Please avoid running through the Cornell Equine Park through November

Good day, runners!

Cornell is involved in a major construction project at the Equine Park (“Horse Barns” to many of us) through November 2023. During that time, it’s unsafe to go through the main Equine Park area at the end of Bluegrass Lane by the Cornell Golf Course. This is not one of those situations where there’s a warning sign but no activity—there will be significant demolition and construction activity with heavy machinery throughout, and it’s dangerous for pedestrians to be dodging construction vehicles. The construction traffic means that Bluegrass Lane can’t be fenced off, so it’s up to us to be careful.

Ofer Leshed and I have been working with Cornell to identify the regular routes that people take through the Equine Park and suggest alternatives. We’ve constructed the map below with alternative routes around the area, whether you’re entering from Bluegrass Lane, Hanshaw Road, Freese Road, or the southern trails bordering Forest Home Drive. Signs with a version of this map are posted, but they’re fairly small.

Thanks for routing around the Equine Park this year, and if you could help spread the word to other runners, hikers, and (if we get any more snow) XC skiers, we’d appreciate it!

PS: Even after the construction is done, note that the Equine Park manager and her family live in the house there, so please don’t park there and be sensitive about going through what is essentially their front yard.

Thank you for sharing. That is part of one of my favorite running routes and I would not have known to avoid it. Isabelle

I’ve really missed running here and appreciate the trail map and your work to keep alternative routes open!

It’s ok to run the golf course perimeter when the course is open? I’ve run it before, but maybe not when golfers are out.

There was some commentary from the golf course people during this process, and they weren’t ecstatic about runners on the course. (We were talking in December, so it was mostly about skiers then, which they don’t mind because it’s off-season.) Since the golf course is also Cornell’s official cross-country course, I have a certain proprietary feel for it as well, but we should be considerate of the golfers. They’re not expecting people to run through the line of fire, and I have to assume that getting hit with a golf ball, unlikely as that is, must hurt like hell.

That said, as far as I know, High Noon runners have never been yelled at for hugging the perimeter of the golf course (unlike the nearby country club golf course, which is unhappy about runners breaking the stems on their grass). So my take would be that it’s OK to run on the very edge of the golf course, but never to cut across anything, and if a golfer is setting up to swing and can see you, either reroute or pause and let them hit before continuing.

(When I was an undergrad, my parents and I were driving along Pleasant Grove Road from Community Corners toward campus. The speed limit there is 30 and my father was going about 33, but we saw a police car, so he made a comment and slowed down. About 5 seconds later, the windshield shattered as a golf ball from the course to our left hit it. Happily, windshields are designed to stay intact even when broken so we weren’t faced with laps full of glass shards. But it was still pretty shocking.)

OK, good to know, thanks, Adam!

The trail through the woods at the top right corner of the “danger” box is always a mud disaster if you’re into that sort of thing like me. If you prefer to keep your feet dry, probably best to stick to the tractor trail around the outside of the forest!

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Agree, and the footing on the north edge of the woods can be pretty bad. I usually end up walking parts of it.

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Yeah, sorry—Ofer was mapping that in the winter, when it’s usually fine for skiers.

There’s no “good” running route up there, though we can try to ask Cornell to mow the edge of the field up there once the grass starts to get tall.