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For Release: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"I Love My Park Day" May 7th at Otter Creek Horse Trails in the Towns of Greig & Watson

Saturday, May 7, 2016, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be working with volunteers to improve several sections of the Otter Creek Horse Trails. The Otter Creek Horse Trails are located in the Towns of Greig and Watson in Lewis County. Approximately sixty-five miles of trail pass through wooded areas, diverse landscapes, and numerous streams and ponds in the Independence River Wild Forest, Independence River State Forest, and Otter Creek State Forest.

"This is the first year DEC has participated in "I Love My Park Day". Thousands of equestrian recreationists visit the trails each year," said Judy Drabicki, Region 6 Director. "The Otter Creek Horse Trails are also used by hikers, cyclists, and winter recreationists."

"There are numerous locations on the Otter Creek Trails where trail work to prevent erosion, improve visitor safety and experience are desirable. On Saturday, May 7th, we will be brushing trails that have grown-in over time, installing water divisions, and closing braided trails," said Matthew Nowak, Senior Natural Resources Planner with the Region 6 sub-office in Lowville.

"The Friends of Otter Creek Horse Trails volunteered 113 hours towards trail maintenance in 2015. We believe that rider safety is a priority which means that trails must be constantly cleared from storm damage, fallen trees, and washouts. Otter Creek trail riders appreciate and count on well-marked and maintained trails to facilitate a safe and enjoyable ride through this beautiful Adirondack forest," said Liz Hirschey, Friends of Otter Creek.

Volunteers should sign-up ahead of time at Parks and Trails NY site (link leaves DEC website.)

Volunteers will meet at the Otter Creek Horse Trails Assembly Area at 9:00 a.m. for more information call 315-376-3521.

Directions: The Otter Creek Horse Trail Assembly Area is located approximately 48 miles north of Utica and approximately 7 miles east of Route 12. Numerous brown and yellow NYSDEC signs are located off of Route 12 to direct volunteers to the Assembly Area. Take NYS Route 12 to Glenfield. Turn into the hamlet of Glenfield, then turn east onto Greig Road. Go across the Black River and in approximately 1.9 miles the road will make a T-connection with Pine Grove Road. Turn left. Proceed 1.2 miles and take a right turn (east) onto Chases Lake Road. The entrance to the Assembly Area will be approximately 3.4 miles on the right hand side of the road.

"I Love My Park Day" will be held at 110 parks and historic sites across the state on May 7, 2016, and provides an opportunity to give back and ensure that others can continue to enjoy some of the state's greatest open spaces.

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