Bear Swamp State Forest

Skaneateles, New York 13152

Bear Swamp State Forest

Bear Swamp State Forest Professional Review and Guide

"Over 10,000 years ago the glaciers sculpted the Finger Lakes, leaving steep valley walls and flat-topped ridges. Native Americans used this area as hunting grounds. After the Revolutionary War, veterans and their families cleared the forests and settled the area. Farming continued through the Civil War and slowly declined as the soil was depleted, until the Great Depression of 1929 hastened farm abandonment. As with other State Forest land, this land was purchased in the 1930s and replanted by the Civilian Conservation Corps with red pine, Norway spruce, and larch. You’ll pass through these replanted forests, now a mix of conifers and hardwoods. Bear Swamp State Forest is managed to maintain wildlife habitat, harvest wood products, and encourage recreational uses. The trails are well marked with round trail markers. Please stay on the marked trails. Hills tend to be long but not particularly steep. This area lies within the snowbelt and holds snow well into spring. Terrain: Hilly."

More Bear Swamp State Forest Professional Reviews and Guides

"Over 10,000 years ago the glaciers sculpted the Finger Lakes, leaving steep valley walls and flat-topped ridges. Native Americans used this area as hunting grounds. After the Revolutionary War, veterans and their families cleared the forests and settled the area. Farming continued through the Civil War and slowly declined as the soil was depleted, until the Great Depression of 1929 hastened farm abandonment. As with other State Forest land, this land was purchased in the 1930s and replanted by the Civilian Conservation Corps with red pine, Norway spruce, and larch. You’ll pass through these replanted forests, now a mix of conifers and hardwoods. Bear Swamp State Forest is managed to maintain wildlife habitat, harvest wood products, and encourage recreational uses. The trails are well marked with round trail markers. Please stay on the marked trails. Hills tend to be long but not particularly steep. This area lies within the snowbelt and holds snow well into spring. Terrain: Hilly."

"This 3,316-acre state forest is traversed by 13 miles of trails through shady forest. Over 10,000 years ago the glaciers sculpted the Finger Lakes, leaving steep valley walls and flat-topped ridges. Native Americans used this area as hunting grounds. After the Revolutionary War, veterans and their families cleared the forests and settled the area. Farming continued through the Civil War and slowly declined as the soil was depleted, until the Great Depression of 1929 hastened farm abandonment. As with other State Forest land, this land was purchased in the 1930s and replanted by the Civilian Conservation Corps with red pine, Norway spruce, and larch. You’ll pass through these replanted forests, now a mix of conifers and hardwoods. Surface: Dirt trails."

"This 3,316-acre state forest is traversed by 13 miles of trails through shady forest. Over 10,000 years ago the glaciers sculpted the Finger Lakes, leaving steep valley walls and flat-topped ridges. Native Americans used this area as hunting grounds. After the Revolutionary War, veterans and their families cleared the forests and settled the area. Farming continued through the Civil War and slowly declined as the soil was depleted, until the Great Depression of 1929 hastened farm abandonment. As with other State Forest land, this land was purchased in the 1930s and replanted by the Civilian Conservation Corps with red pine, Norway spruce, and larch. You’ll pass through these replanted forests, now a mix of conifers and hardwoods. Bear Swamp State Forest is managed using the multiple-use concept. This includes maintaining wildlife habitat, harvesting wood products, and encouraging recreational uses. The roads in Bear Swamp State Forest are rough but navigable by a vehicle. They are seasonal-use roads that are not plowed in the winter. Surface: Dirt trails."

"You can lose the blues in this sun-dappled woodland, but you won’t get lost on these well-marked trails through marshy bottomland and drier hardwood forest."

Bear Swamp State Forest Reviews

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9/1/2008
This was an enjoyable hike although there were both mountain bikers and numerous horse riders; no complaints since all have a right to enjoy the outdoors. The trail is marked with small disks with a trail number along with a few numbers on large wooden plaques up on the trees as noted on the trail map. All the faint trail lines on the map were usually prominent trails. The Loop route connects a series of these trails into a continuous route shown as the darker dashed line. Each trail section past a road or trail junction has a different trail number. The last two trail sections are numbered 2 and then 1. There were a few errors in the writeup. After crossing Bear Swamp Rd at about "5.5 miles" and heading uphill, the trail to the right just before the top of the rise is the one to take. Just follow the trail as drawn on the map after this point.
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Trail Information

Skaneateles
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
13
Distance
Several options
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Winter
Season
Snowmobiling
Additional Use
Contact information for the area and snow conditions are provided in the eTrail.
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018