The Finger Lakes Trail System (show map) includes the main Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), from the Pennsylvania-New York border in Allegany State Park to the Long Path in the Catskill Forest Preserve, and its numerous branch and loop trails. The main FLT is 561 miles long. The branch and loop trails currently add an additional 350 miles. The trail system was built and is being maintained by organizations (such as the Cayuga Trails Club) and individual and family trail sponsors. All of these groups and individuals are volunteers, except for personnel of the U.S. Forest Service who maintain 4.5 miles of the main FLT and the 12-mile-long Interloken Trail, one of the FLT System's branch trails. The Finger Lakes Trail Conference (FLTC) was organized in 1962 to promote and coordinate the building, maintenance, and protection of the FLT System.
Several sections of the main FLT have been certified by the National Park Service as official components of the North Country National Scenic Trail (show map). When completed, the North Country Trail (NCT) will extend 4,600 miles across seven states from eastern New York to central North Dakota.
— Reproduced with permission from Adventure Calling You! and A Brief History of the Finger Lakes Trail, published by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference.
The Cayuga Trails Club is responsible for maintenance of about 90 miles of the Finger Lakes Trail System, which includes 23 miles of the North Country Trail. Many of the club's hikes are on sections of the FLT/NCT System.
The Cayuga Trail is a hiking trail, approximately 8.5 miles long, through the Cornell University campus, Cornell Plantations garden and arboretum areas, and through several Cornell Plantations Natural Areas. It follows the Fall Creek gorge from the Cornell Campus east into the Town of Dryden (show map).
The Cayuga Trails Club started building the Cayuga Trail in 1964; it has been expanded several times in its history. The most recent expansion was done in 2000 after a short section of trail along Fall Creek was washed away during heavy spring snow melt and rains. The section was replaced by a very scenic reroute following both sides of a gorge entering Fall Creek.
The Cayuga Trail takes hikers along the high banks and water's edge of Fall Creek, through hardwood forests, pine plantations, and interesting areas of lush ferns and hawthorns. This hike features early spring wildflowers, birds, railroad history and lore, magnificent vistas, interesting geological features, and the beauty of very wild sections of Fall Creek and Cornell's natural areas. The Cayuga Trail is considered one of the most beautiful foot trails in the Ithaca region.
There are numerous other opportunities in the Cayuga Trails Club region for hiking and quiet recreation in natural areas. Explore the following links for further information.
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