Paul State Forest

Overview

The 173-acre Paul State Forest is located in Rockingham County. Surrounded by farmland, this forest is characterized by high site and timber quality, gentle terrain, good access, and a varied flora resource. The forest features a unique “cove hardwood” section exhibiting cucumber trees, black birch, and American hornbeam. There are also examples of an American holly grove and a few scattered bigtooth aspen trees.

×To ensure your safety and enjoyment, please read Before You Visit when planning your trip to a state forest.

At a Glance

Access Status: Open to the public
Hours: Open daily from dawn until dusk

Physical Address:
Latitude/Longitude:
38° 26.11’, 79° 02.17’

Parking/Access: Access via a parking area on Clover Hill Road (Route 613).

Restroom Facilities: None

Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave-no-trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trash cans on the forest itself. ​ ​

Other Facilities: A few picnic tables in the forest

Forest History

The Paul State Forest entered the state forest system in 1962, through a gift by Federal Circuit Judge John Paul. The tract, also known locally as “Paul’s Woods,” was entirely wooded and specified to remain as such, not precluding its use for demonstration of approved forestry practices. Management has focused on the growth and regeneration of hardwoods, and sustainable production of timber.

Forest Management

The Paul State Forest is characterized by upland and cove hardwoods. The forest is a living laboratory for managing a valuable timber resource in such a manner that other public benefits are not permanently impaired. Establishing a balance between timber production and public use can be a challenging task, but it allows for demonstration of the benefits of integrating the practice of sound silviculture and forest resource management with other uses.

The 19-acre parcel adjacent to Clover Hill Road (Route 613) has been designated as a natural area. There are 5 picnic tables with in-gravel pedestals, donated by the Turner Ashby High School chapter of the Future Farmers of America. This area supports a stand dominated by mature white oaks in excess of 192 years. The remaining 154 acres are utilized primarily for timber production and research.

Recreational Opportunities

Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave-no-trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trash cans on the forest itself.

ATV/ORV use, camping, and swimming are prohibited on all State Forests.

A State Forest Use Permit* is required for individuals aged 16 and older to hunt, fish, trap, horseback ride, or mountain bike on state forest lands. The permit can be purchased online at or where hunting licenses are sold.

Trails and Roads

  • 2 miles of gated forest roads – no vehicles

Hiking

Hiking is permitted on all forest roads.

A GPS unit or compass is recommended for navigation.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is permitted on all forest roads.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is permitted on all forest roads.

State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins test report with each horse on state lands.

Fishing and Boating

None

Hunting and Trapping

None

Other Recreational Opportunities

Five picnic tables are available. Visitors should plan to pack out all trash.

Other passive recreational opportunities, such as wildlife watching and nature photography, are available.

Educational Opportunities
  • Self-learning opportunities are available.
  • Self-guided educational opportunities – interpretive signs.
  • Formal education programs are available upon request.
Contact Us

For more information or questions, e-mail us or use our contact form.

State Forest Main Office
Located at Cumberland State Forest
751 Oak Hill Road, Cumberland, VA 23040-2511
E-mail | (804) 492-4121

Maps and Additional Resources
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