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North Country Trail

McCarty Hill
State Forest
Holimont Ski Area,
Holiday Valley Lean To


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This 5.2 mile section of the North Country Trail features McCarty Hill State Forest and travels from Hungry Hollow Road to NY 242 just west of Ellicottville, NY. This section of the trail runs through McCarty Hill State Forest then past the top of Holimont Ski Area, eventually descending to NY 242. There are numerous camping opportunities along this section of the NCT, including the Holiday Valley Lean To. This stretch of the NCT coincides with the white blazed Finger Lakes Trail.

The 3110 acre McCarty Hill State Forest is south of Ellicottville, NY. The state forest is located just north of the 2905 acre Rock City State Forest. There are many miles of mountain biking trails located in this state forest. This section begins near the old CCC Camp Seneca, which is now a picnic/camping area. There is a picnic pavilion and parking area located here. The trail climbs steeply on an old logging road. You'll follow old logging roads for the first mile. After crossing McCarthy Hill Road, the trail becomes rocky.  You'll cross Mutton Hollow Road, where there is a 0.3 mile blue blazed trail on your right that travels 0.3 miles to the Holiday Valley Lean To. Soon you're leaving McCarty Hill State Forest and passing by radio towers. The trail goes right by the tower enclosure. The trail follows numerous old logging tracks through this stretch.

Pass a pond, a camping area and then the trail passes the top of the Holimont Ski slopes with nice views. This next section was opened in early September 2009 as the trail begins its sometimes steep descent toward NY 242 and the Ellicottville area. There is a Post Office in Ellicottville. Look below for a map and trail description of this section of the trail.  This section of the North Country Trail also coincides with the Conservation Trail. 

View from Holimont Ski Slope (picture by Kirk Doyle)


Mile Elevation North Country Trail Description
0.0 1682 feet

Hungry Hollow Road. Parking.  Follow white blazes east.  Nearby is the old CCC Camp Seneca with a bivouac area, picnic pavilion and parking. GPS N42 13.471 W78 41.929

1.3 2195 feet

Cross McCarty Hill Road. Parking.

2.9 2326 feet

Reach and cross Mutton Hollow Road diagonally to the left.  Shoulder Parking. GPS N42 15.374 W78 41.710 A blue blazed trail on right travels 0.3 miles to the Holiday Valley Lean To. Trail passes by radio tower and leaves McCarty Hill State Forest.  Bivouac Area is nearby (no water).

3.3 2256 feet

Turn right on old logging road.

3.8 2248 feet

Primitive Campsite. Soon views from the top of Holimont Ski Slopes. Begin descent to NY 242.

4.35 2125 feet

Descent becomes steeper.

5.1 1625 feet

Reach NY 242. Turn left and follow road.

5.2 1633 feet  Trail turns right off NY 242. Shoulder parking. GPS N42 16.488 W78 41.173 End of this section. For a continuation see Poverty Hill.


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