Robinson Hollow State Forest

History along the Finger Lakes Trail - Eastern Region

Robinson Hollow State Forest

Richford, New York 13835, United States

Created By: Diane Lebo Wallace


Robinson Hollow State Forest, like many of New York's state forests, had originally been cleared and farmed by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans. Unfortunately, the upland soils of the Allegheny Plateau are thin, relatively steep and acidic. As such, the ground is not fit for intensive farming. When combined with harsh winters and a short growing season, it is quite understandable that farmers abandoned these lands in pursuit of more fertile properties in the Midwest.

The majority of Robinson Hollow State Forest was purchased between 1934 and 1941. Five additional purchases were made in the 1960s, with two more purchases in the 1980s. The previous owners included the Oliver, Fitzcharles, Wattles, Beam, Dickenson, Wright, Allen, Hoaglin, Loring, Welch, Royce, Morton, Gardiner, Brown, Beebe, Wuensch, Cortright, and Donato families.

Between 1935 and 1939, the Slaterville Springs Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp S-125 hand planted more than 793,000 tree seedlings on the land. Another 211,000 seedlings were added in 1962 by the Conservation Department, and more than 40,000 were planted in 1963 with just a tractor and a spade. The McCormick Youth Camp hand planted more than 57,000 tree seedlings in 1966 and 1967. In 1981, another 10,000 seedlings were added to the land in Robinson Hollow. The majority of the seedlings planted were softwood species, including Norway spruce, red pine, and white pine.

Today, the landscape has been completely transformed from farm and pasture land to forest. It provides many ecological services such as soil and water conservation, carbon storage, nutrient recycling and clean air.

FLT Map M18

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


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