The Finger Lakes National Forest is comprised of about 15,374
acres, which makes it one of (if not the smallest) National
Forest in the system. It is located between Seneca and Cayuga
Lakes in the Finger Lakes region of north-western New York. There
are two developed campgrounds, of which one met the selection criteria.
The Finger Lakes National Forest is a forest often overlooked. Most people don't realize there is a beautiful national forest adjacent to New York state's wine country. The rolling hills, healthy forest, and abundant wildlife of Finger Lakes National Forest are within a comfortable two-hour drive of the metropolitan areas of Rochester, Binghamton, and Syracuse, New York. Great camping locations, hiking, fishing, berry picking, auto touring, and observing the ever changing landscape are just a few of the recreation opportunities found here.
A young National Forest, as far as national forests go, the Finger Lakes National Forest began during the Great Depression of the 1930s with the Federal Government acquiring over 100 foreclosed farms. The land had been used for more than a century and the soil suffered a serious depletion of valuable nutrients making farming an unprofitable activity. In 1983 this patchwork of public lands became the Finger Lakes National Forests.
The Finger Lakes National Forest offers lots of "room-to-roam" with one developed campground centrally located and convenient to the forest's network of trails. This campground, well suited to car, tent, recreational vehicle (RV) and motorhome camping enthusiasts, is called Blueberry Patch for the adjacent large patch of wild blueberries. This tiny, single loop campground is a special treat for campers. Looping through a stand of mature hardwoods, Blueberry Patch has a semi-wilderness feel without the inconvenience. Thirty-miles of trails can be reached from Blueberry Patch campground as well as from the nearby Backbone horse campground. These trails wind through the forest past many old homesteads, over shrub land, pastures, and through tranquil woodlands.
Finger Lakes National Forest is also well located for short trips to the area's many seasonal activities and attractions. Watkins Glen State Park, with its sculptured chasm and nineteen waterfalls, various glacier-carved lakes, Finger Lakes State Parks, the Watkins Glen International Speedway, William H. Seward House, and Renaissance Festival are just a few of the outstanding day trips possible from Blueberry Patch campground. Of course, this is wine country. With over two dozen vineyards and wineries close by, touring this famous area will take more than a weekend.
Fisheries in the Finger Lakes National Forest provide both cold and warm water fishing. Many of the ponds in the Forest are stocked annually. Healthy populations of Rainbow and Brook trout, Largemouth bass, Yellow perch and Sunfish are available for anglers throughout the forest.
The Finger Lakes National Forest has grown from a need for soil stabilization to a diverse, multi-use piece of public land tucked between Cayuga and Seneca lakes. Finger Lakes National Forest may not be as well-known as the numerous State Parks, private campgrounds, and many delightful attractions in the area but that only means more room for those who have discovered this wonderful place. The beauty and solitude found in Finger Lakes National Forest brings visitors back time and time again.
231 N. Main St.
Rutland, Vermont 05701
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
5218 State Route 414
Hector, New York 14841