Out of doors recreation group calls new 110-foot bridge in Tug Hill state forest a ‘sport changer’


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation just opened a new bridge over the Little Sandy Creek Bridge in the Winona State Forest. The 110-foot timber structure is located in the Tug Hill town of Boylston, Oswego County.

The new bridge is part of the new 1.6km Little Sandy Creek Trail, which was completed this fall in partnership with the Winona Forest Recreation Association. The trail connects the existing Winona Way Trail to the Bargy Road Trail and continues to the newly added Stinson Creek Trail. DEC employees and WFRA volunteers built the new trail segments.

“By investing in strategic infrastructure projects like the Little Sandy Creek Bridge and trail improvements in the Winona State Forest, DEC is increasing access to year-round recreational opportunities for all outdoor enthusiasts,” said Randall Young, Director of Region 6.

A new 110-foot bridge over Little Sandy Creek in the Winona State Forest will open the south end of the unit to outdoor recreation.

WFRA President Matt Westerlund called the new bridge a “game changer” and a key component in a larger project to expand the forest trail loop to 25km, making it one of the longest competitive loops in the region. WFRA hosts popular cross-country skiing, biking, snowshoeing, and trail running events in the Winona State Forest.

“This makes Winona Events a standout event in the leisure events community,” said Westerlund. “Our events are world class and growing in popularity across the US and beyond. The bridge enables a connection to underused areas that are logistically inaccessible without the bridge.”

Located in southern Jefferson County and northern Oswego County on the western edge of the Tug Hill Plateau, the 9,233-acre Winona State Forest includes 50 km of cross-country ski trails, 14 km of snowmobile trails, and 9.9 km of logging roads.

The bridge project received approximately $56,000 in funding from NY Works and is part of DEC’s Adventure NY Initiative, a program aimed at expanding access to outdoor recreation, protecting natural resources and boosting the local economy.

Steve Featherstone reports on nature for The Post-Standard, syracuse.com and NYUP.com. Reach out to him at [email protected] or on Twitter @featheroutdoors. You can also follow all of our outdoor content at newyorkupstate.com/outdoors/ or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/upstatenyoutdoors.