Report by Julie Smith and Jeff O’Handly – Thirty three hikers enjoyed a great outing at Hicks State Forest this last Tuesday. The temperature was very comfortable with partly sunny skies. Jeff O’Handly, Program Director with OCCA, led the group on the three mile walk along leaf covered paths. He had much to tell us about the surrounding area. We saw wood ducks, beaver activity, a beaver skull, and a tree-tumor, identified by Linda Melchionne, as the “Tinder Box Fungus”. The fungus inside the rotten-looking bark makes excellent tinder for fire-starting, hence the name. We agreed that this State Forest is another of the amazing places in Otsego County to get out and enjoy a hike. Photos by Fred Johnson.