You wouldn't believe how many state forests and state parks Otsego County, NY has! According to Otsego 2000, a driving force behind promoting outdoor recreation in beautiful Otsego County with the Otsego Outdoors seasonal octet challenges, there are a whopping 21 state forests and 4 state parks in the county and there's a Worcester outdoor enthusiast who just set out to walk them all starting yesterday.

You might remember the name Tom Walsh? He's from Worcester, and last year during the Otsego Outdoors Winter Octet Challenge, he impressed many by hiking 21.2 miles on all 12 trails in that challenge, all in one day!

Tom Walsh via Otsego 2000
Tom Walsh via Otsego 2000
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As a cancer survivor, he's been training for his biggest hike yet which he's using as a fundraiser with a goal of $5000. Money raised will be shared by the Bassett Cancer Institute which will use it for patient and family services and Otsego Outdoors which will use their share for trail improvements and maintenance.

Walsh chose these two recipient organizations to raise awareness about Bassett Cancer Institute's family and patient services but also to highlight Otsego County’s parks and forests. Who knew there were so many?!

Tom Walsh starts out from his home in Worcester, NY (via Otsego 2000)
Tom Walsh starts out from his home in Worcester, NY (via Otsego 2000)
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Wait until you hear about his planned hike for the next 3 weeks! Walsh began his walk from his home in Worcester yesterday (June 2) and from there he will hike his way to:

  • Decatur State Forest
  • Maple Valley State Forest
  • Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park
  • R. Milton Hick Memorial State Forest
  • Bear Swamp State Forest
  • Honey Hill State Forest
  • Cherry Valley State Forest
  • Roseboom State Forest
  • Glimmerglass State Park
  • Oil City State Forest
  • Exeter State Forest
  • Plainfield State Forest
  • Basswood Pond State Forest
  • Hartwick State Forest
  • Texas Schoolhouse State Forest
  • Calhoun Creek State Forest
  • Jacob Morris State Forest
  • Wagner Farm State Forest
  • Gilbert Lake State Park
  • Milford State Forest
  • Arnold Lake State Forest
  • Susquehanna State Forest
  • Robert V. Riddell State Park
  • Hooker Mountain State Forest
  • South Hill State Forest

Below is a map of his route...

Walsh's mapped out walk in Otsego County via Otsego 2000
Walsh's mapped out walk in Otsego County via Otsego 2000
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From South Hill State Forest, he'll return to his home in Worcester. Walsh says it should take him about three weeks to trek this 200-mile route. My feet are sore just thinking about it!

Here's the cool part, you can actually hike along with him at any point on the trails if you wish (Tom says he doesn't mind the company) or you can just follow his progress at otsegooutdoors.org and on the Otsego Outdoors Facebook page. If you wish to donate to his fundraiser click here.

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If what Tom Walsh is doing has inspired you to get outdoors even just a little, you can learn more and participate in the next Otsego Outdoors "Summer Octet Challenge" that starts on June 21, 2022. Otsegooutdoors.org will have all the information you need on that challenge.

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