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North Country Trail

Bush Hill
State Forest


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This 5.9 mile section of the North Country Trail features Bush Hill State Forest. This state forest had a microburst in 2013 that caused some damage in the forest. The white blazed Finger Lakes Trail coincides with the NCT on this stretch of trail.

This section begins on private property off Kingsbury Hill Road, before entering the 3109 acre Bush Hill State Forest after 2.25 miles of hiking. It is due to the generosity of the landowners that allow the trail to cross their property. Please stay on the trail while on private property. There is no camping on private property. You may see hunters on this stretch of trail during hunting season. Be sure to wear blaze, keep your dogs leashed, hike quietly and don't wonder off the trail while on PRIVATE PROPERTY.

This section of the trail has an overall elevation gain of nearly 850 feet. There is also the opportunity for a 4.3 mile loop hike within the forest utilizing the NCT and the state forest road. The NCT turns right off Kingsbury Hill Road and follows the edge of a field on private property. The trail turns left through a hedgerow and crosses a dirt lane.  The trail passes through a pine forest before skirting a field in a hardwood forest.

The trail briefly enters a field before reentering the woods and crossing a farm lane. The trail turns right and skirts another field, then veers left entering a hardwood forest. The trail veers left before entering Bush Hill State Forest. Thru hikers will find camping opportunities in Bush Hill State Forest. The trail skirts a stand of pines before crossing dirt Peet Hill Road (plowed in winter).

The NCT will veer near the state forest seasonal road before entering a pine forest. The trail leaves the pines and enters more hardwoods then makes a right turn. During this next section the trail crosses numerous logging/ATV tracks. Watch for the white blazes. Soon begin a steep drop of 300 feet to a stream crossing that could get your feet wet sometimes, depending on the weather.

The trail now climbs again and enters another evergreen forest, drops briefly to cross another stream before climbing steady toward year round Stebbins Road. The trail follows the road for 200 feet before turning right into red pines. The trail turns left into a dark section of Norway spruce before reaching a clearing and Stebbins Road again.

The trail follows Stebbins Road again until the end of a clear cut area on your right. The trail turns right off the road and back into evergreens. The trail will turn left into deep woods spruce before reaching Stebbins Road one last time at the state forest boundary and the end of this section. Look below for a map and trail description of this section of the trail. Watch for reroutes within this section of the trail.

DEC sign along Stebbins Road

Major clear cut logging operation along the trail in 2013


Mile Elevation North Country Trail Description  (Follow white blazes)
0.0 1887 ft

After road walk, turn right off Kingsbury Hill Road along field edge. Shoulder Parking. GPS N42 21.720 W78 25.066

1.35 1972 ft

Trail turns right.

1.6 1968 ft

Begin to ascend.

2.1 2083 ft

Trail descends toward state forest boundary.

2.25 2024 ft

Enter Bush Hill State Forest.  Trail follows boundary line.

2.35 1991 ft

Trail turns right into state forest.

2.9 2063 ft

Cross dirt Peet Hill Road. Some camping. Parking. GPS N42 22.516 W78 22.361

3.2 2165 ft

Highest point along FLT/NCT in Bush Hill State Forest.

3.55 2079 ft

Trail turns right.  Many logging and ATV tracks in area.  Follow white blazes.

3.7 2049 ft


3.95 2139 ft

Begin a steep 300 descent, sometimes on short switchbacks.

4.45 1831 ft

Cross stream.  Could get feet wet.  Camping opportunity.

4.9 1921 ft

Cross stream.  Camping possible.

5.15 2022 ft

Reach Stebbins Road. Turn left, follow road for 200 feet then right into red pines. Shoulder Parking. GPS N42 22.482 W78 20.295

5.35 2082 ft

Trail turns left into a dark passage through Norway Spruce.

5.5 2064 ft

Turn right on Stebbins Road.

5.7 2096 ft

Just past clear cut on right, trail turns right into woods.

5.9 2151 ft

Reach state forest boundary and Stebbins Road one last time.  Parking. GPS N42 22.909 W78 20.287 End of this section.  The trail continues to follow Stebbins Road uphill, then turns right onto Bush Hill Road.  There are views along Bush Hill Road.  Just past the intersection for West Branch Road there is a DEC sign for Farmersville State Forest and the continuation of the trail.

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