Oneida County, NY

Oneida County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 234,878. The county seat is Utica. The name is in honor of the Oneida, an Iroquoian tribe that lives in the region.

Oneida County is in the central portion of New York State, east of Syracuse, and west of Albany. Oneida Lake is on the northwestern corner of the county, and the Adirondack Park is on the northeast. Part of the Tug Hill Plateau is in the northern part of the county. Interestingly, Oneida County's highest point does not lie on either the plateau nor in the Adirondack Park, but in the county's southern extremity. The peak's name is Tassel Hill. It is located slightly southeast of Hardscrabble Road (Tassel Hill Road), between the villages of Waterville and Cassville.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oneida_County,_New_York

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Alfred J Woodford State Forest
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Map: Punkeyville State Forest
Oriskany Flats WMA
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Penn Mountain State Forest
Popple Pond State Forest
Rome Sand Plains
Rome WMA
Stone Barn State Forest
Utica Marsh
Webster Hill State Forest
Woodhull State Forest

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Map: Woodhull State Forest

Map: Woodhull State Forest

Woodhull State Forest and Forestport Detached Forest Preserve consists of 566 of state land managed for timber and 431 acres of forever wild forest preserve. This mix of forest cover -- some cut and some forever wild makes for ample wildlife. It also is an access site for fishing in Woodhull Creek. Prominently located on NY 28, you have most likely driven through it on your way back from Old Forge to Forestport.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/pfrwoodhullck.pdf

Map: Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Map: Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area

In the late 1970's, the City of Utica awarded DEC 50 acres of river flood plain with the condition that the state begin buying additional land here and managing this wetland area. Now the WMA contains 213 acres, has 2 observation towers, one viewing platform with a ramp and hardened trail, several trails complete with boardwalks over the wet areas, water control dikes, parking areas, a pavilion and car top boat launch site on the Mohawk River. A large parking lot and boat ramp are located on the Barge Canal just off the north west corner of the WMA and a bike trail passes along the marsh and barge canal on the north.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9323.html

Map: Otter Lake

Map: Otter Lake

Otter Lake is a 282 acre, class A lake found in the Town of Forestport in Oneida County, in the
southwestern Adirondack region of New York State. It is located off of NY 28 and is near the hamlet of Otter Lake on your way up to Old Forge. There is a public parking area and car top boat launch on the south-eastern tip of the lake.

To access it, you must go north of the lake on NY 28 to Lake View Road, and drive all the way around the lake on Lake View Road, until you reach the southern tip.

Map: Rome Sand Plains

Map: Rome Sand Plains

Rome Sand Plains is a 15,000-acre (61 km2) pine barrens consisting of a mosaic of sand dunes extending about 50 feet (15 m) above low peat bogs that lie between the dunes. The barrens are covered with mixed northern hardwood forests, meadows, and wetlands. The sand plains are about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the city center of Rome, New York, which is in Oneida County; about 4,000 acres (16 km2) presently lie in conservation preserves. Pine barrens are typical of seacoasts; the Rome Sand Plains is one of only a handful of inland pine barrens remaining in the United States.

E. W. Russell has described the Sand Plains as follows, "The landscape today forms a sharp contrast with the surrounding flat, fertile farmland, which is almost all cleared of trees and planted in crops. Uplands, including some dunes, support forest vegetation of American beech, white oak (Quercus alba), red and sugar maples, white and pitch pine (Pinus strobus and P. rigida), gray birch (Betula populifolia), hemlock, aspen (Populus spp.), American elm, and other northern hardwood species. Some uplands are also characterized as pitch pine heaths, dominated by pitch pines with an understory of blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) and other related (ericaceous) shrubs. Pitch pine is the characteristic tree of the wetlands, along with aspen, gray birch, and red maple, along with an ericaceous shrub layer."

There are several rare species in the Sand Plains, including the purple pitcher plant and a sundew (both of which are carnivorous plants), red-shouldered hawks, martens, and the frosted elfin butterfly, which is a threatened species in New York State.[3] Other species to be found include wild blue lupine (also rare, and the food for the frosted elfin), barrens buckmoth (Hemileuca maia), whippoorwill, pine warbler and pitch pine, normally indigenous to coastal areas.

The Rome Sand Plains were owned privately through about 1980. The sand was mined to make molds and cores for metal casting. An application for a permit to mine sand around 1980 triggered an effort to protect the area. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began purchasing lands, working with The Nature Conservancy and other organizations. 1,700 acres (690 ha) of the Sand Plains have been purchased by the DEC, and are designated as the Rome Sand Plains Unique Area. The Nature Conservancy holds another 1,000 acres (400 ha). The Izaak Walton League holds about 440 acres (180 ha), Oneida County holds an additional 770 acres (310 ha) as a County Forest, and a few acres are held by the City of Rome. A map showing these holdings was released by the DEC in 2008; the map shows the location of three foot trails maintained by the DEC and one by the Izaak Walton League. A consolidated management plan involving all five preserves, and addressing the entire Sand Plains area, was released in 2006

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Sand_Plains
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8080.html

Map: Punkeyville State Forest

Map: Punkeyville State Forest

The 518-acre Punkeyville State Forest was purchased in 2012, making it the newest state forest in the region. It received its name through a contest in which students from Forestport Elementary School submitted potential names. Punkeyville was an early name for the area that is now Forestport. This was also the site of a commercial trout farm years ago. Some of the rearing ponds and raceways are still evident. There are no developed facilities except for the roads that cross these lands.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/107771.html