ITHACA, N.Y. – As signs of spring finally begin to show, there are some safety tips to keep in mind as the weather gets warmer and the ground begins to thaw.

The Ithaca Fire Department released a reminder this week that as gorges begin to open up, the ground is still extremely slick and unstable as the weather transitions.

“The trails and gorges are one of the things that make Ithaca great,” read the release. “It is also one of the most dangerous times to be near our gorges.”

Lieutenant Tom Basher, of the Ithaca Fire Department, said while the upcoming forecast for the weekend isn’t predicting the ideal outdoorsy weather, the fire department hoped to be proactive with their reminder for those who are itching to get on the trails.

“We want everyone to stay on the marked trails, people really get into trouble when they go off on their own and get into a bad spot,” Basher said. “The trails are maintained throughout the year but they take time to get opened up – hike with a friend, keep a cell phone with you and know where you are at all times.”

Basher said when responding to more common emergencies like allergic reactions or trail-related injuries, it is most helpful for responders to know exactly where the person is calling from.

“A lot of times when we get calls we’re told they’re at Lucifer Falls or Taughannock Falls, but there are a lot of trails within those areas, so knowing exactly where you are on the train in case of an emergency is really important,” Basher said.

The release also urged hikers to stay out of the water for now, since temperatures are still freezing and potentially deadly. 

As the days start to warmer and sunnier, keep these tips in mind as you adventure outside!

Featured image courtesy of the Ithaca Fire Department: Firefighters practice their gorge rescue skills. 

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.