The Dryden-Freeville Trail is a plan that has been in the works for many years. It involves the extension of the Jim Schug Trail from the Village of Dryden to the Village of Freeville.
The new trail will be approximately 3.3 miles in length, and when combined with the Jim Schug trail will total 7.5 miles. Its primary uses will be walking, jogging, running and cycling. The project will include the development of a trailhead in both the Village of Dryden and the Village of Freeville with available parking spaces at both ends. Appropriate signage will be put in place at trailheads and road crossings, as well as throughout the trail.
Two of the main issues that have delayed work on the trail include difficult road crossings and landowner disagreements. Road crossing that go across busy roads, such as Route 13 and George Road, make it hard to ensure the safety of trail users. A few of the landowners along the proposed path of the trail are also reluctant to approve the plan because of privacy issues and other similar concerns. Some of the more complicated disagreements, however, have been resolved this year.
While there have been some difficulties related to landowner disagreements, many residents are excited to get the trail started. In 2000, the Town did a community survey of 6,000 residents and over 20% replied well above the national average of 6-7%. Of those that replied to the survey, 79% felt that the Town was in need of more opportunities for walking, jogging and cycling. This positive response is very encouraging as the Town plans out the future of the trails.
Despite the long delay in beginning the project, work on the trail is expected to get under in the near future. Other future extensions are being considered, such as a connection to Dryden High School and other community sites. Projects to extend the trail into the hamlets of Varna and Etna are also being planned, as are larger projects that would connect the Town of Dryden to Elmira, Cortland, and/or Ithaca.