Winona State Forest

Winona State Forest is located just east of the towns of Lacona and  Mannsville in New York and is accessible from I-81 via the exits servicing those towns, exits 37 and 38. The Winona Forest Recreation Association maintains the forest trails and does an excellent job during ski season of grooming the main trails and clearing the back country trails of large debris.  Please consider supporting their efforts with a donation. Well groomed, dedicated cross country ski venues are rare and it is impressive to see what the volunteers do here. Check out their website, linked above, for details about donating, forest maps, ski conditions and other information about the forest and the WFRA.

In winter the trails are groomed as single tracks for skis and the opposite side of the trail is generally for snowshoes, and more recently, fat tire bikes. The northern-most trails are shared with snowmobiles. The trails do cross several forest roads, some of which are plowed for cars and some of which are groomed for snowmobiles, but can be used as is by skiers. A number of loops of varying length can be made, usually with  minimal use of the snowmobile trails.

The terrain is wooded and generally flat and crossed by many streams. There are a few small hills to navigate on the groomed trails. The back country trails have more hills and often have wet spots well into mid January. A heavy snowfall will usually cover these well enough.

Springtime use of the forest is difficult due to the poor drainage. In summer and fall the trails are nice for light hiking or biking. The area does not see much use at all during these off-peak seasons due to a variety of excellent hiking in the area and a lack of any sort of view or landmark in the forest itself to compel visitors to come here.