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Monday, May 11, 2015

Glimmerglass State Park/ Robert Riddell State Park(Ostego County)

Got out to explore some new areas in Central New York today, on yet another summer like afternoon.  First stop was Glimmerglass State Park, located on the north shores of Ostego Lake in Cooperstown.  There are several different ways to get here from Albany, but I took Interstate 88 west to exit 17 and then followed Route 28 north for 17 miles to the Village of Cooperstown.  Just east of the village, County Route 31 follows the east shore of Ostego Lake for about 6.5 miles to the park entrance on the left.
 There are many attractions at the State Park, including the picturesque covered bridge over Shadow Brook, which can easily be seen from the park road.
 Followed a short trail along peaceful Shadow Brook for a distance before looping back to the car.
 I parked at the beach and picnic area, where outstanding views to the south and west over Ostego Lake.
 I strolled past a lot of the picnic areas along the shores of the area known as Hyde Bay.
After leaving the shoreline, I climbed up towards Hyde Hall, an early 19th century estate which offers commanding lake views as well.
 Continuing past Hyde Hall over a footbridge towards a spot known as "Tin Top".
 Followed an access road to the east where the actual entrance to the Sleeping Lion Trail begins.
The trail climbs up fairly steeply through a hemlock forest.
 After nearing the top of Mount Wellington, the trail levels out for a while and turned quite muddy.
 The trail circles the mountain and as it turns south towards the lake, there are screened views of the water through the trees.
 After arriving back at the access road, a short spur path leads to an overlook.  Views are good, but somewhat screened by tree branches, as seen from this picture.
 Followed an obvious foot path that drops steeply down through the woods to the shoreline.
 Continuing on the informal foot path along the lake, which also parallels the access road.  The views here were very nice, as a gentle lake breeze kept me cool.
 Dark, ominous storm clouds rolled in as I completed the 4 mile Sleeping Lion Trail. 
 After leaving Glimmerglass, I headed back down Route 28 south to Robert Riddell State Park and fortunately away from the storm clouds.  The entrance to the park is located just before you get back onto I-88, on the east side of Route 28.
Donated by the Riddell family in 2005, the park is still fairly new and there are several areas still under construction.  Found this nice picnic spot along the orange marked trail.
 A nice spring scene, with new blooms and a footbridge in the meadow.
 Remnants of past farming.
 A quiet section of trail, cushioned by fallen needles.
 Walking through open agricultural land on what turned out to be a beautiful evening.
 Looking upstream along a still water section of Schenevus Creek, which flows 28 miles through farm country before emptying into the Susquehanna River.
 Looking downstream at the Schenevus Creek, where the current picks up noticeably.
 Spring blossoms.
 Heading back to the car, on the path of an old rail bed.
Completed a 2.5 mile loop for a total of 6.5 miles for the day.  I was very happy to get out and explore a new area I had never been to before in rural Ostego County.

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