Apr 1, 2020

Taking a walk in Central New York

With the concern over the coronavirus Central New Yorkers can
take heart in the fact that it is not winter when everyone gets cabin fever.  It is spring and it can be lovely in Central New York: the grass is getting green, crocuses are budding, trees are being to leaf out and nature will become even more dynamic in the next couple of weeks.  Social distancing is easy while on a walk and the area is blessed with many places to walk besides around your neighborhood. 

Roop’s Loop at Mexico Point Park has just been upgraded and is easily walk able.  Sign in at the kiosk.  It is just under a mile. There is also a short walk to Spy Island. Cross the bridge inside the park and when you arrive at the open area make a sharp left to continue on the trail. Sometimes there is a wet area just before Spy Island.  The island is historic and, before the state reconfigured the mouth of the Little Salmon River, the island was in the middle of the river. There is also a trail across from the elementary school.

Oswego City has a plethora of great walking areas.  My favorite is
across the old railroad bridge, The Harbor Rail Trail.  The Trail goes all the way to Fort Ontario.  There is also a walkway along the river and canal. The Breitbeck Park trail is a 5.9 mile loop that has great views of the river and lake. The Rice Creek Field Station building is closed but the trails are open to the public during daylight hours.  

Just about every town, village and city has walking or nature trails. In Fulton there is the Lake Neatahwanta Nature Trail and the Oswego River Pathfinder Trail which goes through the city. Great Bear Nature Tail has 11 miles of trail, rustic but well maintained. There are wooded bridges across the streams.  The terrain is varied. In Amboy walk the beaver trail.  This is the time of year when the eager beavers build and repair their lodges.  Walk quietly so as not to disturb them.  Beaver Lake Nature Center has trails of varying lengths so there is a walk for everyone. The Nature Center building is closed.

The trail to the top of the falls a Salmon River Falls is handicap
accessible as are many of the other trails mentioned including those in Oswego.   Remember when walking in the woods to be aware that Lyme disease is still with us. Check your clothing for ticks and stay on the trails. 

Walking is not only good for your physical health but also for your mental health. The Japanese and many others believe in what the Japanese call Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.  It is simple and free, just go to a forest, sit for a while or walk slowly. No need to go au natural or be prone. It is best to go alone but it you are with other people spread out and no talking. Stop, look, and listen. 

Actually, social distancing while on a walk will allow you to clear your mind and absorb the nature and beauty around you. No head phones means you can listen for the sounds of nature, be it birds or the sound of the water.