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Hike the Gorge Trail at Buttermilk Falls

Ithaca, New York

based on 4 reviews



1.7 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type



Added by Jake Sells

For trail of never-ending, cascading waterfalls, take a hike for a gorge-ous scene of what the Finger Lakes Region is best known for.

The Gorge Trail starts to the right at the base of the last cascading waterfall you see as you enter the park. From here you begin hiking into the heart of the gorge following Buttermilk Creek to a bridge where you can turn around or continue exploring.

The trail features several large cascading falls around every corner. The trail is mostly a stone path which has several strenuous stair climbs. This shouldn't be a problem for families with rests in between at key lookout points overlooking the falls.

The Gorge Trail is an out and back trail totaling 1.7 miles, The Rim Trail however, is an alternative trail on the way back which follows from atop the gorge instead of through it back the way you came.

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

Hike the Gorge Trail at Buttermilk Falls Reviews

The gorge trail is amazing and far less crowded than the famous Watkins Glen State Park. What Buttermilk Falls has that Watkins Glen doesn't is an awesome swimming area at the base of a waterfall. There seriously are waterfalls around every corner! It's especially beautiful in the fall, but of course, it's too cold to go swimming then!

The waterfalls were so pretty!! The climb up the stairs gave a good little heart pump, but nothing too extreme. It was a nice short hike - my friend and I took the Rim Trail back to make it a loop instead of out and back. If I lived in NY I would definitely be visiting this one often!

I loved this state park! Upon first entering the park, you're greeted with the Buttermilk Waterfall, which is stunning! Easy hiking, a steady incline of stairs from the bottom of the park. On the way up you'll see lots of swimming holes and small waterfalls. Dogs are welcomed. Really a great time!

Love the gorge trail, very scenic and the cascading falls are beautiful! Great hike for the whole family!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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