From nature walks to hands-on fun, there's so much to see, do, and learn along the Discovery Trail. There are multiple fascinating sites spread out across downtown Ithaca, the Cornell campus and on the hill overlooking beautiful Cayuga Lake. The Discovery Trail offers cultural explorers of all ages many unique activities and entertainment, both indoors and outdoors. It is a collaboration of eight brainy, family attractions in the Ithaca area that strive to bring science, art, and history to life in fun ways that can be enjoyed by anyone looking to learn, play, and discover. All Discovery Trail attractions are open year-round, with various exhibits changing seasonally.
The Sciencenter of Ithaca is a hands-on science museum for all ages with more than 250 touchable exhibits.
Explore 4 billion years of life on earth at Ithaca's Museum of the Earth, home to interactive exhibits and one of America's largest fossil collections.
Visit the Cayuga Nature Center, an outdoor and indoor playground with information about the animals and plant life of the Finger Lakes region. Explore 120 acres of fields, ponds and gorges, meet 40 live animals, then climb high into the forest canopy in a six-story tree house.
Don't miss the Cornell Johnson Museum of Art, a premier college art gallery holding more than 30,000 works in an iconic I.M. Pei-designed building. Free admission.
If the natural world were a national park, the "Lab of O" would be its visitor center. Take an inside look at the global environment by following the life and travels of birds. Don't miss the Macaulay Sound Library, the world's largest natural sound archive. Free admission.
A treasure trove of regional history, the History Center in Tompkins County offers visitors the chance to view traveling exhibits, a research library and a vast photo collection with more than 100,000 images. Free admission.
Weekly readings, lectures, arts presentations, and more are waiting for you at the Tompkins County Public Library. Free admission.
With more than 4,300 acres of landscaped gardens and natural beauty, the Cornell Botanic Gardens are a must see. Visit 14 specialty gardens, a 150-acre arboretum, and a vast collection of protected natural areas. Free admission.
For more information about the Discovery Trail, please view our online brochure.