Fall is here, and there are definitely some things you should experience before the first snow flies.

The changing foliage here is simply stunning and is a certain draw for visitors this time of year. Whether you stroll along the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, drive the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway or the backroads of Tompkins County towns, or look across from the Cornell University or Ithaca College campuses, there are many places to see the colorful leaves.

Ithaca Area Experiences 

Discover Cayuga Lake offers a unique way to see fall foliage from a different perspective, viewing the leaf changes from a lake point of view. But once November rolls around, the boat will be docked for winter, so make sure to book your trip before then.

Another unique way to see the fall foliage is from the sky. Southern Tier Balloon Tours offers a chance to soar over Tompkins County and get a birds-eye view of the treetops, sure to offer a patchwork of colors and an experience you won’t forget.

Hike These Trails

While Ithaca is Gorges, the steeper trails at Buttermilk Falls, Robert Treman and Taughannock Falls state parks do close for safety reasons when the weather turns. Make sure to experience the Gorge and Rim trails at Buttermilk and Robert Treman, and the North and South Rim trails at Taughannock. Also, the Cascadilla Gorge Trail that runs between downtown Ithaca and Cornell University is one not to be missed, but once temperatures drop the trail closes until spring.

Visit the Ithaca Farmers Market

The Ithaca Farmers Market does run into December with limited hours on Saturdays and offers a winter market at Triphammer Marketplace, but its iconic Steamboat Landing location hours stop once the International Rutabaga Curl competition takes place mid-December. Then you’ll have to wait for April for its return to the southern shore of Cayuga Lake.