For outdoor enthusiasts, the Otsego Octet Winter Challenge from Otsego Outdoors is just what the doctor ordered to chase away the winter blues and enjoy the beauty of winter in Otsego County. The idea is to complete at least 8 of the 12 trails that are part of the challenge in Otsego County, in 11 parks and state forests by April 30. Those who register and complete that challenge get an official Otsego Outdoors Winter Octet embroidered patch and bragging rights of course.

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One area resident went the extra mile to be the first one to complete the challenge. According to Otsego 2000 (managing the challenge), Tom Walsh of Worcester, NY hiked 21.2 miles on all 12 trails, all in one day! Ellen Pope, executive director of Otsego 2000 says, “Tom showed great determination. Since he completed the challenge in a day, he achieved the 'ultra'.”

Walsh says that the 21.2 mile trek is the longest he has ever walked in a day. Walsh began bright and early at 5:30am at Arnold Lake State Forest and finished up the day at Fortin Park in the Town of Oneonta.

Pope says that so far, response and participation in the Otsego Outdoors Winter Octet Challenge has been great. In fact, last week, Milford Central School 5th graders took a field trip to Gilbert Lake State Park to hike a trail that will help them on their journey to complete the Winter Octet Challenge and earn their patch.

To find out more about the Otsego Winter Octet Challenge, visit or call 607-547-8881. Otsego 2000 promises a Summer Challenge to be announced in May.


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