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New York Department of Environmental Conservation Senior Forester, Nathan Funk will lead an informal walk in Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington on Saturday, October 20, beginning at 10am. The walk, part of Otsego County Conservation Association’s nature walk series, will cover aspects of the forest’s history, current and planned management activities, including a timber harvest, and the importance of the forest for recreation. Basswood Pond State Forest is a 720-acre multiuse forest that includes 7.5 miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, a 15-acre pond stocked with rainbow trout annually. Participants should meet at the Basswood Pond parking lot, Conservation Road, Burlington.

On Saturday, October 27, Steve Kent leads a walk to Mud Lake in Robert V. Riddell State Park. This 3.5-mile, 4-hour hike traverses a variety of forest types, makes a stop at a 30-foot waterfall, and leads to Mud Lake, a sphagnum bog on top of South Hill. Along the way, Steve will share the history of the land that was in the Riddell family for five generations. Steve and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent donated the land to the state in 2005. Participants should bring water, a snack, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. This is a moderately-strenuous hike. Meet at the parking area of the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road, Oneonta, and we’ll carpool to the hike’s starting point.

Both programs are free, though pre-registration is requested. For more information, visit www.occainfo.org, or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, research, resource management, advocacy, planning and practice. For more information, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.