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Hiking in Madison County
New York State Lands

Charles E. Baker

 

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Named after the first District Forester who administered this State Forest, totaling 9,419 acres make up the core area for the Brookfield Trail System which is located in southeast Madison County. This highly acclaimed horse and snowmobile trail system has over 130 miles of trails set throughout five state forests in southeastern Madison County.

The Charles E. Baker State Forest is one of the largest solid blocks of public lands outside the Catskill and Adirondack forest preserves. From 1948 to 1983, a fire tower once rose above the forest.  During fire season, an observer lived in a cabin at the base of the tower.  The area is now a day use area.

The assembly area on Moscow Road is the beginning of the Brookfield Trail System.  The assembly and camping area can accommodate campers and approximately 150 horses with covered tie stalls, stallion box stalls, a pavilion and picnicking and camping facilities.  Drinking water, accessible toilets and a mounting platform for people with disabilities is also provided.

The recreational trails are open for hiking, horse or snowmobile use only. Equestrian riding has a season set from May 1st through October 31st each year.  There are numerous opportunities for loop hikes in this huge state forest.

A twelve mile "auto tour" of the state forest is also worth checking out.  A free guide is available at the Moscow Road assembly area.  The majority of the roads on this tour are seasonal truck trails developed and maintained by the NY DEC.  They are narrow and are not plowed during winter months.  You can drive most types of vehicles on the roads and do not need a 4x4 to enjoy the auto tour.

 

Trail 45 in Charles E. Baker State Forest

Directions:  To access the forest, take NY 12 to Madison County Route 74 (Larkin Road) heading East. This will bring you to Moscow road. Turn right and proceed south approximately 1/4 mile. The camping and assembly areas will be on your left. A parking area in the assembly area will offer space for large rigs and day use parking.

Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water, roads or trail.

CNY Hiking HOME PAGE Hiking in Madison County Hiking in Central New York Brookfield Auto Tour Hiking Safety