FH Fox course (and Monkey Run trails) closed for potentially rabid coyote

@Challengers, please avoid running the FH Fox course until we get an update from the Cornell Botanic Gardens about this situation. I have checked with Todd, and he asked that we refrain from running on those trails. Coyotes have large territories, so it could easily venture beyond the Monkey Run trails into areas covered by FH Fox.

The trails at the Botanic Gardens Monkey Run Natural Area are closed until further notice and hikers are urged to avoid the area due to the presence of a potentially rabid coyote.

Todd Bittner
Director of Natural Areas, Cornell Botanic Gardens

Also, I’m not entirely sure what areas are impacted, but Taughannock State Park has closed the Gorge Trail and parking area through June 6 for trail maintenance. I can’t tell if that would impact the Run Rabbit Run course, but if you plan to run that one in the next few days, perhaps consider parking at the Kraft Road intersection or up in Trumansburg. I’m looking for more info now.

It doesn’t impact run rabbit run. It’s just the parking lot on route 89 at the base trail, closed likely for scaling work. The upper parking lot is open, as is the overlook parking.


Thanks! Yes, I just heard back from them about the specifics too, and it’s only the Gorge Trail and parking lot at the bottom.

Love the FH Fox course. Can’t wait for the all clear!

@Challengers More details from Tompkins County. It sounds like FH Fox isn’t heavily impacted, but portions of the course are in the area of concern, so we’ll keep it closed until further notice.

Tompkins County Whole Health’s Environmental Health Division (TCWH EH) is alerting the community to multiple reports of a potentially rabid coyote in the Monkey Run Natural Area of the Cornell Botanical Gardens (Cayuga Trail & Dryden Rail Trail). Cornell Botanical Gardens has closed the trails of the Monkey Run Natural Area until further notice while this situation is investigated. The Monkey Run area of concern covers the area bounded by Hanshaw Road (to the north), Route 13 (to the east), Freese Road (to the west), and Route 366 (to the south).

Multiple people and dogs have been attacked by a coyote in this area over the past three days. Out of an abundance of caution, TCWH EH advises everyone to avoid this area and to report any past exposure to our office by calling 607-274-6688 or emailing TCEH@tompkins-co.org.

Sightings of the coyote should be reported to the Ithaca non-emergency dispatch number at: 607-273-8000 to report location.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating the area and Cornell University Police are aware of the situation.

Healthy coyotes generally avoid all human contact and rarely approach humans, unless the humans approach dens or their offspring. It is normal for healthy coyotes to look thin and for their coats to be matted or disheveled as they shed their winter coats in the spring. Females may act aggressively to protect kits/dens at this time of year as well.

A rabid animal will display signs of illness and atypical aggressive behavior. Wild animals should not be approached, touched or kept. Dogs should be kept on leashes while hiking and in public spaces to avoid encounters with wild animals, as well as unsupervised encounters with other dogs and people.

Tompkins County Whole Health reminds everyone to:

  1. Avoid contact with any unfamiliar cats or dogs and any wild animals.

  2. All cats, dogs and ferrets must have initial rabies vaccinations administered no later than four months of age. Keep vaccinations current.

  3. Report the following incidents to Environmental Health, 24/7, at 607-274-6688:

    • All animal bites or scratches.
    • Any human or pet contact with saliva or other potentially infectious material (brain tissue, spinal tissue, or cerebro-spinal fluid) of wild animals or any animal suspected of having rabies.
    • All bat bites, scratches, or any mere skin contact with a bat, or a bat in a room with a child, or sleeping or impaired person.

Further information can be found at: tompkinscountyny.gov/health/eh/rabies


If my childhood memories are correct, the coyote never caught the roadrunner! :wink:

Seriously, the information I found online indicated a rabid coyote was unlikely to live more than 7 days. So, it should be clear very soon.

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Any updates on when the course will reopen? No big deal if someone gets bit — we can easily organize a charity benefit run like this: Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For the Cure | Dunderpedia: The Office Wiki | Fandom

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I’ve just heard from Todd Bittner that the Monkey Run area trails are open again. :slight_smile: