Ithaca is one of the most awe inspiring places in Upstate New York. It is home to a collection of other worldly trails. Some of the best trails can be found at the "Big 3" State Parks of Ithaca: Taughannock Falls State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Robert H. Treman State Park. Each park offers a few miles of trails within the gorges and along the rims of breathtakingly unique glens. Day entry to the parks is $8 and covers entry to any New York State Park for that day. So plan your day accordingly and you can experience 3 different State Parks, within a short drive of each other, for only $8!! Ballin' on a budget my dudes. Each State Park has a campground that offers tent, trailer, and cabin sites that can be booked in advance on reserveamerica.com.
Additional glen trails can be found around town and on Cornell's Campus. On my most recent trip to Ithaca I checked out the Cascadilla Gorge Trail. The Trail connects to a residential area of Ithaca and cuts through Cornell's Campus. Imagine taking a study break by a waterfall! On my upcoming #NYStateofAdventure road trip I will visit a majority of my waterfalls in the Finger Lakes Region between Watkins Glen and Ithaca. My goal is to see at least 50 waterfalls. The Finger Lakes represent the first eight days of my twenty four day excursion. The number of waterfalls I visit during this span of the trip will play a HUGE role in planning my hikes for the Adirondacks and North Country portions of the trip. The closer I am to 50 after the Finger Lakes the more diverse my day adventures will be up North. Either way get stoked for some gnarly regional e-guides that tackle all the iconic natural, historic, and people related to each area. You can expect those to drop sometime this fall.
Perhaps my favorite thing to do on a day trip is pack picnic lunches and hiking snacks. Reward yourself after a hearty sweat on the trails. Pack a sandwich or make some trail mix. When in Ithaca I like to pack a sandwich from Ithaca Bakery in my pack. The "Miles' double take" fills up the tank well (pictured above). I found a great log to sit on for my lunch. My ankles were ever so slightly dipped in the water and the wind coming off of Ithaca Falls provided a pleasant breeze on an otherwise hot summer day. I also made my own trail mix and stored it in a mason jar. My Mix had: cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate espresso beans, and pecans. Next time I'm going to add peanuts and a fruit for an even bigger mix. Don't forget to CARRY OUT everything you CARRY IN. #LeaveNoTrace Ithaca Falls (pictured above) can be accessed by a short walk from the parking area located on Lake Street. Ithaca Falls is located on Fall Creek, another creek that cuts through Cornell's Campus. You can find additional trails along Fall Creek that reveal three more waterfalls: Forest Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rocky Falls, and Triphammer Falls.
Seriously though, the trails never end in Ithaca. Start planning day trips or a long weekend now while the daylight hours are still long! You have a lot to explore. And you're going to want to tell everyone you see just how GORGES Ithaca really is. Here's a few more trail locations you can check out with waterfalls: East Ithaca Nature Preserve, Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, Wells Falls, Edward's Lake Cliff Reserve and Emilie Jonas Falls Nature Trail. Remember to use common sense when observing the falls. It is not nature's fault if you get to close to an edge or loose rock. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and enjoy the bliss provided by your environment.
During my Ithaca visit on the #NYStateofAdventure Road Trip I will visit a few museums and eateries to bring you even more stuff to do on your trip to Ithaca! If there's anywhere in Ithaca you think I should visit leave a comment below! I will let you know in advance, yes, I have been to Ithaca Beer Co., and yes I love it. You can find pictures of me on our Instagram (@theupstateexperience) and Facebook wearing my Ithaca Beer Co. Flower Power hockey jersey across the ski slopes of the Northeast.