Varied Scenery Makes This Oneonta, NY Trail A Real Gem For Nature Lovers
I have lived in Oneonta for a long time and it wasn't until this year that through an outdoorsy friend, I discovered an Oneonta nature trail that begins in an unlikely place, at the transfer station where garbage is taken, off Silas Lane. I'm referring to The Silas Lane Loop Trail which is part of The Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway and even though it begins on the transfer station property, once you enter the trail, you very quickly enter a beautifully varied nature trail that has some wonderful highlights.
The Greenway is a bicycle and pedestrian trail that is not quite finished. The plans include four sections, three of which have been completed at this time. Ultimately, the finished trail will follow the Susquehanna River for about six miles in the city and town of Oneonta from the Silas Lane Loop in the West End of Oneonta to Neawha Park and around New Island in the city of Oneonta. There has been Oneonta City Council discussion about adding a section of trail out to Fortin Park, sometime in the future. Let's hope that happens!
The Greenway trail can be enjoyed year-round. During winter, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe along the trail, and of course the rest of the year it's open to walking, jogging, and biking. One of the many things I enjoy about the Silas Lane Loop Trail is that along the route, you'll see educational signs pointing out the local flora and fauna, along with some historical facts on signs talking about the Native Americans who lived in the area. The other thing I really like about it is that you'll encounter variety along the way in terms of sections that run through the woods, through fields, and along the Susquehanna River.
Unlike some trails I've encountered over the years, this trail is well marked which makes navigation easy. Depending on how much time you want to spend, you can do the shorter loop trail or the longer loop (see above). The longer loop generally takes me about 45 minutes but that's at a very leisurely pace.
Find out more about all the sections of the Susquehanna Greenway Trail which is especially beautiful this time of year at www.oneontagreenway.org and happy hiking!