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.
- State Parks and Waterfalls
- Educational Outdoor Activities
- Mountain Biking
- Golf Courses
- Family Outdoor Fun
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
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 Botanic Gardens
Cornell Botanic Gardens 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 Botanic Gardens are a lovely place for a walk, bike ride, or picnic.
Educational Outdoor Activities
Cornell Lab of Ornithology/Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Cayuga Nature Center
1420 Taughannock Blvd. (Rt 89)
Shindagin Hollow State Forest
Off Irish Settlement Road
Yellow Barn State Forest
Off Irish Settlement Road
Hammond Hill State Forest
Hammond Hill Road
Connecticut Hill State Wildlife Management Area
Connecticut Hill Road
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!
Apple, Strawberries, Blueberries
1975 Dryden Road
Go-kart racing open April-October
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.
Greek Peak Mountain Ski Resort
The closest medium-sized resort to Ithaca, Greek Peak, is a short twenty to twenty-five minute drive from Cornell.
Labrador Ski Mountain
Truxton, New York
Ski Conditions: (800) 446-9559
Business Phone: (607) 842-6204
This resort is within an hour’s drive from Ithaca.
Cross-country skiing Ithacans ski on many of the local golf-courses, trails or in Sapsucker Woods.
Podunk Ski Touring
6383 Podunk Road
Rentals and trails.