Tom Walsh, a Worcester outdoor enthusiast, volunteer trail maintainer, and cancer survivor who had a desire to give back to two organizations he feels strongly about - The Bassett Cancer Institute and Otsego Outdoors is back from his fundraising outdoor adventure.

Tom Walsh via Otsego 2000
Tom Walsh via Otsego 2000
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Walsh embarked on an over 200-mile trek through Otsego County and its 21 state forests and 4 state parks with a goal to not only draw attention to all the outdoor beauty that Otsego County has to offer but to raise funds for the Bassett Cancer Institute (for additional patient support), to whom he feels he owes his life following his cancer diagnosis and coming near to death and surviving time in Bassett's ICU at one point. Walsh is also donating half the money he raises to Otsego Outdoors for trail improvements and maintenance in Otsego County.

After his near-death experience, Tom fully recovered, is cancer-free, and is a very healthy, 60-something-year-old man who is grateful and wanted to give back by doing this fundraising walk that he started on June 2nd and finished on June 20th. Walsh said he averaged around 12 miles a day, only taking two days off during the 19-day period. His goal was to raise $5000 but at this point in time, he's got a couple of hundred dollars to go. Walsh told me that he thinks he's at around $4600 or so at this point.

Below are the many locations along Walsh's Otsego County park and state land journey:

  • 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

Walsh says it took a while for him to work up to his current fitness level and to be able to walk the number of miles that he can do currently. He encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of Otsego County parks, forests, and even country roads as they are able.

To help Tom reach his fundraising goal, you can click here to donate.

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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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