• CampBrood

Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, New York

Updated: Sep 10

What a great location. Ithaca has many waterfalls and trails to explore. Buttermilk Falls Gorge trail is a great trail to experience nature and escape for a little while. Kids will like exploring the pools and trails for wildlife. The trail is good for a little one-on-one time. Plan on half a day to have stress free time to enjoy the falls and surrounding area.




When we got home from New York I couldn't remember Buttermilk Falls. As I started editing the video below it became clear how special this trail is. The Falls drop over 600 ft as the water makes its way to Cayuga Lake.





The pictures really tell the story of these falls. This is a moderate hike with a lot of stairs. We climbed the stairs up and took the rim trail down. Additionally, the footing can be wet and slippery so hiking poles and good shoes are recommended.


Did we lose you at stairs? We hope not. This hike is worth it! Dogs are welcome on the trail and our dogs were happy to be there. Our two enjoyed swimming and wading in the pool at the trailhead. They also handled the stairs well. Smaller dogs may need to be carried at times and older dogs with hip issues should avoid the trail.


As you can see there is variety to Buttermilk. Some of the gorge trail puts you next to the water. Other areas are more of a birds eye view from above. We like to hike in the morning and we met very few people on the trail. The green above with ferns and trees contrast the rock. I'm sure it is a completely different experience in the Fall during the grape harvest.




One of these Falls would be special in Michigan. These gorge trails have multiple falls and varying features that provide for experiences that we will treasure for a long time.





In summary Buttermilk Falls is one of many reasons to visit the Finger Lakes area. If you are here to visit Cornell, watch a race, visit the wineries or fishing you need to hike Buttermilk Falls while you are here. Once we got our traffic app to give us the route we were able to locate the parking lot with ease. There are bathrooms at the entrance to the gorge trail and the pool. Take your time. While you are looking at the falls don't forget to look up and take in the expanse of the gorge and the nature above. Let us know if you have any questions.




Hiking poles are helpful for the stairs. we like these at Amazon https://amzn.to/2VAK3qJ


We like these collapsible bowls for the dogs from Amazon https://amzn.to/3xC8Us0 Fortunately they could drink out of the pool at the base. Further along the trail there really isn't a good place to get water.










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