Photo: Jeff Katris

Partnership Protects Land Bordering the Black Diamond Trail

The Land Trust acquired twelve forested acres in the town of Ulysses located between the popular Black Diamond Trail and the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway/New York State Route 89.  The property features towering hardwoods, more than 2,000 feet of frontage on the Black Diamond Trail, and more than 1,700 feet of frontage on the Byway.

Protection of the property has been a priority for the Land Trust, Tompkins County and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) because of the natural buffer it provides between the trail and the state highway. The land will ultimately be conveyed to NYSOPRHP as an addition to its holdings when funds become available.

Photo: Jeff Katris

A favorite among cyclists, runners, and cross country skiers, the Black Diamond is a 10.5-mile multiuse trail that runs from Cass Park in Ithaca to Taughannock Falls State Park in Ulysses. The area between the trail and the Scenic Byway, which offers beautiful views of Cayuga Lake and surrounding farmland and vineyards, has come under increasing development pressure.

Acquisition of the property will build upon cooperative efforts by the Land Trust, NYSOPRHP, Tompkins County, and the Towns of Ulysses and Ithaca to create a natural corridor along the trail. Several years ago, the Land Trust supported NYSOPRHP’s acquisition of 70 acres of forest in this area which included the “missing link” needed to complete this section of the Black Diamond.

“The Black Diamond is a tremendous resource for the community,” said Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “By working together with our partners, we’re creating a greenbelt that will ensure the character of the trail while securing habitat for wildlife and helping to maintain water quality within Cayuga Lake.”