Thursday Morning Hike on the Black Diamond Trail @ Cass Park

Thursday, March 15, 2018  •  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Hike rating: Distance - 6-7 miles; Terrain - Easy; Pace - Moderate; Overall rating - Easy
  • Event/Trailhead location: Cass Park Children's Garden parking lot, Route 89 (Taughannock Blvd.), Ithaca (click for map).
  • Contact: Sigrid Connors   Sigatello6@gmail.com   607-227-3786

Our 1st Thursday morning hike of 2018 is on the southern section of the Black Diamond Trail which runs from Cass Park to Taughannock Falls State Park.  It was originally a railroad bed, built primarily to bring the all-important commodity-coal-from Pennsylvania to the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. It has been repurposed into a gentle trail which may be showing the fist hints of spring but be prepared for winter weather. We will begin at the trailhead in Cass Park, hike 90 minutes, stop and retrace our steps, about six to seven miles depending on weather. Primary natural feature of this hike is gentle grade as we rise above Cass Park on the trailbed through the woods.

The Black Diamond, envisioned as a connector trail between Taughannock Falls and parks to the south, required many years to become a reality, and it is still under development. Under the leadership of the New York Parks (OPRHP), two very substantial bridges finally made the rail bed accessible to hikers. You can now hike from Cass Park to Taughannock Park on a wide, straight, flat trail. Note that, at many points, we are hiking on railroad ballast, which can be a little tough on your feet, but many think the landscapes and vantage points that give you a view of Cayuga Lake and local fields and stands of forest make it worth the effort.

Wear sturdy hiking boots, bring water and snacks. Trail could be snowy and/or icy, hiking poles are recommended. 

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