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Paths (March 16-25, 2012)

Michel Thoby

Agricultural Paths

Ken Stuart

East Hill Recreation Way

Ithaca, New York, USA

March 23, 2012, about 4:45 pm EDT (-5 GMT)

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© 2012 Ken Stuart, All Rights Reserved.

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Caption

Just about a year ago this path and I became friends. That was when I took up running and found this peaceful off-road track close to my office, making it easy to pop out for some lunchtime exercise.

Since then I have run on it at least twice a week, usually going 5k in about 30 minutes each time. The dirt shoulder makes for a nicer run than road pavement and the natural setting provides different things to look at as the seasons change. Our mild winter here has made it usable even during the winter months this time around.

The welcome sign at one end says that it's a 2.4 mile rail-trail, which are pedestrian and bicycle trails created from abandoned rail corridors. In this case, it was the Elmira Cortland & Northern Railroad, from 1869, which served Ithaca, Etna, Cortland, Brooktondale, and Elmira, all towns in central New York State.

That railroad was later absorbed by the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1896, the sign says, and then officially abandoned in 1976 with the formation of the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail).

For more information on the benefits of rail-to-trail projects, visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

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Equipment

Nikon D90 with Nikkor 10.5mm lens on a Nodal Ninja head; PTGui Pro, Pano2VR, Photoshop.

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