Mariposa State Forest

History along the Finger Lakes Trail

Mariposa State Forest

DeRuyter, New York 13052, United States

Created By: Diane Lebo Wallace


The first pioneer settlements in this area began in 1784 when Deacon and Jesse Catlin created Catlin Settlement in what is now the hamlet of Lincklaen. The forested hills in this area were cleared for crops and pasture land. The settlers discovered that the hills in this area were well suited for sheep grazing, so sheep were common livestock on the early farms. After the Civil War, these agricultural lands were converted to dairy farms as the demand for dairy products increased. Many of the dairy farms went out of business during the 1930s due to the poor economy and less productive soils found on the hilltops. Beginning in 1932, these lands were acquired by New York State for the establishment of Mariposa State Forest.

This state forest is located on an area of rolling hilltops that are separated by a series of streams which flow south to the Otselic River. The forest consists of a mixture of native hardwoods with areas of conifer plantations that were mostly established by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1932 and 1940.

Common native tree species found in this area are sugar maple, red maple, black cherry, white ash, quaking aspen and hemlock. The conifer plantations were established on former agricultural crop or pasture land and consist mostly of planted red pine, Norway spruce and white pine.

Mariposa State Forest is managed by DEC foresters for wildlife habitat, timber production, outdoor recreation and watershed protection. DEC foresters use sustainable forestry practices to ensure that the land is protected for future generations while also providing for current uses. Trees are periodically harvested to be used for the production of hardwood and softwood lumber, utility poles, paper, log cabins and furniture. The management of this forest creates a variety of forest habitat conditions necessary for a diversity of wildlife.

FLT Map M22

This point of interest is part of the tour: History along the Finger Lakes Trail


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