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North Country Trail
This 7.25 mile section of the North Country Trail features Bully Hill State Forest. This section of NCT coincides with the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail.
The North Country Trail enters the 3513 acre Bully Hill State Forest off Bush Road (see panorama above) just prior to the seasonal road sign, north of County Route 32. Bully Hill State Forest was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC in the 1930's. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine and spruce trees in the open areas on this state land.
After gradually climbing for just over a half a mile you'll reach the Bully Hill Lean To, newly built in 2017 and a outhouse at the junction of little streams. After crossing the dirt Mike Dixson Road (gated), the trail levels out to its highest elevation in the state forest at 2201 feet as it passes through spruce and red pine. The trail reaches seasonal dirt Karr Road and you can follow the blue blazes a short distance to a piped spring.
The FLT/NCT follows along a creek as it descends gently toward Bully Hill Road. Look for the evidence of the farms that once were here a long time ago as you hike this section. You will also see a few small waterfalls as the trail follows along the main stream and crosses some small streams.
The trail reaches, follows briefly then leaves Bully Hill Road and gently climbs toward Karr Road. There are a few winter views toward the south and I-86. Prior to reaching Karr Road there is a trail register. After crossing Karr Road the trail goes another 0.8 mile prior to reaching a gate and enters PRIVATE PROPERTY. The trail is closed on this private property from May 1-31 and Oct 1 - Dec 31 for hunting. This closing is from the state forest boundary to Bishopville Road.
The trail steeply descends on the private property towards Bishopville Road. Since the loss of permission from a land owner, the trail no longer heads toward the Kanakadea Lean To. Now the trail follows Bishopville Road briefly over a creek, then turns right off the road. The trail descends toward the creek, then ascends up switchbacks and eventually runs parallel to Bishopville Road. This new section of trail is also closed from May 1-31 and Oct 15 - Dec 15 for hunting. At the highway departments road, the trail turns left following the road. At the junction, the trail makes a "hard right" onto Wilson Karr Road, following the road. This section ends where Wilson Karr Road reaches Bishopville Road. Currently, there is a road walk until the next off road section of trail.
To reach the Bully Hill State Forest from Interstate 86, take exit 33 (Almond), go west on County Route 2 about 1 mile, and turn right onto the Bully Hill Road for less than a mile to enter State land. This section of trail is located nearby to SUNY @ Alfred and Alfred University.
NOTE: This moderate 7.25 mile section of trail has an overall elevation gain of over 1200 feet.
NCT entering Bully Hill State Forest from Bush Road
Bully Hill Lean To
NCT following the DEC road in Bully Hill State Forest
Karr Road near Bully Hill Road
NCT briefly follows Bully Hill Road
Mile Elevation North Country Trail Description (Follow white blazes) 0.0 1635 feet
This section starts as the trail leaves Bush Road near seasonal road sign. Enter Bully Hill State Forest. Parking. GPS N42 21.538 W77 49.207
0.6 1811 feet
Bully Hill Lean To (built 2017) with outhouse on the right, prior to crossing stream.
1.3 2115 feet
Cross Mike Dixson Road.
1.6 2201 feet
High point along trail in Bully Hill State Forest. Trail turns right.
1.75 2182 feet
Turn right on seasonal dirt DEC Road. Parking.
1.85 2170 feet
Trail goes straight as dirt road veers right.
2.2 1981 feet
Reach Karr Road. Follow road briefly then turn right after bridge over creek. NCT descends following along side creek for next 1.5 miles. Blue blazed trail following dirt road leads 0.25 mile to piped spring (treat water). Parking. GPS N42 20.738 W77 47.506
3.75 1581 feet
Reach dirt Bully Hill Road. Turn right and follow road briefly.
3.8 1573 feet
Cross stream on bridge, then turn left along stream. Trail climbs.
4.5 2019 feet
4.65 2018 feet
Cross seasonal dirt Karr Road. Parking.
5.4 1881 feet
Leave Bully Hill State Forest and enter PRIVATE PROPERTY. Descend sometimes steeply. NOTE: This 0.4 mile section of trail from here to Bishopville Road is CLOSED for HUNTING from May 1-31 and Oct 1 - Dec 31.
5.8 1587 feet
Reach Bishopville Road. Turn left on road. Parking on shoulder. GPS N42 20.546 W77 44.852
5.9 1518 feet
After crossing creek on bridge, turn right off road. NOTE: This 0.75 mile section of trail from here to Wilson Karr Road is CLOSED for hunting from May 1-31 and Oct 15 - Dec 15.
6.0 1493 feet
Cross small stream then climb using switchbacks.
6.35 1655 feet
Reach highway department road and turn left following road.
6.65 1593 feet
Turn right onto Wilson Karr Road.
7.25 1511 feet
Reach Bishopville Road and the end of this section. The NCT turns right following Bishopville Road, then a right onto Pennsylvania Hill Road. For a continuation see the Bald Hill section.
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