December 1, 2021

More talks on trail set

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A ribbon marks a tree Monday in the area a proposed half-mile trail at Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex in Cortlandville. Negotiations to build the trail that would connect with trails in and around Lime Hollow Nature Center are still in the works.

Further discussions will be needed between local officials and property owners before work can begin in Cortlandville on a half-mile trail to connect Gutchess Lumber Sports Complex to trails in and around Lime Hollow Nature Center, an official said Monday.

Cortlandville Town Supervisor Tom Williams, Homer Central School District Director of Athletics Todd Lisi and Cortland Regional Sports Council Executive Director Machell Phelps will need to discuss easement agreements with Byrne Dairy and another property owner whose holdings include trails linking to those near Lime Hollow Nature Center, said Glenn Reisweber, the executive director of Lime Hollow.

Cortlandville had approved the creation of the trail in July so that cross country teams from Homer High School and others from the state could use the complex as a start and finishing point for meets.

Races would start at the complex before connecting to trails overseen by Lime Hollow and the town.

Reisweber said Monday he had met with members of Homer High School’s cross country teams on Friday to go over trail clearance and landscape work that would need to be done prior to use by the high school.

“There is going to be some work done by the Cortlandville Highway Department for terrain work,” he said.

This includes trail widening and slope easing, he said.

The trail would link up to the Chicago Bog before connecting to other trails owned by Lime Hollow, the town and Cortland County, which owns the Lehigh Valley trail.

“It really is an incredible bit of coordination with Lime Hollow, Cortlandville and the county,” Reisweber said.

Town, school and Lime Hollow officials had previously discussed having the trail and connections ready by the start of Homer’s cross country season though Reisweber said the parties involved “need to hustle to make that deadline” with the season beginning in the next few weeks.

Homer had used Lime Hollow trails for 10 to 12 years but the shortage of parking at the nature center meant teams and competitors frequently had to park along McLean and Gracie roads, Reisweber said.

Beginning and ending the meets at the town sports complex would provide for more parking, along with other amenities such as larger bathrooms and use of the pavilion.

The creation of the trail will also expand the use of the complex beyond baseball, Williams said Friday.

“Most of the activity is for baseball but we’re trying to build a broader base for community-based events,” he said.

Once finished, it will allow connectivity between the trails, Lime Hollow Nature Center and the complex, Reisweber said.