Finger Lakes Land Trust Acquires Popular Ithaca Trailhead

12/2/2021

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) recently announced it has acquired a scenic seven-acre parcel that protects a popular recreational gateway in the town of Ithaca, Tompkins County. The property features 600 feet of frontage on State Route 13 at Ithaca’s south end, and includes an informal parking area and trailhead for the Finger Lakes Trail with nearby access to Lick Brook Gorge and Robert H. Treman State Park.

Primarily a meadow with areas of young forest, the property is adjacent to state park lands and in close proximity to the FLLT’s Sweedler and Thayer nature preserves at Lick Brook Gorge. The acquisition will ensure that the property remains a natural buffer to the Finger Lakes Trail and the nearby Cayuga Inlet and Enfield Creek.

“The Land Trust acquired this land after learning it was for sale and zoned for industrial use,” said Executive Director Andy Zepp. “This is a popular gateway to Ithaca’s extensive trail system and we were concerned that public access would be lost and the scenic meadow replaced with a warehouse or other incompatible use.”

“The Town of Ithaca applauds this acquisition as we actively work to improve access and connections for our trails, preserves, and parks,” said Town of Ithaca Supervisor Rod Howe. “We have appreciated working with FLLT over the course of many years.”

 

 

This latest acquisition will be added to the FLLT’s adjacent Tapan Mitra Preserve, formerly known as the Cayuga Inlet Conservation Area. The preserve, which protects a segment of the Finger Lakes Trail, was renamed in 2019 in honor of the late Tapan Mitra, a leading economic theorist and long-serving Cornell University professor.

Future public improvements to the site are planned, including the installation of an interpretive kiosk that will provide visitors with information on the area’s trails and conservation lands. The FLLT has launched a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of acquiring this land and providing for its long-term stewardship. For additional information, contact Senior Director Kelly Makosch at (607)-275-9487 or kellymakosch@fllt.org.

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 27,0000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 164 properties that remain in private ownership.

The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at http://www.fllt.org

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