Explore Summer 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hikes on my bucket list this summer. Tompkins, Cortland, and Onondaga counties

Summer 2018 Map
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Warm January day helped dry the one open trail. Good afternoon walk.

Gorgeous walk in the winter with snow.

Not a ton to look at. Easy to follow for the most part.

hiking
12 days ago

This is a beautiful and fairly easy hike. We did it on a 45 degree January day, so there were sections that were very muddy—which made steeper sections a bit harder than they would be normally.

Two big things to be aware of for this hike:
First, there are lots of places to park along the trail, however, the spot the directions button takes you to is an apartment complex that requires parking tags to park... two good spots to park include: at the bottom of Monkey Run road (a dead end that has parking at the end) and the section of the hike that crosses a one way bridge (I’m not sure the road name). But, my recommendation is to figure out parking first! We parked at Cornell on Caldwell Drive and Forest Home—a third good option.

Second, there are a number of sections of this hike that are very poorly marked, and these spots are often at weird intersections or spots that are confusing—so be aware of this. What makes it more confusing is that from the Cornell end, the Cayuga trail isn’t marked Cayuga consistently—and there are a number of smaller Cornell trails that are marked. We ended up on other trails in this section, and as a result, ended up doing 11 miles total.

I suspect others also got lost or sidetracked on the other trails, too—if you open up the record button above, you can see very few of those recording are similar or actually line up w the official Cayuga loop.

walking
13 days ago

This is a nice walk to do with young children. On very hot days, there isn't a lot of shade and the benches are in the direct sun on the view point making them to hot to sit on if you are relying on a break. The view is amazing and worth the short walk.

walking
13 days ago

It's a very short, but beautiful walk. My toddler was able to walk the full thing and back so it is a great place to bring children. I think it is important to note that it can be pretty buggy in the warmer months; however, there is a lot of shade so its a great walk on those really hot summer days.

Did this loop with my dog on Christmas Eve day. It was beautiful and safe and fun. One side is closed for the winter, but the east side remains open and easy to navigate.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail, with multiple view of the waterfall. Park includes hiking trail away from the falls. Less trafficked. Beautiful scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

Waterfalls after waterfalls!! Beautiful trail for hiking and trail running. Very slushy at some places and slippery at others during this time of the year. Gorge trail was closed due to the snow and ice but the rim trail portion of the loop is open and accessible.

I am newly relocated to this area. I have loved to find great places for a walk through nature and this was certainly the first jewel. This place provides you with a sense of inspiration and just allows your mind to run free. I can't wait to visit again!

beautiful waterfalls

I grew up on Cuyler hill and walked this trail numerous times with my family loved it then and love it now!

hiking
2 months ago

We took the gorge trail out and back, if you haven’t seen this trail definitely do it. There is a good set of stairs to climb and my knee was hurting but it was worth it. The fall was gorgeous and the bridge crossings were nice. You also should see the cowshed falls as well, it’s on the way.

Spectacular waterfalls.

3 months ago

This is a gorgeous trail, but a few caveats: First, it is not suitable for small children. Secondly, on the Cliff Trail, there is a lot of skipping from rock to rock, which will be difficult and may be dangerous for people who lack agility or balance. Thirdly, if you go up the steps from the Lake Trail to the Cliff Trail on the southwest side of the lake, you will probably huff and puff seriously. On the other hand, if you are in fairly good shape, (not necessarily athletic), all of these challenges could be fun.

The views of the lake from the top of the cliff and from its shore were stunning in mid-October (foliage color season). The best view is from the picnic shelter near the parking, so don’t miss that.

We saw hand-written signs in several places along the lake shore saying “do not enter; quicksand”. Although these signs looked unofficial and amateurish, I chose not to test their claim. The wet mud did look sticky enough to loose a shoe in it at least.

Note: I think the rating of this trail should be raised from easy to moderate.

Waterfall after waterfall after waterfall! The gorge trail delivers endless beauty. Our dog loved it too. Took the rim trail back which gave great sunset light through the trees. Overall great walk in in the park lots of majesty for minimal to moderate effort.

Great trail for locals to appreciate fall!

I did 3 days on this trail.
I quit smoking..it was heart breaking and beautiful at the same time.
always be special to me.

hiking
3 months ago

A charming and leisurely hike. There are a few sets of somewhat steep stairs, but the climbs are brief. Beautiful waterfalls throughout. A small picnic area at the top before you head back down makes for a great break for kids.

This was a beautiful, unique trail. The combination of man made structures and natural gorge were impressive to say the least. It felt like walking through a canyon built in biblical times on. The gorge trail and the rim trail had the most beautiful and literally breathtaking stair cases. I ran the 4.7 miles starting from the cabins and found that route excellent since the gorge trail was much more scenic and less challenging so it was a good way to cool down and end the run. Careful with the slippery stairs and maybe try doing this hike at the end of the day while the sun is just setting and rays of light drift through the lightly wooded forest and highlight the falls.

Hiked gorge to top and then took rim trail down- amazing falls on gorge trail A rim was quiet forest and so peaceful- lots of steps especially on gorge trail

hiking
3 months ago

Started at the bottom and went up the south rim. Steps weren’t bad at all! Beautiful views, well marked trail. Overall a fun hike!

3 months ago

First time there and enjoyed it very much. We will return next with our kayaks and fishing poles.

Great trail! I wouldn’t classify it as moderate closer to upper easy than moderate. However it was very beautiful the entire time! We started with the Rim Trail which merged into the Bear TrIl, then loops around the Lake and got back into the Gorge Trail. Took about 1 hour and 35 minutes or so. We had our dogs with us a long the way. There weren’t too many opportunities to let them off leash because of the occasional drops from the river or service roads but they still enjoyed their time.

Trail closed as of 9/17 indefinitely for maintenance

Great trail for the whole family.

4 months ago

Really loved this hike. Lots of stairs at some points but just challenging enough to make it not feel like “a walk in the park”. Tons of places to stop and put your feet in the water, beautiful waterfalls and the best part was at the end of the hike you end up at a swimming area and we swam up to the waterfall. Water was cold but totally worth it! Definitely bring your bathing suits. Very cool experience.

Nice short trail. I would highly recommend this quick trail if you are in Ithaca. There is really only one steel section and the trail is very well maintained and seems to have been recently renovated. Beautiful area right bear Cornell. I would rate this more on the easy side versus moderate.

WOW! the steps for buttermilk Falls up are pretty strenuous but definitely worth it. The whole gorge is made up of waterfall after waterfall cascades. I would say moderate/easy. I am four months pregnant and we were able to do the hike. We went a little slower than normal with some stops but it was absolutely do able. I did get stung by a yellow jacket so if you or someone your hiking with is allergic bring an epi pen.

A lovely hike that ended up being a little over 5 miles. Nicely maintained trails. A bit crowded in the beginning but it thins out eventually. The plethora of stairs provided a nice challenge.

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