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Hiking in Otsego County
New York State Parks
Gilbert Lake State Park main lake and three ponds are located in wooded, hilly terrain in the foothills of the Catskills. In addition to cabins and campsites, the park has more than twelve miles of interconnecting trails for hiking, skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Playgrounds plus a disc golf course, as well as a beach for swimming, boat rentals, and fishing are also available at the park.
The park includes the New York State Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, which features memorabilia, photographs, printed materials and exhibits about the works of the Civilian Conservation Corps in this park plus other parks in New York as well as the United States.
The most popular hike in the park is a 1.4 mile loop around Gilbert Lake on a nice wide gravel path. It's worth exploring the hiking trails around Lake of the Twin Fawns, where a pleasant 3.5 mile woods walk can be enjoyed while visiting two ponds and the lake. Look below for more info on the trails at the park.
Directions to Gilbert Lake State Park
- Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse: Thruway (I-90) east to exit 30, Herkimer; NY 5S west to NY 51 south. Left on County Route 12, follow signs four miles to park entrance.
- Albany: I-88 west to NY 205 (exit 13); NY 205 north to Laurens; county Route 12 west to park entrance.
- New York: Thruway (I-87) to exit 21 (Hudson-Catskill); NY 23 west to Oneonta; NY 205 to Laurens; County Route 12 to park entrance.
Hiking Trails at Gilbert Lake State Park
Lake Loop Trail (1.4 miles) - This trail follows a wide gravel service road around Gilbert Lake. The trail can be hard to follow near the CCC Museum as well as where the trail passes Briggs Shelter.
Hilltop Trail (0.4 miles) - This trail gives campers in the Hill Top camping area a walking access to Gilbert Lake. The trail has an overall elevation gain/loss of over 200 feet.
Deer Run Trail (0.9 miles) - This trail travels from the Deer Run Camping Area to the Ice Pond Trail following a mowed path. The trail also gives access to snowmobile trails.
Ice Pond Trail (0.7 miles) - This trail leaves from a small parking area off the cabin colony road near cabin #4, traveling past Ice Pond to Spring Pond Loop Trail. This trail follows a gravel service road.
Wilderness Trail (0.8 miles) - This trail meanders between Ice Pond Trail and Lake of the Twin Fawns Trail, south of the lake. This is truly a walking trail. The trail has three bridges and passes by some interesting stone ruins.
Spring Pond Loop Trail (1.4 miles) - This loop trail passes by Spring Pond and near to Ice Pond. The Ice Pond Trail and Lake of the Twin Fawns Trail give access to this trail.
Spring Pond Extension (0.6 miles) - For those looking for a long loop option.
Lake of the Twin Fawns Trail (1.5 miles) - This trail starts off the cabin colony road near cabin #21. There is limited parking here, however there is a small parking area for the Ice Pond Trail a bit east of this trailhead. This trail follows a service road to Lake of the Twin Fawns and then curves around the lake to reach the Spring Pond Loop Trail.
There are also three snowmobile trails that could be used for hiking near the Deer Run camping area. We did not explore these trails on any of our visits. If anyone has any info on these trails and would like to share, please contact CNY HIKING by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hiking the Ice Pond Trail
Hiking the Lake Loop Trail
Bench overlooking Gilbert Lake
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