Explore the most popular hiking trails near Ithaca with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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.

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.

hiking
15 days ago

This is my favorite trail in Ithaca. Aside from being dog friendly it’s not too difficult-some stairs here or there. Beautiful views all around. If you come in the summer time you can go in the water. So much fun!

This was a long steady hike up hill we took a lot of short brakes on the blue trail, and coming back down we took the white trail seemed a bit easier. My knees were starting to really feel it so when we hit steep spots I would walk backwards and that saved me, a beautiful hike and we’ll try it again when there’s more water for the falls and many cascades. It will be a 5 star hike for sure.

Nice trail. Very scenic. Lots of stairs to climb.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful and not too hard hiking trail. You need a good pair of shoes tho. It can get muddy and slippery at some places.

hiking
29 days ago

This is a beautiful hike! Lots of stairs. There are several places along the trail where you can stop and dip your feet in the water. In the middle of the week its not too crowded. The whole trail is dog friendly, however if you're bringing a smaller dog they might have issues with the stairs on the Rim Trail towards the top as they are steep and there are alot of them. Bugs weren't too bad but you should plan for bug spray. Most of the trail has a canopy overhead so unless you're very fair skinned, sunscreen isnt really needed. At the upper park, there are plenty of picnic tables and charcoal grills to utilize.

Superb trail. Nice gorge and falls. Very moderate difficulties level. Anyone could do it. well maintained path with wood and/or stone stairs

Awesome trail!!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike / walk. No climbing and not too difficult. Less than 3 hours round trip including several stops. Beautiful views of the falls. Started at the lower lot and went all the way to the upper lot, then back. Took the rim trail up and gorge trail back.

hiking
1 month ago

After all the rain the Southern Tier received this week, water levels were high but not exorbitantly so - you could still see the shale formations under the stream and behind the waterfalls, and many tributary creeks were flowing in the woods. Perfectly gorgeous hike on a beautiful, cool, party-sunny day, a rarity this summer! It was an excellent workout, too. I would very highly recommend these trails, and hope to come back soon.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail. I was initially disappointed that it was raining my only day in Ithaca but turned out for the best. There were hardly any people to contend with and it cooled me off on what couldn’t been a tough hike/trail run. I did a lollipop loop where I started at the south lot took a left halfway through to get the rim trail and then got back on the gorge trail at the north lot. Another advantage to parking the south lot was a cold refreshing dip afterwards!

hiking
1 month ago

We started from the south lot so we did all the elevation first, a lot of steps and inclines in this direction but not terrible. The views are spectacular from the rim and the gorge side once alongside the falls. The step on the rim trail took a good bit of effort but I was looking for that. If you’re looking for an easier route than you could Park 2 cars, one at each lot and start from the north to mostly skip the inclines. Really amazing spot and well maintained.

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely a well maintained man made trail. A good workout and a beautiful view.

still closed 8/8/18

Not very busy. Very steep in a few places. Falls were a bit dried up but still pretty.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike today with a refreshing dip at the end at the lower falls ... highly recommend this spot if you are in the Finger Lakes region.

Absolutely beautiful views!

Here for the Cayuga 50 with lots of great people. Beautiful area.

hiking
1 month ago

Very lovely views, lots of nice spots to sit along the way. SOOO MANY STEPS! Picnic area was very nice. One of the better waterfall hikes upstate.

hiking
1 month ago

Ok I found an easier way into potters falls. You can go in through the south hills recreation way trail walk in from Burns Road there is parking right at the trail head. Walk in until you find a blocked entrance on the right hand side of the trail. There is a metal gate blocking the trail and at one end of the gate there is a very unique wooden passage-way that is bent at a 90 degree angle and only large enough for a person to fit through. I believe this is done to keep bikes off of the trail. hike in and follow the trail it is a very clearly beaten path. I would not go just after a rain storm the trail will be very slippery and muddy. Hike in until you see signs saying no trespassing or swimming and something about the water shed. When you get to the signs the trail turns right. So take a right at the signs and potters falls is down on the left about 1500 to 2000 feet. Its a fun hike through the woods and I did it totally naked, so if you dare to be bare go for it. I did see that the trail was heavily trafficked since there were allot of fresh sneaker prints in the muddy areas of the trail so you may run into others. Just as long as your cool about it no one cares. I did see blue blazes or paint marks on the trees all the way in so keep an eye out. Just in case anyone wants to know the GPS coordinates for potters falls is 42.41880 and -76.464000 or 42 degrees 25 minutes and 07.7 seconds N and 76 Degrees 27 minutes and 50.4 seconds W. Mystery solved!

Trail was closed

Sadly the trail is closed as of noon on 7/28. Looking forward to seeing it when it is open.

****As of 0900 on 07/28/18, this trail is closed****

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