Monday ยท February 5, 2024
Sugar Hill State Forest: Where Adventure Meets Wilderness
Author: Admin
Sugar Hill State Forest Horse Campsite in New York | Top Horse Trails

In the heart of New York's enchanting landscapes, where whispers of the wind through towering pines create a symphony of nature, Sugar Hill State Forest stands as a testament to the allure of outdoor exploration. Encompassing a vast 9,085 acres, this forest is not just a sanctuary for nature lovers; it's an expansive canvas for equestrian adventures.

Diverse Trails Beckon

The soul of Sugar Hill State Forest lies in its diverse trail systems. The Six Nations Trail System, a multi-use marvel, intertwines with the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail, creating a labyrinth of possibilities for hikers and horseback riders alike. Amongst the green embrace of the forest, riders can lose themselves in the captivating beauty of the Finger Lakes region.

The Sugar Hill Recreation Area: Camping Haven

For those seeking a night under the star-studded canopy, the Sugar Hill Recreation Area unfolds as the largest designated camping haven within the forest. Nestled at 3360 Tower Hill Rd, Watkins Glen, NY, this nine-acre open field is a canvas waiting for campers to paint their wilderness tales. Equipped with 26 designated campsites featuring fire rings and picnic tables, the area beckons adventurers on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Upon arrival, the process is simple; fill out a self-issued camping permit and let the enchantment of Sugar Hill embrace you. With no reservation system, the spontaneity of adventure is celebrated. However, if the camping haven is full upon arrival, the forest graciously opens its arms, encouraging explorers to seek another serene spot within its vast expanse.

A Symphony of Nature

Beyond the campsites, Sugar Hill State Forest is adorned with treasures like the Sugar Hill Fire Tower and five cozy lean-tos, each adding a unique note to the symphony of nature. Here, where every trail tells a story and every campsite becomes a chapter, adventurers find more than a forest; they find a tapestry of experiences waiting to be woven.

Come, discover Sugar Hill State Forest—a realm where the spirit of adventure dances with the whispers of ancient trees, and every hoofbeat adds a rhythm to the song of the wild.



Sugar Hill Rec Area Parking Lot - From Schuyler County Route 23, go south on Tower Hill Road, from Schuyler CR 16 go north on CR 21, then west on Tower Hill Road. The entrance is on the south side of Tower Hill Road.

Lower Evergreen Hill Rec Area Parking Lot - From Schuyler CR 23 go south on CR 21 then west on CR 16 then north on Evergreen Hill Road. The entrance is on the west side of Tower Hill Road.


Sugar Hill State Forest offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • A picnic area with picnic tables
  • Pavilion
  • An accessible horse-mounting platform
  • Open horse stalls
  • A restroom with potable water is available (in the Summer months)
  • Access to the Six Nations Trail System and Sugar Hill Fire Tower
  • Fire rings
  • Pit privy


Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. No trash pickup is provided. These are carry-in, and carry-out facilities.

The Sugar Hill Rec Area - horse-mounting platform; primitive campsite, restrooms; paved path to the picnic pavilion; picnic area.

The Lower Evergreen Rec Area - picnic tables and a pit privy.


Cost Details:

  • Contact for details



  • Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.
  • Quiet hours from 10 PM to 7 AM.
  • Clean up after all your animals
  • No pets in bathrooms.
  • No smoking in any buildings, including stalls.
  • No horses in the picnic/fire tower area, or the side hill of the camping area.
  • No loose horses, dogs, or other pets in the Sugar Hill Recreation Area.
  • No paddocks or electric fencing in camping or picnic areas. Paddock and electric fence only in the radio tower area.
  • No camper hookups to water spigot or electrical outlets.
  • No littering, use provided trash cans or "carry it in - carry it out".
  • No damaging live trees, including tying horses directly to them.
  • There is no reservation system, if you arrive and it is full you will have to find another location to camp.
  • General Rules for Horseback Riding on DEC Land


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:





Sugar Hill State Forest does not require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Sugar Hill State Forest for more information