Friday, June 10, 2011

Delhi's Outdoor Education Center

We receive email news updates from several of our local businesses.  One I personally look forward to reading every word of are the weekly updates from Good Cheap Food on Main Street in Delhi. Faiga Brussels, the owner, loves Delhi and constantly adds tidbits to her market updates on events and other goings-on in the village and outlaying areas.  I just had to repost her email from yesterday which was dedicated to one of the wonderful recreational assets of Delhi.........

Hello Everyone,

I  wanted to take a moment to remind you about the Outdoor Education Center of SUNY Delhi--a park two miles out of Delhi on the right side of Rte 28 as you head toward Andes. You'll see a wooden sign, and can pull down in to the parking lot.

The park is an old farm that belongs to the college and was turned into a park by Americorps volunteers years ago.

Now is a great time to go. The park is lush, beautiful and perfumed by stands of wild phlox (otherwise known as dame's rocket or its latin  hesperis matronalis, info courtesy of Mermer Blakeslee) and the flowering black lotus trees.

Walk from the parking lot to the little welcome kiosk, and follow the path beyond the kiosk, bearing right until you pass a stone bench. After the bench there is a path on the left leading down to the lower level of the park. When you get to the bottom of the incline, the road will split. Don't worry about getting lost, as all roads eventually converge and will lead you to a path that goes uphill back to the parking lot. But at the bottom, where the path splits, bear right. This route is a little longer, but takes you along the bottom of the hill under a canopy of trees and a lovely stone wall built years ago by  Americorps volunteers, including Delhi's Jane DeWitt who now has her own stone masonry business in town. Keep bearing right. The path  narrows and winds  through ferns, wild phlox and a profusion of buttercups,  across wooden planks and out to the river. Turn left at the river, under a forest of Japanese knotweed, and wonder along the river path. Woods and fields are littered with wild phlox.

There are Adirondack chairs and access points to the river to cool your feet, fish, or let your dog go for a swim.  Eventually you'll come upon a stand of black locusts that are in riotous bloom, covered with white lantern like sweet smelling flowers that drape down over the river. Under the largest of these trees there is a picnic table.  Keep on going, and you'll find a butterfly garden not yet in bloom, but with benches for a rest. Soon there is the first path back up, but just beyond this  you'll see a gate which leads to the labyrinth, which has been mowed recently.

If you continue walking eventually you'll come upon another path up, and further along, after a bog and two stands of wild yellow irises, the path you came down upon will be on your right. The boggy water is home to lots of peepers.

BTW, this stroll takes only ½ hour. Lengthen the walk by trying detours and walking the upper fields near the parking lot. You will usually be the only car in the parking lot.

This place is a piece of heaven. Enjoy.