The Land Trust has launched a new web site at gofingerlakes.org, offered as a free public service to help residents and visitors discover the best locations in the region for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor recreation activities.
“Go Finger Lakes” features over 55 locations and 650 miles of trails across the 12-county Finger Lakes region of New York State. It is a mobile-ready site with a searchable map, scenic videos, photo galleries, driving directions, and trail descriptions.
“People always ask us where they can get outside,” says Andy Zepp, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust. “We created Go Finger Lakes to help people discover new places to explore outside of their usual rounds.”
Site users will find state forests and parks, nature centers, rail trails, and other prime conservation lands available for public recreation, including popular segments of the Finger Lakes Trail. The Land Trust recently partnered to protect over a mile of the Finger Lakes Trail adjacent to Danby State Forest and the organization is committed to encouraging conservation through recreation.
“Many people come to an understanding of land and water conservation when they fall in love with a beautiful trail or particular forest,” explains Kelly Makosch, Director of Development and Communications at the Land Trust. “Go Finger Lakes will help people appreciate and protect the wild places that make our region so special.”
Zepp adds that the web site will serve not only outdoor recreation enthusiasts but also people interested in learning more about the beauty and diversity of the region. “By promoting our most stunning natural areas through videos, photography, and experiential writing, Go Finger Lakes will encourage residents and visitors to appreciate the Finger Lakes region as a whole.”
The locations featured on Go Finger Lakes were curated, mapped, and interpreted by the Finger Lakes Land Trust along with veteran outdoorsman Tim Starmer, author of Five Star Trails: Finger Lakes and Central New York and Five Star Trails: Adirondacks.
Funding for the creation of Go Finger Lakes was provided by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, Tompkins County Tourism Program, the John Ben Snow Foundation, and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund and the NYS Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the Land Trust Alliance.
To support ongoing operation of the web site, the Land Trust is actively seeking sponsors. Ithaca’s Press Bay Alley, a unique micro-retailing environment in Downtown Ithaca, is onboard as the first supporter.