Created By: Diane Lebo Wallace
The 3,278-acre Bush Hill State Forest provides many outdoor recreational opportunities, the most common of which are hunting and hiking.
In the 1930s, Bush Hill was the site of many work projects carried out by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC, established by the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided employment opportunities for young men during the depression. CCC projects included the construction of roads and the planting of thousands of pine, larch, and spruce trees in the open areas on this property.
Some conifer trees were planted by school children on the former Union Free School District #1 property around 1939. This property was located somewhere north of Clark Road and is now part of state ownership. This plantation area was supposed to be set aside as a "School Forest." Today there is no way to tell which trees these might be or even if they still exist.
Water holes were constructed by the CCC to provide water for fire protection of young plantations and in some cases to water trees. Some of these rock-lined water holes still exist on this unit. A nice example that can be visited today is a water hole with stone steps that is located near the Hardy Corners Road log landing.
Most of this property was cleared farm land at some time in the past, before state ownership. The remains of old stone foundations for houses and barns and rock-lined water wells are all the evidence that can be found of these today.
Maple syrup production was a common farm activity in this area. The remains of "sugar arches" that were used to make maple syrup can be found in some parts of the forest. These consisted of large metal pans built over a rock base. A wood fire was built under the pan to boil sap.
This area has been managed to provide a large amount of young forest habitat. New aspen stands that will provide grouse habitat are located off the Fox Cross Forest Road. Other mixed stands of hardwood (maples, ash, black cherry, and oaks) and conifer (spruces and pines) are nearing the stage where the stand canopy will soon fill in and shade the understory.
Forest stands have been recently cut on this state forest, making young forests consisting of mixed hardwood and conifer that are just beginning to grow. After these young stands begin to mature, more forest blocks will be cut to create new young forest stands. This type of forest management ensures a variety of habitats are available for wildlife while keeping lumber production economically and ecologically sustainable.
Some wildlife that might be seen on the unit are white-tailed deer, grouse, turkey, fox, squirrel and coyote.
FLT Map M5
This point of interest is part of the tour: History along the Finger Lakes Trail - Western Region