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Robert V.
Riddell

 

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Robert V. Riddell State Park offers more than 1,000 acres of forested woodlands and open fields located in the Susquehanna River Valley. The park straddles I-88 in Otsego County, and is approximately 20 miles south from Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  There are no admission fees to enter and explore this state park.

The land for the park was given as a gift from the Riddell family and officially became the 22nd state park to open since 1995 under former Governor George Pataki in the summer of 2005.  Riddell State Park has 838 acres on the south side of I-88 containing forested woodlands.  Schenevus Creek runs through the northern 198 acres before reaching the Susquehanna River to the west of the property.

Hikers can use the recently released Park Trail Map from the NY State Parks website to plan their hike.  You'll find over ten miles of hiking trails to explore this newer state park.  There are old barns, sugar shacks, stone walls and other remnants in the park.  The most popular hike is a loop in the northern part of the park (see below).

There are three places to access this state park (see below for directions).  The northern portion can be accessed off NY 28, north of I-88 from Riddell Road.  Paved Riddell Road leads a short way to a small parking area.  There is an old road that is now used for hiking just south of the I-88 east on ramp that is somewhat hidden.  The Mud Lake Trail on the south portion of the park can be accessed from Hartwick College's Pine Lake campus.  I've been told that it's ok to park in their parking area.

Map from the kiosk on the northern section of the park

Directions:  I-88 to exit 17 --> NY 28 or NY 28 south from Cooperstown

North Section:  NY 28 to Riddell Road just north of I-88 interchange. 

South Section #1:  Just south of the I-88 east on ramp.

South Section #2:  County Route 58 then left on County Route 47 (becomes CR 11 in Delaware County).  Turn left on Charlotte Creek Road (just before bridge for creek).  There is a Pine Lake sign here.  Drive 1.9 miles to the Pine Lake campus of Hartwick College on the right.  Park in their parking area.  There is a sign for the Mud Lake Trail across the street. 


Schenevus Creek Loop

Here's a pleasant 1.7 mile, easy loop hike that can be enjoyed by all members of the family.  This hike features the sounds of Schenevus Creek, a spring, ruins from the past, woods and open fields with panoramic views.  There is an elevation gain of 100 feet over the whole hike. 

Here's how we did this pleasant loop hike:

From the parking area pass through the gate and walk along the service road aka orange trail.  In a hundred feet veer left on the yellow trail ascending toward a picnic table and a grill.  Continue on the yellow trail.  Be sure not to wander off the main trail onto a unmarked side trail.  The sounds from I-88 get louder as the trail turns to the left and soon parallels the highway.

At 0.25 miles the trail enters a clearing briefly before going back into the woods.  Now you can see the fence for I-88 as you continue along the well worn path.  At 0.4 miles the trail begins to descend and soon leaves the woods.  At 0.4 miles reach a "Y" and veer right, following the mowed path.  Now I-88 is above you and you'll pass by an exit sign.

At 0.5 miles the mowed path veers away from the interstate highway.  And soon you'll have a glimpse of an old building that once stood here that is nothing more than a pile of rubble on your right.  The trail winds around and soon you'll see a bridge.  The yellow trail ends here and now turn right to cross the bridge.  Check out the water on the right coming out of the grass.

Your now back on the orange trail (although some markers look red).  Follow the mowed path and soon views of Schenevus Creek as well as the surrounding area.  At 0.85 miles reach a couple of picnic tables, a grill and a bench on Schenevus Creek.  What a great shady spot for a break!  Your hike continues along the mowed path and soon pass another mowed path on your right.  We continued straight, but you can use this path to loop back for a bit further of a hike.

At 0.95 miles pass another bench along the mowed path.  Take a seat and enjoy the panoramic view that surrounds you.  In another few hundred feet reach a dirt road (this is where you would come out if you had taken the other mowed path).  Turn left along the dirt road and at 1.1 miles reach the best view of Schenevus Creek.  A side trail veers right from the dirt road toward a bench, grill and a couple of picnic tables.  Another nice spot for a break.

We walked the 0.1 mile along the side mowed path to it's end at another view of Schenevus Creek.  This view wasn't as nice as the one at the bench, so it's up to you to explore this other trail.  Return back to the dirt road and turn right.  At 1.4 miles pass another bench and soon enter the woods plus another bench.  Soon you'll see the gate at the entrance to the park.  A side mowed path will be passed on your right and then the trail you first turned onto at the start of the hike.  At 1.7 miles reach the gate and parking area, marking the end of this hike.

Below are some pictures, a video and a map of this hike.

http://cnyhiking.com/HPIM5451.JPG

Schenevus Creeek

 

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