As Lee Ann and Rick Myers of Oneonta completed the Otsego Outdoors Fall Octet Challenge, it marked the 5000th trek Octet participants have completed. A collaborative program of Otsego 2000, the Otsego Land Trust and Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego Outdoors connects residents and visitors with year-round recreational opportunities in and near Otsego County.
Two new trails are featured in the Winter Octet Challenge, which runs through March 19th. The new Orange trail at Parslow Road Conservation Area in Hartwick more than doubles the hiking opportunities there.
Also new to the Octet Challenge is the Glenn Waffle Memorial Natural Trail in Laurens, which will be open for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing beginning on January 6th, 2023. The 3.7-mile trail, which loops around Colonial Ridge Golf Course, was established, and is maintained by Glenn Waffle’s family to memorialize him and his love of the outdoors.
The Winter Octet Challenge also features four state parks (Glimmerglass, Gilbert Lake, Betty and Wilbur Davis, and Robert V. Riddell), two state forests (Texas School House and Goodyear Lake Waterway Access), the Clark Tower Trail, the Rogers Environmental Center, the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary, and Fortin Park.
Glimmerglass State Park and Gilbert Lake State Park each have groomed trails for cross country skiing, and there is no entry fee in the winter. When people complete eight of the featured activities, they receive a free embroidered Winter Octet patch and/or a year patch. They also get listed on the Otsego Outdoors Challenge roster.
First Day Hikes and Outdoor Events
Along with the featured parks, forests, and trails, people can earn credit for the Winter Octet by participating in an outdoor event. First Day Hikes on January 1st are being held at Glimmerglass State Park, Gilbert Lake State Park, the Rogers Environmental Education Center, and other state parks and forests. When conditions permit, Glimmerglass State Park will offer tubing Saturday and Sundays in January and February. The Susquehanna Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club leads weekly hikes on Tuesdays at 9:45 am that are open to the public. The Otsego County Conservation Association has several upcoming events in January, including a family hike, an astronomy program, and a hemlock wooly adelgid volunteer training with the Butternut Valley Alliance.
For more information visit the Otsego Outdoors website or call (607) 547-8881.
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