Ithaca’s natural areas provide several outdoor recreation
offerings, allowing for no-cost activities for the whole family to enjoy.
There are three natural areas within easy walking distance
of the city. The Cascadilla Gorge Trail, connecting downtown Ithaca to the
Cornell campus via a path that includes bridges over a pair of waterfalls, is
just 0.6 kilometers from The Commons. The Mulholland Wildflower Preserve and
Businessman’s Lunch Falls are 1.4 kilometers from The Commons, while Ithaca
Falls is 1.9 kilometers away.
The Cayuga Waterfront Trail’s paved path curves around the
southern end of Cayuga Lake, connecting Cass Park, the Ithaca Children’s
Garden, Ithaca Farmers Market and Stewart Park. The Children’s Garden and
Stewart Park are especially for children, with hands-on nature play at the
former and an inclusive playground and picnic spaces at the latter. While the
Farmers Market has vendors selling locally produced food and artisan wares, strolling
through the covered pavilion space is free of charge and offers plenty to see,
often accompanied by local musicians providing the soundtrack for your visit.
For a pleasant walk in the woods and spectacular views of a
waterfall off the beaten path, head to Lick Brook Falls in the Sweedler Nature
Preserve. A 6.4-kilometer loop trail brings you by three waterfalls and several
cascades. The strenuous 152.4-meter climb is worth your while with the gorge
and waterfalls views.
Sapsucker Woods at Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology
is an easy walk, with 6.4 kilometers of interconnected trails. The highlight is
viewing and listening to birds in the trees and the water along the
The longest of the local trails, the Black Diamond Trail is
a 13.4-kilometer multi-use route for walkers, runners or bikers connecting
Ithaca to the nearby Taughannock Falls State Park. Overlooking Cayuga Lake,
there are many waterfalls to see, culminating with the tallest single-drop
waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, Taughannock Falls; viewing these falls
from the overlook is free.
Finally, the Cayuga Nature Center will capture the
imagination of kids – and offer parents a bit of respite. In addition to the
rehabilitating animals, a six-story treehouse is not far from the lodge. Full
of places to climb and hide, the treehouse offers one of the most unusual
waterfall views, looking down upon the 6.4-meter-tall Denison Falls that powers
the stream passing by.
For more information, go to https://www.visitithaca.com/
Posted by: Visit Ithaca
Posted on: 06/07/2023