New Island – September 10, 2019

Report by Tracy Verma – On September 10, 23 people, some new, attended our hike on New Island Trail in Oneonta. It is not a new island. Rather, it is named after John New, an avid local environmentalist long before the environmental movement began. His daughter had hoped to attend. Hopefully next time. The trail-head starts at the kiosk with the trail map, in Catella Park. We hiked about 2 3/4 hours on the red, blue and orange trails. Highlights, other than a perfect weather day, were the view below the dam in the Susquehanna River, the break we took at the washed out trestle bridge at the end of the trail where there were lots of waterfowl (I saw a bald eagle there a few days prior) and a beautiful view of the bend in the Susquehanna. We saw a turtle in the middle of the trail. It had suffered injures to the edge of its shell but was still appearing ok. Since the trail is commonly used by bikers, it may have been hit by one. We saw a bright orange tree fungus outgrowth of ‘chicken in the woods’, as identified by Currie Marr, and a small garter snake. Perhaps we saw an osprey flying overhead. It was fun to weave back and forth on the blue worm burner trail, where we could see the hikers at the end of our pack. All enjoyed the hike and some of us ate our picnic lunch afterwards at Neawha Park Pavilion.  Photo Credits:Group Photo by Fred Johnson; other photos by Scott Fielder.

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