Office in Sherburne, in person or by calling (607) 674-4017 extension 602 between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm Monday through Friday. You can go the the NY DEC website directly for more information and camping rules. The sites usually are full two weeks in advance, so plan your FREE camping trip accordingly.
The camping sites are varied. Two sites can only be reached by walking a short distance via trail. Most of the sites are nestled among a white pine plantation at the south end of Stoney Pond along the gravel loop road. Each site contains a fireplace. A couple of porta-potty's service the camping area. There is no running water at the campsites.
This is a great state forest worth exploring anytime of the year. Stoney Pond State Forest is located near the SUNY @ Morrisville campus for those college students looking for outdoor recreation nearby.
Directions: From US 20 in the hamlet of Nelson, head south on the Eireville Road for approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Old State Road, heading east. In approximately 2.5 miles, head south on Jones Road to the State Forest. The unsigned dirt road will be on the left. There are "No Tresspassing" signs on both sides of the dirt road. This is the dirt road. The GPS coordinates of Stoney Pond Road junction with Jones Road is N42 52.804 W75 43.406. The GPS coordinates of the southern trailhead parking area along Jones Road is N42 52.968 W75 43.414. This is the Trail #1 trailhead.
Campsite 7 in Stoney Pond State Forest
Near the northern trailhead located on Jones Road.
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