The next time you’re passing by the New York State Fairgrounds on I-690 and you have some time to kill, think about stopping by the new Onondaga Lake Trail Extension. Officials unveiled the 2.5 mile addition Sunday with an expo and a walk/run.
The crowd gathering beside the Fairgrounds on Sunday morning was ready to move. Everyone lined up beside the new trail entrance, which showcases panoramic views of Onondaga Lake, and it was off to the races.
With this extension, the trail now spans from the Honeywell Visitors Center on the west side of the lake …… all the way to Onondaga Lake Park on the east side. It’s been seven years since the two-point-three mile addition was approved by county legislators, and more than a century since the west side of the lake has been open to the general public. Even though they’ve been kept waiting, the scenery was a big draw for Stan More and Brett Dumais, who usually run starting on the other shore.
Even on a day of high spirits, the area’s polluted reputation was still present. The Onondaga Nation did not attend the trail opening, to reinforce the opinion that the soda ash waste beds beneath the new trail should have been removed altogether. County Executive Joanie Mahoney brought it up first thing before she cut the ribbon.
The $4.5 million trail extension is the most recent step to provide trail access all the way around Onondaga Lake. The next planned addition should end at the Onondaga Creek Walk, just behind Destiny USA.