New Island Hike – Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Report by Aleda Koehn – A great day for a walk. Group started at Catella Park and walked along the designated pathway along the right side of the field. To reach New Island, one has to cross the I-88 Exit, go under the highway, and then cross the I-88 entrance before walking down the hill to the trail. The park is tucked between I-88 and the Susquehanna River, somewhat noisy in places but an interesting area. The trail makes a loop through a wooded area before coming out by the Southside dam. This is another place where the Regatta participants have to portage around a dam. Although there is a road here that comes off the highway entrance ramp, it is not best way to access the area, and in fact, may be prohibited. A short distance past the dam the trail heads into a field. Just off the path were the remains of an old house which had burned down the night before under suspicious circumstances. We all walked over to examine the blackened remains, which still gave off a smoky odor. No one had been living here anymore. Near the remains was a large patch of beautiful yellow daffodils, a sign of better times for this old house. We crossed the old railroad bridge that leads to the “island”. Here the trail is built up on the former rail bed and is straight and flat until it comes to the river. Before getting to the end, we took a second path that winds around closer to I-88 and then back to the river. Across the river and up on a hill, we could see the Interstate 88 building on Route 23. It is here that the river makes a bend to the west. The water was high at this time and moving swiftly along. This was to be a flower walk and we did see some of the spring flowers. Although many had not yet opened into full bloom. We saw Bloodroot, Red Trillium, Trout Lily, Violets, and many emerging plants. Unfortunately the Garlic Mustard and Japanese Knotweed were growing full steam. We also saw some geese and ducks. An interesting morning!

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