Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

November 28, 2007

Eileen Larrabee

State Parks Issues Draft Master Plan for Black Diamond Trail

Public Hearings on Proposed Tompkins County Trail to be held December 5th and 6th

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today announced that the agency has completed a draft master plan on the Black Diamond Trail, a 15-mile, off-road pedestrian and bicycle trail facility proposed for Tompkins County. The plan is available for the public to review at Information workshops and public hearings on the proposal are planned for December 5th and 6th. Public comment on the proposal, either at the hearings or in writing, continues through January 15th, 2008.

"This draft master plan reflects the vision of State Parks to create a multi-use trail connecting four major State Park facilities in Tompkins County to neighborhoods and communities and other major trip destinations. The Black Diamond Trail initiative reflects our mission to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for the state's residents and visitors, as well as our priority to create connections between existing parks to improve their accessibility to the public" Ash said.

According to Ash, the trail proposal consists of the construction, operation and maintenance of a 15-mile multi-use, multi-purpose trail that will utilize abandoned rail corridor and stream-valley bottomland. The trail will connect four major state park facilities, Robert H. Treman, Buttermilk Falls, Allan H. Treman and Taughannock Falls.

Ash noted that the public comment period on the draft proposal is part of the process toward adopting a final master plan. Implementation of the project depends on the identification and availability of necessary funding.

"The trail's main goal," Ash said, "is to provide an off-road, accessible route for walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and other trail users." Ash added that the trail will be all-season, including accommodating cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

"Public input on the draft master plan is an essential part of the process to ensure the project's implementation meets the expectations of the community. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in Tompkins County to make this plan a reality," Ash concluded.

The public hearings are scheduled for:

December 5th
Tompkins County Public Library
Borg Warner Room East
101 Green Street, Ithaca
Workshop: 5:30-6:45pm
Hearing: 7:00pm

December 6th
Franziska Racker Center Cafeteria
3226 Wilkins Road, Ithaca
Workshop: 5:30-6:45pm
Hearing: 7:00pm