11 Amazing Ithaca Waterfalls to Visit Today

p Mizumi Waterfall View Barbara Kraft 06 17

There are over 150 Ithaca waterfalls within a 20-mile radius of this beautiful spot, and you’ll want to see as many as you can while you’re here! Visiting waterfalls can easily be the focus of an entire trip, from the Ithaca waterfalls in downtown Ithaca to the Buttermilk Falls State Park, Taughannock Falls State Park, Robert Treman State Park, Cascadilla Gorge, and falls along Fall Creek and Six Mile Creek.

Find out where to go and how to get to the most beautiful waterfalls in Ithaca, NY. If you have trouble figuring out where to park, where to start our climb, and what to do next while exploring Ithaca’s countryside and waterfalls. This information makes planning your waterfall adventure easier and more enjoyable.

Enfield Falls

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Image credits: World of Waterfalls

Enfield Falls, located in Enfield Glen at Robert Treman State Park, is one of Ithaca’s most magical waterfalls. It is one of the most photographed Ithaca waterfalls in the world. While it may appear excessive, Enfield Falls is one of the 12 waterfalls found at Robert Treman State Park.

Enfield Falls, a 70-foot plunge, is one of two major waterfalls at Robert Treman State Park near Ithaca, which has 12 waterfalls. Enfield Falls is also known as Lower Falls due to its location at the base of the state park’s terrain.

In the summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when the water is warm enough to swim, this is one of Ithaca’s few swimmable falls. Swimming is prohibited while there is no lifeguard on duty, so don’t even think about doing it! We weren’t disappointed because this waterfall is spectacular and you’re likely to have it all to yourself if you go just after Labor Day!

The Rim and Gorge Trail loop is 4.3 miles in length and offers a good workout. It can be reached either by parking at Robert Treman State Park’s lower entrance and walking the short, flat trail to Enfield Falls, then driving up to the top entrance to see the other waterfalls or following the Rim Gorge Trail loop.

Remember that the Rim Trail leads up and the Gorge Trail leads down. Obviously, ascending is significantly more difficult than descending, so be prepared if this is the route you intend to take. In the summer, this trail can get very crowded, so plan ahead of time. This trail system is also closed for the whole winter season!

Taughannock Falls

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Image credits: Earth at Home

Taughannock Falls, which is perhaps the most well-known waterfall in Ithaca, is located within Taughannock Falls State Park. The observation deck for the falls is just a few feet walk from the parking area at the overlook at 2221 Taughannock Park Road, making it one of the easiest waterfalls to visit near Ithaca!

Don’t worry if you want to continue down to the base of the falls; you may easily do so. Some trails require you to return to your car and drive to 1738 NY-89, where you can park near the trailhead. The longest option is a 1.5-mile roundtrip hike to the base of Taughannock Falls. Walking beside a rushing stream with tiny waterfalls provides a soothing and scenic walk on hot days.

What makes Taughannock Falls one of Ithaca’s most spectacular waterfalls? For starters, it’s actually 33 feet higher than Niagara Falls, which drops 215 feet! The Taughannock Falls Overlook and Gorge Trail are open all year. From April to October, the other paths are only open.

Lucifer Falls

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Image credits: Go Waterfalling

The 115-foot Lucifer Falls at Robert Treman State Park is Ithaca’s most famous and frequented waterfall. This magnificent waterfall may be accessed either by traveling the entire length of the Gorge Trail from the lower base of Robert Treman State Park, as we did or by descending the Gorge Trail, as we did.

When you’re going down, it’s simple and feels like you’re somewhere else; the route passes many of Enfield Glen’s 12 waterfalls along with stone bridges and stairs, as well as beautiful greenery and wildlife that will remind you of Fern Gully if you were a kid in the 1990s.

As you make your way down the Gorge Trail, oohing and ahhing at the scenery, you’ll eventually reach the most impressive waterfall, Lucifer Falls, where you may take a break and take photos before crossing the bridge. You must mentally prepare yourself and your team to climb up a steep slope with many steps. The pathways are totally one-way, making the return trip a bit difficult. We had fun while burning calories, but we knew the hike would be challenging if we returned with our parents.

The Old Mill Falls

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Image credits: Waterfall Record

The Old Mill Falls, near the upper entrance to Robert Treman State Park, is another stunning waterfall in Ithaca. Enter The Old Mill’s address into Google Maps and park there, remembering to bring the receipt from the pay station with you.

You’ll park your car at Robert Treman State Leave and take the Robert Treman Tour Bus around Ithaca Falls. Before starting the Gorge Trail, take a look at the ancient Gristmill and the waterfall behind it.

This is a little waterfall, but it’s so easy to see from here that you should take advantage of it. It’s also a great waterfall to see with little kids or anyone who has trouble walking up and down stone steps. From this vantage point, visitors can access six trails in the Enfiled Glen and Robert Treman State Park. This is the highest point of access to Robert Treman’s Falls, which are behind the old mill. Drive down to Enfield Falls after a stroll on the Gorge Trail.

Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls State Park
Image credits: Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Buttermilk Falls, in Buttermilk Falls State Park, near Robert Treman State Park, is a must-see waterfall in Ithaca. When a lifeguard is on duty, the 165-foot Buttermilk Falls cascades over rocks into a pool that is one of the few waterfalls in Ithaca open to the public for swimming during the summer season.

If you merely want to look at Buttermilk Falls, you can do so from the parking lot. Buttermilk Creek foams into a cascade that gives this Ithaca waterfall its name. The one thing to bear in mind regarding Buttermilk Falls is that during a particularly dry season, the falls may be completely dry. You can continue on the park’s 5 paths, passing minor cascading waterfalls upstream of the main feature, Buttermilk Falls.

The picturesque pathways around Lake Treman are one-way only on the Gorge and Rim Trails. The Rim Trail will take you up, and the Gorge Trail will take you down. The second drop of Buttermilk Falls is not visible from the lower viewing area. The top of the falls is narrower at the top and widens as it lowers, making the most magnificent view, in our opinion, from the foot of the falls, where all the swimming and picnic tables are located.

Forest Falls

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Image credits: Trip Advisor

Forest Falls, which is located on Fall Creek in Ithaca, is yet another stunning waterfall. The only way to get a good look at this waterfall is from the Stewart Avenue Bridge. We recommend parking on either side of the bridge and returning on foot, but be aware of incoming traffic.

Despite the fact that there is a significant drop and that you cannot see it, you are immediately over Ithaca Falls while standing on the Stewart Avenue bridge. If you look closely, you can see Cayuga Lake on this side of the bridge and the remarkable Egyptian Revival home at 900 Stewart Avenue, which was previously the home of renowned astronomer and planetary scientist Carl Sagan, who lived in Ithaca. What a commanding vantage position he possessed!

From the other side of the bridge, you can see the 25-foot Forest Falls. Although it is technically correct, you should park at the Fall Creek parking lot so that you can access the Fall Creek foot route, which will lead you to the various Ithaca falls. Nonetheless, because it was not particularly crowded during our visit and because there was plenty of street parking available, we determined that it would be far more convenient to park near the bridge.

Just before the Fall Creek Bridge, on the right side of Fall Creek Drive, there is a small parking area. Access to the Fall Creek waterfalls trail can be gained from this location; the nearest street address is 310 Fall Creek Drive.

Ithaca Falls

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Image credits: Uncovering New York

The 150-foot Ithaca Falls is the city’s most stunning waterfall, plunging into Fall Creek from a height of 150 feet. One of many waterfalls along Fall Creek is the largest and most dramatic of them all; the others may be seen from a trek above, which I will cover after this one!

This waterfall is easily accessible from both sides of Lake Street, just north of downtown Ithaca. When you arrive, you’ll be standing at the base of the falls, gazing up at the GORGES waterfall’s 150-foot drop! Unlike the other Ithaca Falls, this one is open all year.

Rocky Falls

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Image credits: See the Ozarks

Rocky Falls is located on the same pedestrian suspension bridge that spans Fall Creek as our first waterfall in Ithaca. This waterfall, which is 44 feet in height, is a little out of the way, but it is very visible! Upon witnessing Horseshoe Falls below you and Rocky Falls upstream, you have the option of continuing on across the walking suspension bridge or turning around and returning to your car to reach our final waterfall on Fall Creek in Ithaca, which is located near the mouth of Fall Creek.

After crossing the Fall Creek Bridge, the Fall Creek Drive parking lot is on the right. After the Fall Creek Bridge, on Fall Creek Drive, there is a small parking area on the right side of the road. Access to the Fall Creek waterfalls trail can be gained from this location; the nearest street address is 310 Fall Creek Drive.

In addition to the Cornell Campus side of Fall Creek, where you can park near Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Garden before walking across the bridge to the trailhead, you can access this route from the Cornell Campus side of Fall Creek.

Horseshoe Falls

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Image credits: Dig the Falls

On Fall Creek in Ithaca, Horseshoe Falls is another stunning waterfall that can be viewed from the walking trail; descend the stone steps to a viewing platform for a better view of the cascade. As a precaution, visitors should be aware that a memorial honors people who have died while swimming in Ithaca’s waterfalls.

When the water level is low, people cross to the rocks to see the falls better. This is a safe procedure to execute as long as you are cautious and the water level is low. On the upper left side of the waterfall, there is a brick structure that houses a hydroelectric power plant.

After crossing the Fall Creek Bridge, the Fall Creek Drive parking lot is on the right. After the Fall Creek Bridge, on Fall Creek Drive, there is a small parking area on the right side of the road. Access to the Fall Creek waterfalls trail can be gained from this location; the nearest street address is 310 Fall Creek Drive.

In addition to the Cornell Campus side of Fall Creek, where you can park near Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Garden before walking across the bridge to the trailhead, you can access this route from the Cornell Campus side of Fall Creek.

Ludlowville Falls

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Image credits: Uncovering New York

Located near Ithaca on Cayuga Lake, Ludlowville Falls, also known as Salmon Creek Falls, is a 35-foot waterfall with a drop of over 100 feet. Park conveniently at Ludlowville Park and walk the short, level 0.1 mile route to observe this limestone overhang waterfall. If you want to bring a picnic and continue exploring the east bank of Cayuga Lake, this is a terrific location.

Fishing enthusiasts can bring their equipment to Salmon Creek, which also includes a shooting range, and go fishing. Remember that if the weather has been very dry for the season, the falls may have dried out. The waterfalls were closed during our visit, so we were unable to see them when they were in operation!

Triphammer Falls

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Image credits: Dig the Falls

The Martin Y. Tang Welcome Center is located close to Triphammer Falls, a 55-foot waterfall that is a popular tourist attraction. We recommend first attempting to park at the Martin Y. Tang Welcome Center’s metered parking lot and then crossing the bridge to go to the trailhead and parking lot. A short walk away are alternate parking lots due to the limited parking availability.

To continue your gorgeous journey, cross the pedestrian-only bridge immediately over Triphammer Falls. If you want to extend your walk even further, walk along the trail that surrounds Beebe Lake, where you’ll also find the charming stone Sackett Foot Bridge. It might be worth combining your visit to Cornell Botanic Gardens with merely parking there because you’re so near! In addition to the Fall Creek and Beebe Lake waterfalls, which are located in the heart of Ithaca and adjacent to Cornell University, another popular waterfall in Ithaca is the Beebe Falls.

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