More than 150 waterfalls, all within a ten-mile square radius. That is what you will find when visiting Ithaca and Tompkins County in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. A short drive from most major metro areas in the Northeast, Ithaca is a quirky college town with an abundance of outdoor beauty to explore. Camp, glamp, or book yourself into a variety of privately owned or chain accommodations for a quick and easy getaway that will leave you wanting to return again and again to try and take in all 150 waterfalls among the glacially carved gorges.
Looking for specific ideas for a great escape? Start your day with breakfast on the Downtown Ithaca Commons, and then, just a quick walk away hop on the trail at Cascadilla Falls, which connects downtown Ithaca to the beautiful Cornell University campus. This is a hike that lets you escape into nature, right in the middle of the city. Next, head a few miles south to either Buttermilk or Robert Treman State Park, two of the four state parks found within miles of each other around Ithaca. You’ll find a series of trails at either park, or, just go for a plunge in the natural swimming pools at the base of either of the flowing falls. By then you’re sure to have worked up another appetite and there is no lack of great dining in this food capita. One recommendation near the falls found south of the city? Stop for a great locally sourced lunch, an IPA and a game of corn hole at Ithaca Beer. Then, be on your way to a waterfall higher than Niagara. Taughannock Falls, just north of the city sits along the scenic west shore of Cayuga Lake. Hike the gorge or rim trail at Taughannock or rent a kayak or paddle board to experience the beauty of the Finger Lakes first hand with a paddle on Cayuga Lake. This park throughout the summer is one of the many live music venues throughout the area. Enjoy the summer concert series on the expansive lawn overlooking the lake – which is a great picnic opportunity or laid-back way to enjoy more of the craft beverages you’ll find within a couple miles drive of any of the falls you choose to explore throughout the day.
It’s not just the State Parks and gorges where you will find some great outdoor adventure in Ithaca and Tompkins County. Try your hand at kite boarding at the base of Cayuga Lake, bike the Black Diamond Trail, take part in a wild foraging hike with FLX Wild or go on a hot air balloon ride far above the vineyards and waters of the Finger Lakes. A trip to Ithaca and Tompkins County is a sure choice for some great adventure. For more information: VisitIthaca.com
Last modified: June 7, 2020