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Outdoors

According to a local bumper sticker, “Ithaca is gorges”, and most people here would agree.

Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Ithaca is surrounded by waterfalls, gorges, lakes, and parks. With a four season climate and close access to kite sailing, skiing, skating, mountain biking, hiking, polo, canoeing, wind surfing, and other sports, Ithaca is an ideal place for getting outside.

Sunny Days

Snowy Days

State Parks and Waterfalls 

Cascadilla Creek Gorge Path and Falls
University Avenue and Court Street from downtown.
From the Law School, walk toward Collegetown, after the bridge turn right and enter just next to the Schwartz Performing Arts Center. Not open in winter.

Bebe Lake Loop and Dam
Bebe Lake, Cornell University’s lake, is a nice length to run or walk around on a nice day. According to local legend, couples who walk around the lake holding hands will get married.

Taughannock Falls State Park
Taughannock Park Road
Rte 89
Home to one of the highest waterfalls east of the Missisippi, Taughannock Park includes trails, a boat launch and beach on Cayuga Lake. It is about a 15 minute drive from campus.

Buttermilk Falls State Park
Route 13 South
Buttermilk Falls was named by settlers because the falls churn the water into a white froth that looks like Buttermilk. A lovely trail climbs through the beautiful gorge, past numerous waterfalls, ferns and pools of water. Closed during the winter.

Cornell Plantations
Cornell Plantations is the curator of Cornell’s natural areas. Trails lead past old growth forests, along Fall Creek, beside Bebe Lake, and through the Arboretums. The Plantations are a lovely place for a walk, bike ride, or picnic.

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Educational Outdoor Activities

Cornell Lab of Ornithology/Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
(607) 254-2473

Cornell Outdoor Education

Cayuga Nature Center
1420 Taughannock Blvd. (Rt 89)
(607) 273-6260

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Mountain Biking

Shindagin Hollow State Forest
Off Irish Settlement Road
Dryden, NY
(607) 753-3095

Yellow Barn State Forest
Off Irish Settlement Road
Dryden, NY
(607) 753-3095

Hammond Hill State Forest
Hammond Hill Road
Dryden, NY
(607) 753-3095

Connecticut Hill State Wildlife Management Area
Connecticut Hill Road
Newfield, NY
(607) 753-3095

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Golf Courses 

Robert Trent Jones Golf Course
For Cornell Community
Warren Road
(607) 257-3661

Newman Municipal Golf Course
10 Pier Road
(607) 273-6262

Hillendale Golf Course
218 Applegate Road
(607) 273-2363

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Family Outdoor Fun

Ithaca Farmers’ Market
The Ithaca Farmers’ Market is open from April-December. Best time to go, when it’s nice out and on a Saturday or Sunday!

Fruit Picking
Apple, Strawberries, Blueberries

Cass Park Rink & Pool
701 Taughannock Blvd. (Rte 96)
(607) 273-9211
Swimming, tennis and athletic fields

Ringwood Raceway
1975 Dryden Road
Freeville, NY
(607) 247-4198
Go-kart racing open April-October

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Sledding

Sledding is one of Ithacans all time favorite winter sports! Get a sled, find any hill in Ithaca, and go. Local favorites include: Cornell Plantations and Taughannock Park. Avoid Libe Slope, as it is dangerous and against Cornell regulations to sled down.

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Downhill Skiing

Greek Peak Mountain Ski Resort
800-955-2SKI (2754)
The closest medium-sized resort to Ithaca, Greek Peak, is a short twenty to twenty-five minute drive from Cornell.

Labrador Ski Mountain
Route 91
Truxton, New York
Ski Conditions: (800) 446-9559
Business Phone: (607) 842-6204
This resort is within an hour’s drive from Ithaca.

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Cross-country Skiing

Cross-country skiing Ithacans ski on many of the local golf-courses, trails or in Sapsucker Woods.

Podunk Ski Touring
6383 Podunk Road
Trumansburg, NY
(607) 387-6716
Rentals and trails.

Cayuga Nature Center
1420 Taughannock Blvd. (Rt 89)
(607) 273-6260
Skiing and snowshoeing.

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Ice Skating

Cass Park Rink & Pool
701 Taughannock Blvd. (Rte 96)
(607) 273-9211
Ice skating and hockey

The Rink
1767 East Shore Drive
Ithaca, NY
(607) 277-7465
Ice skating rink

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