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Hiking in Chenango County

Whaupaunaucau

 

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The 1188 acre Whaupaunaucau State Forest was purchased by the state in 1936.  The state forest has a blend of red pine, Scotch pine and Norway spruce plantations with natural hardwoods consisting of red oak, American beech, sugar maple, red maple, black cherry, white ash and eastern hemlock.

The ten acre Jeffrey's Pond (above panorama) is stocked yearly with brown trout.  Live bait is not permitted to prevent the introduction of invasive fish species which may threaten the trout population.  A large parking area is located near the pond off Post Road, which can also be used as a trail head for those hiking in the state forest.  There are a couple of unofficial campsites located near the parking area.

A lean to is located along trail 20 at the crossing of trail 17 in the state forest and is available for those looking for camping opportunities.  A permit is required for those planning to camp for more than three days anywhere in the state forest.

Lean To along trail 20

There are thirteen miles of established trails in the state forest.  These trails were created for cross country skiing, however they are enjoyed by hikers in the spring, summer and fall seasons.  The trails are marked with yellow x-c ski discs as well as each trail being numbered.  A pamphlet with a nice map (see below) is available through the NY DEC. 

This state forest is sometimes called the 'Land of the Marten' as this area was once home to this sleek member of the weasel family.  The name Whaupaunaucau is Native American, which means 'Land of the Marten'.  Although the marten no longer lives in the forest, a variety of other wildlife do.  White-tailed deer, red & grey squirrels, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, coyote, red & grey foxes and porcupine are just a few of the wild animals that make their home in this state forest.

You also may see beavers near Jeffrey's Pond.  We noticed that someone wrote in the trail register that they saw a moose in the state forest in July 2010.  You'll find this state forest a great place to visit and explore here in central New York.  Check out our short featured Whaupaunaucau Loop Hike in this state forest that will make you want to explore the forest further.

Kiosk, Trail Register and gate along Post Road in 2010 (gone in 2012)

Directions

Take NY 12 north of Norwich to NY 320. Take NY 320, which becomes King Settlement Road (County Route 29) to Post Road (there is a DEC sign for the forest). Turn left onto Post Road, and then drive up the hill to the State Forest.  There is a kiosk, trail register and large parking area at the gate.  When the gate is open, you can drive the dirt road further into the state forest.  There is a large parking area on the left for Jeffrey's Pond, which is also a great starting place for any hike.

Above: Pamphlet map  Below: Map at the kiosk from 2010

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