Running the new Onondaga Lake trail: Matt's Memo

Onondaga Lake.

The sun was out. The stiff breeze was blowing strong. I had my running shoes on and the Onondaga Lake Park trail ahead of me. I parked in the Griffin Field lot in Liverpool. That's where I noticed the reminder sign that the newly extended West Shore Trial was scheduled to open this weekend.

That newly created 2.5 mile addition to the extensive recreation paths were on the exact opposite side of the lake from where I was standing. I could see some heavy equipment on the opposite shore. My goal for the day was to run the route to catch a glimpse of the new trail.

A modest pace would be the key to click off the mileage needed to get there. I ran past the Marina and Yacht Club down toward Willow Bay. Then it was over the bridge toward Long Branch Park on to the start of the West Shore Trail.

That section of trail has been developed for more than thirty years. It takes you away from the busy area of the park. There is shade, tranquility and a rich collection of birds and other wildlife. The paved path wanders along the edge of Onondaga Lake.

It felt like that length of trail was stretching out longer and longer. I wanted to reach the new area, but also realized the run has already passed five miles. That meant may car was five miles away.

Once I crossed into the new area I was up close to the Honeywell lake cleanup equipment that was out on the lake continuing its project of sucking polluted sludge from the lake bottom. I was also seeing freshly paved smooth trails fit for running, biking or even a tram. There were also new shaded rest areas.

I could not afford to go too far into the new section. The anticipated grand views of of Onondaga Lake would have to wait. As I approached six miles in the run I had to turn back to be sure may legs could survive the return trip.

Getting just a taste of the new area whet my appetite for returning to fully experience the new trail. I will come back. I also look forward the trail one day extending fully around Onondaga Lake.

You can take part in the opening of the trail on Sunday, May 18th.


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