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When researching Ithaca, New York, a small college town in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, I read the area had over 150 waterfalls. I was hoping to see a few of them during our three day weekend getaway. I had no idea I would be able to see more than a dozen waterfalls in just one weekend. The finger lakes waterfalls are located in the state parks and the towns, making some of them very easy to access.
The most famous waterfall in Ithaca, is Ithaca falls. This is probably the easiest waterfall to get to. You can view Ithaca Falls from your car, or park nearby. There are several nearby parking lots that allow you to park and walk up closer to the Falls to get a better view. The walk is very easy and you can see the whole thing in just five minutes.
Cascadilla Gorge Trail
The next opportunity to see waterfalls in Ithaca is on the Cascadilla Gorge walk, part of the Cornell Botanic Gardens. We were able to walk to the starting point of the trail from Ithaca Commons. This lovely walk will take you past six waterfalls. There are a handful of steps, but this is a fairly easy path. If you keep moving it will take about 15 minutes, but we probably spent about 30 minutes walking by all of the falls and photographing them. The end of the short walk brings you to Collegetown where you can explore the Cornell Campus.
The walk begins by crossing this simple bridge.
Then continues over this bridge.
The tour culminates at this beautiful bridge in Collegetown.
Buttermilk Falls State Park
Our final waterfall chasing excursion was at Buttermilk Falls State Park. I was eager to do this hike first, but based on the weather forecast, we decided to risk it and hold off for out final day. We were very fortunate that the weather was nearly perfect and it had rained the day before, giving the falls some extra water and beauty. Upon entering the park you are greeted by a massive waterfall. As you hike nearly 500ft up, you pass several other waterfalls and rock pools. This hike was definitely a work out. I would not recommend bringing young children. Someone had their two year old with them, and let’s just say it was miserable for everyone including my travel buddy and me. We continued on to Bear Creek Trail and over to Lake Treman to have a picnic. The extension of this trail was nowhere near as scenic as the Gorge Trail. So if you are in a rush, just do the Gorge trail. The rim trail offers an easier but less scenic return as well.
The water in the rock pools is absolutely stunning. Makes me want to jump right in! (which is prohibited)
This is Pinnacle Rock, also marked on the map to let you know you have almost reached the end of the trail.
So, if you are in Ithaca, New York or the Finger Lakes Region, these are three very easily accessed places where you will find beautiful waterfalls!
Wondering what else you can do in Ithaca? Check out my Weekend Guide to Ithaca.