New Island Hike – Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Report by Lucille Wiggin – New Island hike July 30, started at the new kiosk in the Cattella Park section of Neahwa Park with the gathering of twenty-four ADK members and four interested people, all curious about the now official access to New Island. The (no longer really an island) is also not new. The area was once cut off from Oneonta by Electric Lake which was filled in for I-88. It was named in honor of Dr. John New, a beloved SUNY Oneonta biology prof., chair of that Dept. for many years and founder of today’s Oneonta Environmental Board. He was Mr. Environmentalist back in the 1960s, long before saving the environment was such an urgent cause.
The 3.5 mi. walk is quite flat and takes one thru the newly installed gate at the corner of the I-88 west bound off ramp and Lettis Hwy., under I-88, across the east bound on ramp and onto the trail. From there it is mowed, marked and maintained by a group of students put together by Al Sosa, retired SUNY Oneonta Physical Education Dept. It passes the South Side Dam and fishing sites, crosses a couple of foot bridges, follows the old RR bed to a former bridge site and loops back to the siding used to turn the trains around for their return run to Stamford. The Ulster and Delaware RR ran from Kingston thru Stamford to Oneonta; the depot is now the Depot Restaurant on Railroad Ave. Some of us remember leaving that depot, maybe 40 years ago, with our children’s school groups for a train ride on the first DO Line operation. Afraid some of us are becoming parts of the area history ourselves.  Photographs by Scott and Doug Fielder.

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