Ithaca, N.Y. — After undergoing extensive renovations since 2008, the Cascadilla Gorge Trail was reopened in full on Monday with a ceremony held at Treman Triangle Park.
More than 100 people attended the ceremony to celebrate the occasion.
The upper part of the trail has been closed since late 2008, after the weight of multiple layers of ice forced rocks to fall onto walkways.
Construction began on the trail after the damage and was partially completed in 2010, when about half of the trail was re-opened to the public.
Director of Natural Service Areas for Cornell Plantations, Todd Bittner, was the project manager of the Cascadilla Gorge Trail renovation.
Bittner called the project as a “six-year labor of love.”
In 2011, Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Lee caused damage to the gorge trail, delaying the re-opening of the 10,000 year-old wonder by two years.
FEMA, Cornell and the Cornell Plantations provided the funding for the restorations, according to the Cornell Plantations.
The event featured short speeches from Mayor Svante Myrick; former Mayor Carolyn Peterson; Todd Bittner, director of Natural Areas for Cornell Plantations; Kyujung Whang, vice president for facilities services at Cornell; and Christopher Dunn, the E.N. Wilds Director at Cornell Plantations.
During Mayor Myrick’s speech, he told the story of when he was searching for colleges at age 17 and toured the Cornell campus.
“Here is a building. Here is a 10,000-year old waterfall in the middle of campus. And here is another building,” Myrick said.
Former Mayor Carolyn Peterson also told those in attendance that she has walked the trail for 40 years.
“The Cascadilla Gorge is an undeniably beautiful respite of our community,” Peterson said.