The weather is finally getting warmer and it's time that we start to think about getting together outside. As gas prices continue to rise with no end in sight, many of us are thinking about places to go that are closer to home.

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If that's you, then I have a suggestion for you. How about the nine Broome County Parks in our area. Did you know that there were nine? Well, now you do and here they are in alphabetical order.

9 Broome County Parks

Aqua Terra Wilderness Area in Binghamton: I hadn't heard of this place before and it looks like a hidden treasure. The Aqua Terra Wilderness Area is located off Maxian Road in the Town of Binghamton.

It is 466 acres of mostly undeveloped natural settings that include a 6-acre pond for a secluded fishing experience and chances for wildlife watching on their wooded trails. It's open from 8 a.m. to dusk and admission is free.

BAGSAI Softball Complex: The BAGSAI is a fantastic place to go and watch some talented ladies play the game of softball. Bagsai was established in 1980 and is THE place for Binghamton Area Girls Softball teams to play and be seen by College Coach recruiters.

There are many age-group-specific tournaments throughout the year for all skill levels and are located on LT. VanWinkle Drive in Binghamton.

Dorchester Park: If you love to sail, kayak, canoe, or paddleboat, then Dorchester Park is the place for you. The Dorchester Boathouse is open for the season and you can bring your own boat or rent when you are there.

It's located at Whitney Point Lake in Whitney Point and is open year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk. Great place to boat, picnic, fish, or swim on the sandy beach.

Greenwood Park: Greenwood Park was the first of the Broome County Parks system. This is similar to Dorchester Park in many ways with rental boats, fishing from shore, and more

You can hike, play volleyball or swim at the white sand beach. Their campgrounds are now open but their beach and boathouse don't open until May 28th. Greenwood is open year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk at 153 Greenwood Road in Lisle.

Grippen Park: This laid-back place goes along the shore of the Susquehanna River at 607 South Grippen Avenue in Endicott.  It's a great place for a simple picnic lunch or a big family event.

Free admission and open every day from 8 a.m. to dusk. Grippen Park has picnic tables and grills, horseshoe pits, picnic shelter, places for children to play, and more.

Hawkins Pond Nature Area: Hawkins is located at 224 Scouten Road in Windsor and offers a secluded "nature experience" with lots of wildlife and a wide variety of habitat types.

You can walk the nearly 4 miles of nature trails that go through woods and fields and around a 24-acre pond. Hawkins is open daylight hours every day for free but there is no boating or swimming.

Nathaniel Cole Park: It's located at 1674 Colesville Road in Harpursville with swimming, fishing, boating hiking, picnicking, and more available. Nathaniel was named for a Revolutionary War veteran who once owned the land.

There is a 53-acre lake with picnic areas overlooking the white sand beach. The park is open year-round from 8 a.m. till dusk and has nature trails and fantastic fishing.
Otsiningo Park: If you made me pick one place on this list, it would be Otsiningo Park. It has paved walking/bicycle paths that go around the park and is surrounded by picnic areas, playgrounds, and athletic fields.
My daughter is graduating from high school this year and her graduation celebration will be held at Otsiningo Park. This summer, they'll host the "Broome Bands Together" free concert series. SpiedieFest is back to its original weekend during the first full weekend of August.
Otsiningo is open year-round from 8 a.m. to dusk with free admission.
Roundtop Picnic Area: Roundtop sits above Endicott at 401 Overlook Terrace which has spectacular views looking to the east and west through the Susquehanna River Valley.

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