The Sleeping Lion hiking trail just outside Cooperstown is a multi-dimensional, natural and manmade attraction, with an enormous amount of things to see and do less than an hour's drive from Utica.

We spent half a day in the area in the latest installment of our Explore CNY series. Among the sights is the hiking trail itself, an historical home, a state park and beach, and a pristine lake. There are also nearby cottages and campgrounds.

Here's a gallery of photos highlighting our great experience:

The first few photos showcase the trail, which is rated as "moderate" by the All Trails hiking app. It has some difficult and steep elevation changes over its 2-mile route through the woods.

The views of Otsego Lake are spectacular. And, as you can see, a few signs warn of the appearance of bears in the proximity.

The hike begins and ends at the same spot--Hyde Hall, a 19th century home and museum on a hilltop, with a sprawling front lawn overlooking the lake a few hundred yards below. That's where Glimmerglass State Park (with its great beach) is located, at the northern tip of the lake.

One note on Hyde Hall: You can tour and view the preserved interior, but you may need to reserve a spot in advance.

This map gives you an idea of your bearings and surroundings:

You'll notice Richfield Springs in the upper left corner. That's where we took the picture of the charming clock in the town's park. It's worth a brief stop there on your way to or from the greater Cooperstown region.

And don't forget nearby Cooperstown itself, with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Farmer's Museum, the Glimmerglass Opera House, and the Leatherstocking Golf Course.

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