Tompkins Priority Trails Strategy

For the past few years, I’ve been attending biannual meetings of the Tompkins County Parks and Trails Network, an informal group with representatives from all the town, city, county, state, and independent organizations in the area. The meetings have been fabulous for networking with other trail-involved people, getting updates on what’s in progress and planned, and more.

At the last meeting in the fall of 2023, some of the people who work on trail planning professionally were focused on updating the Tompkins Priority Trails Strategy, a document initiated years ago (before the Black Diamond Trail).

That update is done, and it’s fascinating reading for anyone who’s interested in the future of trails in our area. You’ll read about the status of the Dryden Rail Trail, a desired extension to the South Hill Rec Way, a possible extension of the Black Diamond Trail to Trumansburg, connecting Buttermilk and Treman State Parks, and more. It all takes a long time, but running in the area only stands to benefit from more trails.

Priority_Trails_Strategy_12-2023.pdf (914.0 KB)


The linked PDF is one of the best reports I’ve seen, both in content and presentation. Kudos to the Network for what they do. The local trail network is a fantastic resource for locals and outsiders, and adds to our quality of life.

I recall Black Diamond was decades in the making, and look at what an amazing resource it turned out to be. We have much to look forward to.


I’m very impressed with this group. Everyone clearly loves trails and wants to make more, but all the discussions are grounded in the reality of how hard it can be to get this stuff done.

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More trail projects always sounds so exciting. I am glad that Tompkins County has great folks working on these types of projects.

Recently in my neck of the woods an organization was circulating a survey to get feedback regarding a potential rail trail of some sort to potentially connect the Elmira and Corning areas and possibly some of the parks in our area. Who knows if anything will ever come of it or how long it will take but I always appreciate that people and organizations are at least trying ot make these things happen.