The Finger Lakes Cycling Club is hosting a Black Diamond Trail celebration picnic on Sunday October 2! This surfaced trail has been in the making for decades. Join us in thanking the advocates, planners, and construction crew.
WHAT: Ride on the BDT followed by a picnic (grilled protein including vegetarian options and beverages provided; sign up to bring a dish to pass) with door prizes from local merchants
WHEN: Sunday, October 2, 12:30-4:30 p.m. (ride from 12:30 to 2:30; food starting at 2:30; short speeches at 3:00.)
WHERE: Cass Park Pavillion (park in the Childrens’ Garden lot)
TO R.S.V.P., sign up to bring a dish, volunteer: http://tinyurl.com/BDT-invite
CO-SPONSORS: The Cayuga Waterfront Trail, Cycle CNY, Red Newt Racing, Cayuga Ski & Cyclery, The Bike Rack, Swan Cycles, Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Company, Ithaca Bike Rental, Rasa Spa, Gil’s Honeybees and the Ithaca Childrens’ Garden.
According to Armin Heurich, President of the Finger Lakes Cycling club, who has recently cycled the Trail: “The final surface is very fine and smooth hard-packed cinder. It can be easily ridden on a road bike with high pressure tires.” Those overseeing the work say it looks like the trail will likely be completely surfaced by the time of this 10/2 event. So come ready to do some cycling! Expect an approximately 16.5 mile round trip to the Taughannock gorge overlook, with a maximum grade of about 2%. The Cass park entrance to the BDT is opposite the center of the Children’s Garden and under the power lines. To find it, with your back to the Children’s Garden, walk toward the hill. Surfacing efforts are currently proceeding down from the northern end of the trail.
The Black Diamond Trail is actually a trail network that, when completed, will connect Taughannock State Park, Allan H. Treman State Marine Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park and Robert Treman State Park, providing several miles of pathway for non-motorized travel, according to the Black Diamond Trail Enthusiasts Network (BDTEN). Once a stretch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the rail bed’s conversion to a surfaced trail between Allen Treman Marina State Park and Taughannock Falls is on schedule for completion this October.
The concept for the Black Diamond Trail was established back in the ’70s. Thanks to the tireless efforts of many advocates and champions, including the 10-year old Black Diamond Trail Enthusiasts Network, the dream of a surfaced trail linking Cass and Taughannock is about to become a reality. Fred Bonn, the Regional Director for the New York State Office of Parks for the Finger Lakes, who has supervised all of the massive culvert, earth moving and surfacing efforts, will be joining us for the picnic.
In June of this year an Ithaca.com article quoted BDTEN member Jan Zeserson as saying the group had rallied people to public hearings on the trail’s master plan, with mostly supporters coming out to those events, “to say how much importance the trail has…as a ‘linchpin’ in connecting other trails”, key to “the dream of navigating through Ithaca and as much of Tompkins County as we can off-road.”