Notes from TC Parks & Trails Network

Below are the notes from last week’s meeting of the Tompkins Co Parks and Trails Network. This group meets periodically to share information regarding projects (in planning or underway) that may be of interest to members of the FLRC. As you can see, there is much exciting trail work under way – Charlie Trautmann

Tompkins County Parks and Trails Network

Recap of March 18, 2021 meeting

Bike Walk Tompkins

  • BWT is working to improve the trailhead at Black Diamond Trail in Cass Park
  • Finishing Bicycling for Everyone Plan and getting final approval from NYSERDA
  • BWT is looking for ways to bring bike share back to Ithaca and is planning to test new bikes from Veo.
  • Demo reservations: Doodle - Make meetings happen
  • Film festival on youtube is highlighting accomplishments in the last year
  • Hiring a new director
  • Look out for Transportation Alternatives Enhancement act which would set aside more funds for bike and pedestrian infrastructure

Black Diamond Trail

  • Lots of people skiing on the trail and loving it
  • City of Ithaca proposal to build the bridge on the southern expansion was slowed down due to feedback by the Coast Guard
  • Town of Ithaca is working on lower portion and has purchased a piece of land. Two more parcels are needed to complete connection in the Town

Cayuga Waterfront Trail

  • Rick Manning was not able to attend. He reports that Friends of Stewart Park is working with the City to administer trail furnishings - benches, milemarkers, stepping stones, etc.
  • Would like to see if additional winter maintenance could be done in future years

Cayuga Lake Blueway Trail

  • All signs ordered, site identification signs have been delivered, still waiting on kiosks (paddle directions)
  • Targeting spring installation of all signs and summer launch of trail

Cycle CNY

  • Permission granted for trail in Cass park, still sorting out insurance requirements with City of Ithaca
  • Trail will be about ½ mile long with rollers and a drop off
  • Trail is being built near baseball fields in a woody and wet 12 acre area, visible from BDT
  • All trails have ride-around

Dryden Rail Trail

  • DEC on track to grant 20 year renewable agreement for Game Farm portion of trail, waiting for Albany
  • Renovation plans for the trestle and resurfacing are complete
  • Working on MOU with Town of Ithaca and Tompkins County for crossing of Game Farm Road
  • Route 13 crossing bridge needs additional funding and resolution of a ROW issue
  • About 30 easements have been donated along 9.4 miles of trail
  • Fifth Anniversary this month!

Finger Lakes Land Trust

Finger Lakes Trail

  • Nearly doubled map sales last year – lots sold out of state
  • New director of trails started about a month ago
  • Educational online presentations have been well attended
  • Lots of traffic on GoFingerLakes.org and newsletter sign up

Hammond Hill

Ithaca Trails.org

  • YOY traffic increased 48% … not filtered so may be some bots, but traffic similar to VisitIthaca.com pages
  • Cascadilla Gorge remains most popular trail
  • Will send out a request for updates to trails soon
  • Taughannock Falls SP visitor center to open May 1, Downtown visitor center currently open, ESD will not reopen
  • Contact Maia for travel guides and rack cards: maia@visitithaca.com
  • Not planning to reprint 2020 travel guide at the time
  • Desire to update list of guides for hikes
  • TCAT to Trails effort being led by Cayuga Trails Club and Cornell Outing Club
  • Comparing TCAT routes to trail access to improve access
  • Waiting on pricing from Gorges for website update

Town of Lansing

NYS Parks

  • Expecting to continue one-way hiking on most trails through spring and summer
  • Working on improved safety access for gorge and rim trails
  • Collaborating with Ithaca College on trail connection
  • Looking for a trail counter that distinguishes bikes and pedestrians (Eco Counter)

Town of Ithaca

  • South Hill Rec Way – NYSEG now considering an easement instead of a license agreement
  • Once Town secures trail, planning will be needed to figure out how to build out
  • Town approved bid to work on lower gateway trail, came in higher than expected but approved by Town Board
  • Eventually this trail will connect to BDT extension behind Home Depot
  • West Hill Wildway is on back burner for now, coordinating with FLLT

Finger Lakes National Heritage Area

1 Like

Thanks for sharing this, Charlie!

Particularly positive things I notice for runners:

  • It’s very cool that Bike Walk Tompkins is improving the Black Diamond Trail trailhead. We’ll have to coordinate with them about our FLRC Challenge sign.

  • It would be lovely if there could be some maintenance of the Waterfront Trail next winter. The East Hill Rec Way was such a destination because the Town of Ithaca plowed it regularly.

  • I’d love to see the Dryden Rail Trail finally make the Game Farm connection to the East Hill Rec Way. Hopefully, that memorandum of understanding with the Town and County and agreement with the DEC will make it happen sooner rather than later.

  • And wouldn’t it be great if the South Hill Rec Way extended further in both directions?

:+1::+1::+1::+1: (all 4)

I’m impressed with the amount of stuff going on - amazing energy in this area.

I may be introducing a project later this year myself - I think we discussed the Flat Rock Suspension Bridge, which is due for rehab after 36 years of basically no maintenance. It’s such a well-used structure that losing it would be a really big problem. Students in my department built it (I was writing my dissertation so I didn’t take part, but my advisor was the group’s advisor) and I’m currently in discussions with CU facilities and our department about preliminaries.

We’ll need dozens of volunteers to do the actual decking assembly, and perhaps in 1-2 years we could stage a community build and get it all done in a weekend, like we have done at the Sciencenter many times. Would be great publicity for the club…

Cheers,
Charlie

Now I’m feeling a little bad about playing with the harmonic resonance of groups running on that bridge—if you do it just right, it sort of catapults you off at the end. :slight_smile: