HOMER, N.Y. – Durkee Park in Homer is a bright and vivid reminder of one of the many hidden gems located in Cortland County.
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The 15-acre park is located on State Route 11, less than half of a mile north of the village of Homer's beautiful historic downtown. It is a natural and recreational area along the West Branch of the Tioughnioga River.
The park has three large bodies of water that make up more than half of the park's total area, with the southern pond being a part of the Tioughnioga River. It provides free and easy access to those with non motorized boats and kayaks wanting to enjoy the river and its natural area.
The second pond, named Briggs, after the family who donated it to the town, has a wooden fishing dock on its eastern shore and is full of catfish, panfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, and carp. The pond, along with Casterline Pond to the north, provides excellent shoreline fishing spots to those without a boat.
The ponds are catch and release, stocked by the Department of Environmental Conservation with brown and rainbow trout, and are marked by an informational kiosk provided by The Boy Scouts.
Durkee Park has a large covered open air pavilion with picnic tables and several barbecue grills, as well as a large playground and area for children of all ages to play. The park's lush green lawns and large trees provide a perfect atmosphere for family and friends to gather for picnics and parties, both large and small.
The park is named after Albert J. Durkee, a highly regarded businessman and community leader in Homer during the first half of the 20th century. Durkee was director of Durkee Bakery, a company founded by his father, Albert C. Durkee, and was also a director of the Homer National Bank.
The park is open year round from dawn to dusk, and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful parks in Cortland County to take a book, a date, and a little bit of time to unwind and relax.
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