FAQs

WHERE DO I CAMP?

Backcountry camping is allowed on New York State Forest lands. Camping is prohibited on Unique Areas, Wildlife Management Areas and a few other categories of state land. Hiking is generally permitted anywhere on State lands, however, special restrictions apply to both mountain biking and horseback riding.

Rules and guidelines for the use of public lands managed by DEC are generally as follows:

  • Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water except at areas designated by a “camp here” disk.
  • Groups of ten or more persons OR stays of more than three days in one place require a permit from the New York State Forest Ranger responsible for the area.
  • Lean-tos are available in many areas on a first come first served basis. Lean-tos cannot be used exclusively and must be shared with other campers.

For more Camping Rules and Guidelines, visit the NYS DEC WEBSITE

 

For information on State owned lands, Use the following resources:

WHAT DO I NEED FOR HIKING?

Always check the weather prior to your hike and dress appropriately. For day hikes you don’t need much, just some comfortable shoes or boots and a backpack to carry water, layers and sun protection. For longer multi-day hikes, you’ll need to bring camping and cooking equipment.

WHAT DO I DO IF I SEE A WILD ANIMAL?

Most animals are docile, however bears and pumas can be a real concern on some hiking trails. Luckily, having a run in with one of these creatures rarely leads to any aggressive behavior and attacks are even rarer. Before you hit the trails, do your homework and find out how to avoid bears and what to do if you’re attacked and what to do if you meet a mountain lion.

WHAT IS TRAIL ETIQUETTE?

Leave what you find. You can look, but please don’t take. Leave everything that you find in the wilderness where it belongs. Avoid moving rocks, picking plants, and disturbing cultural or historic artifacts.

 

Respect wildlife. Let the wild be wild. Keep your distance and do not attract or approach animals. Never feed them food intended for humans as this disrupts their natural foraging habits. Control pets in natural areas and always keep them restrained.

 

Dispose of waste properly. Pack it in, pack it out! Also practice “negative trace” by picking up trash left by others.

WHAT LODGING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE AREA?

Chautauqua County offers numerous lodging options including hotels/motels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, cottages, vacation homes, and more. An extensive list of these options can be viewed HERE.

WHAT OTHER ATTRACTIONS DOES THE NEARBY AREA OFFER?

Chautauqua County is known for a wide range of recreational activities, history, entertainment, and the arts, as well as multiple craft food and beverage producers. Check out some of the top places to visit HERE.

WHAT TYPES OF LEARNING EXPERIENCES ARE AVAILABLE IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY?

Chautauqua County is considered the “World’s Vacation Learning Center!” Travelers and guests looking for personal growth should look no further. Check out a full list of these opportunities HERE.

WHERE CAN I EAT AFTER A DAY OUT ON THE TRAILS?

East and west combined, the Overland Trails spans more than 40 miles and passes through numerous small towns. Learn more about the unique dining options available at each! CLICK HERE.

ARE THERE OTHER TRAILS AND ATTRACTIONS NEARBY?

Other nature centers, trails and park can be viewed here.

HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM TICKS AND MOSQUITOES?

Ticks and mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are endemic to Chautauqua County. Recommendations for risk reduction clothing can be found here.

Rules and Regulations

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