Black Diamond Trail will one day stretch 15 miles to link four state parks in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Currently, 8 miles of the trail are open, which follow the Lehigh Valley Railroad route whose Black Diamond Express once ran from Buffalo to New York City and gives the rail-trail its name.
The unpaved trail runs through a rural backdrop as it makes its way from Cass Park in Ithaca to Taughannock Falls State Park near Trumansburg. The southern half of the trail (about 4 miles) offers a pleasant walk from Ithaca.
On its northern end, the trail is still walkable, but a few sections are overgrown. By the end of summer 2014, the trail is expected to be cleared and surfaced with crushed stone for the full 8 miles. Until then, the surface remains mostly railroad ballast and grass. There are no services along this trail.
Plans are under way to take the trail further south to Buttermilk Falls State Park and Robert Treman State Park, and include a connection to the planned Gateway Trail.
At the south end of the trail, parking is available in Cass Park (701 Taughannock Blvd.). At its north end, you can park in Taughannock Falls State Park.