If you read our article from a few issues ago and caught the hiking bug, good news — there are many more hiking opportunities in the greater Binghamton area. The Broome County Department of Planning and Economic Development has collaborated with other local agencies to create Go All Out Broome County (goalloutbroome.com), a mobile-friendly website and interactive map that can connect you to other outdoor activities in Broome County.
The development of the website began after the department received Broome County’s Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2013, in which residents identified the county’s recreational and natural resources as some of its greatest strengths. According to Stephanie Brewer, a planner for the department, this spurred the department into action.
“While we knew there were a lot of natural and recreational resources our area has to offer, much of the information was maintained by different groups, and their formats were inconsistent and inefficient for the tech-savvy user; Broome County Planning set out to solve this problem,” wrote Brewer, ‘17, in an email. “The end result was the Go All Out Broome website. Our goal is that this website will increase awareness, usership, and promote the economic benefits of our local outdoor recreational resources, as well as improve public health, and be used to help market our area to new residents.”
While it is based in the Planning and Economic Development office, Go All Out Broome is a collaboration between the county executive; the County Legislature; Broome County Parks, Recreation and Youth Services; the County Health Department; Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study; the Greater Binghamton Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the County Industrial Development Agency. The website features everything from agricultural opportunities to winter activities, and for hikers, the website’s maps in particular provide a great deal of information.
“For hikers, one of the great features of this website is that it not only identifies places to hike, but it shows the actual trail, and provides information about the distance, elevation gain, and difficulty level,” Brewer wrote. “In addition, other features of the map allow users to pinpoint their location on the map, search for specific places or activities, turn layers on and off, get directions to their destination, bookmark maps for later use, or [even] print them.”
Users can also submit their own points of interest for consideration, which the county will review, map and possibly add to the database.
For Brewer, working on the project introduced her to the full range of natural resources in the area.
“I have lived in Binghamton my whole life, and never realized how many great hiking spots we have,” she wrote. “There are about 30 different places and close to 100 miles of trails (that we know of so far) in Broome County!”
To others interested in hiking and the other activities in Broome, Brewer suggests taking a social approach: the Triple Cities Hiking Club and the Binghamton University Outdoors Club host group hikes, while other organizations on the website are constantly listing new events and opportunities for group outings.
Even aside from the opportunities compiled and shared by Go All Out Broome, there are plenty of new places to discover in the area.
“Find a friend to go hiking with, you never know what you might stumble upon in the woods,” Brewer wrote.