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Aerial Photo
Gilbert Lake
State Park

Oneonta, NY
click to enlarge

PHOTO www.nysgis.state.ny.us

Gilbert Lake
State Park

Oneonta, New York

Latitude: 42 xx xx N — Longitude: 76 xx xx W
Elevation: xxx to xxx feet
USGS Topographic Quad: Kingston East
NYSGIS tile: Kingston_East_NW1

Gilbert Lake State Park is a

This is the most impressive stand of

In fact, with one tree at 170 feet tall
Topographic Map
Gilbert Lake
State Park

Oneonta, NY
click to enlarge

MAP www.nysgis.state.ny.us


Scouting Visit
October 2002

Team Leader: Dennis Hayman

I have lived 5 miles from this park for over a year, and ignored it, because it's a recreation area. I started walking there this fall, and was surprised at what I found

The park was set up by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1927, which stopped local clear cutting—but not before some of the park's land was affected. You can see where CCC planted lots of Red Pine. They also increased the size of Gilbert Lake.

There is a trail around Gilbert Lake that brings one in contact with some nice old trees—White Pine, Hemlock, Yellow Birch—to name a few. But nothing to knock your socks off. Yet, the place has great energy, and really appealed to me.

I checked out the rest of the trails in the park—which lead to another small lake (Lake of the Twin Fawns) and two ponds (Ice Pond and Spring Pond). During my exploration, I saw some trees that made my socks go up and down a few times. I found my mouth hanging open, staring up at the great heights of the tallest Black Cherries I've ever seen.
Directions to
Gilbert Lake
State Park

  • Take i-88 to Oneonta
  • Take Exit ? NY ?? toward ??
  • Just past ?? is
  • Just beyond
  • Park on
  • Hike 150 yards north on
  • Interestingly, all the trees in some areas are of this great height—but all very thin. Hard to tell their age, but I think old. I mean, tall Hemlock, White Pine, Yellow Birch. Even saw a 90 foot White birch on the ground; the park had a tornado in 1998.

    There are other species: Black Birch, Maple (saw a couple I think are taller than the giant in MTSF), Ash—some very densely packed. Again, not very big around.

    I have to go back and ask the place what it does to grow such tall trees. Never saw anything like it before.
    caption
    detail
    Gilbert Lake State Park

    PHOTO DYarrow 11/3/02

    I have no way of telling for sure about the heights, but I will wager that one Black Cherry was 80 feet to the splitting of the main trunk, then at least another 20 feet to the first limb. I guess it to be conservatively over 150 feet. Of course, I could be wrong.
    caption
    detail
    Gilbert Lake State Park

    PHOTO DYarrow 11/3/02

    It is really weird to see such tall, skinny trees. Some of them look old, judging from the bark, and looking at their upper limbs.
    caption
    detail
    Gilbert Lake State Park

    PHOTO DYarrow 11/3/02



    The Earth Restoration and Reforestation Alliance
    www.championtrees.orgupdated 4/14/2003