Eight-Mile Recreational Trail First Envisioned in the 1970s Project Funded by Governor Cuomo’s New York Parks 2020 Program
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $2 million project to build an 8 mile section of the Black Diamond Trail in Tompkins County. The trail, first envisioned in the 1970’s, now runs along a former railroad line between Allan H. Treman State Park Marina, one of the state’s largest inland marinas, and Taughannock Falls State Park, which features the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi. The $2 million plan was funded through Governor Cuomo’s New York Parks 2020 program, a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020.
“Southern Tier residents have been waiting a long time to make use of the Black Diamond Trail, and I’m proud to announce that this new recreational asset is now a reality,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is one more part of this administration’s ongoing commitment to modernizing our park system and building on this region’s natural strengths to increase tourism, boost economic activity and move this state forward.”
The completed 8.5-mile project, safely removed from automobile traffic, features a stone dust surface, level grade and a scenic view of Cayuga Lake. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul joined state representatives, park officials and trail users for a ceremonial bicycle ride on the trail today.
“Our parks, waterfalls and gorges are one of the top reasons why visitors come to this region,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “They are a great place to enjoy nature and recreation, but they are also a major driver of our economy. The Black Diamond Trail is a great example of New York State working to strengthen the tourism economy and, in doing so, boosting the entire region.”
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said: “The Black Diamond Trail will be a great new place for cycling, running, walking and cross-country skiing in the Southern Tier. I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in enhancing our State Park system and connecting more people to outdoor recreation in New York State.”
Senator Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said: “Our region is fortunate to enjoy a premiere network of historic sites, parks and trails, including the Black Diamond Trail. It will be one of the state’s great multi-use trails and I can’t say enough about this New York Works effort to keep it moving forward and completed. These investments will go a long way toward securing the future quality and strength of the Finger Lakes region’s recreational and tourism foundations.”
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said: “I couldn’t be happier that the long-awaited Black Diamond Trail is finally ready to be opened to the public. I’m an avid walker myself, and our amazing system of trails here in Tompkins County is a treasure for residents and visitors alike. The Black Diamond Trail will provide a valuable link between Trumansburg and Ithaca for walkers and bikers and enhance our local parks. My office, along with so many others, has devoted countless hours helping to see this project through to the end. It’s been a long road with many challenges, but the end result is certainly worth it."
The Black Diamond Trail, named after the Black Diamond Express passenger train, was first envisioned in the early 1970s, and is a planned 12-mile multi-use trail that will eventually connect Taughannock Falls State Park to Robert Treman State Park. Phase Two, currently in the development stage, would run from Alan H. Treman State Park Marina on the north side of Ithaca to Buttermilk Falls State Park on the southern edge of the city, and continuing south to Robert Treman State Park.