Report by Currie Marr.
On April 28, 2019 Allison Collins reported in the Daily Star that about 30 members of the SUNY Oneonta swim teams, college staff, Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway Committee would work with Otsego County forester, Joe Sweeney, to build a multi-use trail within the “Van Cleft” Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary.
One and a half years later, 19 ADK members assembled in Wilber Park near the kiosk containing a map of Wilber Park trails. Three people decided to walk lower trails in the park and 16 people chose to climb the steep, orange “Wilber Park Drop” trail. Part of the way up the orange trail is the first “Van Cleft” tag. The tag is red and white with the image of a walker and a directional arrow. As you follow the trail upwards it is denoted by orange paint and “Van Cleft” tags. The ascent ends when the wider “Black Trail” crosses the “Orange/Van Cleft” trail. This juncture is easily recognized by the large “Wilber Park Drop” sign and it is where you turn right, walk a short distance to a “Van Cleft” sign on the right. Entry into this oasis of hardwoods, stonewalls, and solitude is a trail, shaped like ½ an egg, leading back to the first “Van Cleft” tag. A trail map is provided by https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7047831/van-cleft-trail.
Thank you to everyone who worked on this trail project. It is truly a wonderful place to enjoy nature.