Tuesday Evening Hike: Black Diamond Trail - From Taughannock South

Tuesday, November 7, 2017  •  4:00 pm

Tonight's hike is the northern section of the Black Diamond Trail, beginning at the upper falls at Taughannock Falls State Park and heading south.

The Black Diamond, envisioned as a connector between Taughannock Falls and parks to the south, was under discussion, and then under construction, for many years. Under the leadership of the New York Parks (OPRHP), two very substantial bridges, brush clearing, logging, creation of a stone dust trail tread, and extensive guardrails finally made this section of the BD a reality in 2016. You can now hike from Taughannock to Cass Park on a wide, flat multi-use recreation trail. The BD exhibits all the characteristics of a typical rails-to-trails project: a former rail bed, it is a very tame trail with few turns and, although there is a change in elevation, it is not noticeable to hikers. The trail is not physically challenging for most, making for a pleasant evening walk - or bike, or run - with plenty of opportunity for conversation.

Dress in layers according to the weather, wear sturdy boots and bring water. Recommended gear is headlamp, flashlight, or both, as we exit the woods at dusk. It is now bow season for deer; wearing blaze orange jacket or vest and hat will help make you more visible to hunters.

Hikers are invited to join the hike leader for a hot beverage at a local bistro after the hike.

Trail-head starting and endpoint is Taughannock State Park gravel parking area. If you are using GPS, set your destination for 7262 Jacksonville Rd., Trumansburg. From Wegmans in Ithaca, go north on N.Y. Route 96 about 8 miles to the little hamlet of Jacksonville. Turn right on Jacksonville Road and go 1.5 miles. Small gravel parking area is on the right just before you cross the bridge.

If you need help with navigation, email Gary.

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