Report by Barb Baumann. A Bald Eagle soared overhead as a welcome for the 23 ADKers gathered at the edge of the Fortin Park parking lot to sign in for the day’s hike. Because the snow was not appropriate for either skis or snowshoes, we walked the perimeter of the former F&F Airport’s landing/take-off field, a distance of about 1 ½ miles. A merganser near the Susquehanna River, evidence of a squirrel unearthing a buried acorn and numerous animal tracks were some of the noteworthy sights to greet us. We posed for our group photo beside the fishing dock located at the confluence of the Charlotte Creek and Susquehanna River and noted the ice islands which had formed there. Fourteen of us also walked around the Park’s upper field and through the woods bordering it which added another half mile to our hike.
Albert and Elise (Young) Fortin cleared and graded the field in front of their farm house in 1959 and operated the F&F Airport for many years thereafter. It was noted for its Fly-In Breakfasts in addition to flight instruction. In 2000, the Town of Oneonta purchased the property to create Fortin Park where children can play on the playground equipment, families can picnic, sports enthusiasts can play soccer and many other sports. One of the two hangars has been converted into an ice-skating rink. We are very fortunate to have such a fine facility available to us.
Photos by Scott Fielder.