Louise Edelman was bundled against the chill of an early spring afternoon Monday as she walked her dog, Barley, an 8-year-old tan boxer mix, along the sun-drenched Dryden Rail Trail.
“When the weather is good, we come a couple of times a week,” said Edelman, who lives in the a village of Dryden. “He gets bored if we come to the same place.”
Edelman said she’s been walking the Freeville to Dryden section as of late. She said she enjoys the newly completed section of the trail that connects the villages.
“It’s awesome,” Edelman said. “It’s more of an opportunity for more scenery.”
Dryden town residents can celebrate and volunteer at the official opening of the almost 3 mile trail section from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 11.
Susan Ashdown, a Varna resident and member of the Dryden Rail Trail Task Force, is excited to celebrate the opening of the trail. She noted the trail takes visitors along some beautiful scenery including farmlands and rivers and connects residents from all over the town to each other.
“This is going to be an amazing trail,” she said. “When you live in Varna you look toward Ithaca but this will pull us back to Dryden.”
However, Ashdown said she’s looking for volunteers to make the celebration a momentous occasion. She said she’s hoping to get 30 to 40 volunteers to help out on the day of the celebration. She’s also seeking someone to oversee parking and community connections — which would work with local organizations and the volunteers.
WHEN: May 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Enter at Factory Street near village hall in Freeville or Elm Street in the village of Dryden
VOLUNTEER: Contact Susan Ashdown at 607-277-7912 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The event will include activities like games for kids, food trucks and prizes people can win by walking along the trail.
“Although the celebration is at the pavilion we really want to get people out on the trail,” Ashdown said.
She said the task force also wants to get people to walk in from either of the villages and shuttle buses will be used to bring people back to their cars if they don’t feel like turning around.
Once all of the trail is done it will be a 10.5-mile path for cycling, running and walking built on an old railroad bed. Once completed, the trail will run between east Ithaca and Cornell University area and the village of Dryden and pass through villages and hamlets along the way.
“We’re making progress,” task force President Bob Beck said. “For several decades people thought this would be impossible.”