TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — A freshly launched website is making Tompkins County’s natural beauty and hundreds of miles of trails easier to navigate.
The website, “Out on the Trails” at IthacaTrails.org, lists all the trails in Tompkins County and allows them to be sorted in a number of ways. For example, users can sort the trails by activity like hiking, biking or horseback riding, and by difficulty, by length, wildlife watching, gorges and waterfalls and other features. It’s also easy to find directions to trailheads and information on parking.
Ulysses Town supervisor and project leader Liz Thomas said they wanted to make it easy for both residents and visitors to enjoy the “many hidden gems we have in Tompkins County.”
While many trails on the website are well-known, the site also lists lesser known trails. Have you explored the Bob Cameron Loop or the Dunlop Meadow Natural Area?
Todd Bittner, director of natural areas at the Cornell Botanic Gardens and a key grant manager, said the county has more than 240 miles of public trails, but since they span 15 different organizations, it has been tricky to find information about all the trails in one place. The website links to each partner organization’s website for more information. The site is also GPS-enabled so that it can be used on mobile devices.
“The beauty of the new ‘Out on the Trails’ website is that it provides comprehensive information on all the trails, regardless of ownership,” Bittner said in a news release.
The website is designed to get more people out exploring the natural beauty of Tompkins County, and the county hopes it will also promote more growth in tourism.
“Making all of our natural areas and trails more accessible to visitors is a great opportunity to grow tourism sustainably by showcasing our existing natural assets,” Tompkins County Tourism Program Director Tom Knipe said in a news release.
The website was funded by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.
Every year, visitors spend nearly $200 million in local shops, restaurants and hotels. Tourists also leave behind about $650 in local tax revenues per Tompkins County household, which goes toward funding programs and services, a news release said.
An event featuring National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Jennifer Pharr Davis will take place at 10:30 a.m. April 17 at The Space @ Greenstar. The event will be followed by a family hike with Davis on the new Black Diamond Trail, which begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Ithaca Children’s Garden.
More events are planned throughout April to get out and explore local trails.
- April 4, 5:00 p.m. – Cayuga Trail East, Ithaca
- April 11, 5:00 p.m. – Roy Park Preserve, Dryden
- April 13, noon. – Adopt A Trail Ribbon cutting. Cayuga Waterfront Trail near the Space at Greenstar.
- April 13, 5:00 p.m. – Black Diamond Trail, Slow Roll Bike Ride. Leave Stewart Park (large pavilion) at 5:00 p.m.
- April 15, 8:00 a.m. – Stevenson Preserve, Enfield, RSVP requested
- April 17, 1:30 p.m. – Black Diamond Trail, Ithaca Children’s Garden
- April 20, 9:00 a.m. Black Diamond Trail North Ulysses/Trumansburg
- April 23, 1:00 p.m. – Earth Day Hike on the Cayuga Trail, Ithaca
- April 29, 10:00 a.m. – Fischer Old-Growth Forest, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Newfield. Registration required.
- April 30, 7:00 a.m. – Jim Schug Trail, Dryden Lake Park
Featured image: Robert H. Treman State Park. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice