Ithaca Fall Foliage Report
It's not fall in Ithaca without a fall foliage report. Find up-to-date info on how much our colors are changing throughout fall and plan your next leaf-peeping visit to the area!
Fall Foliage in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region
Fall colors typically begin to change across the region in mid-September and peak around the second or third week of October. But don’t worry too much about exact timing. The Ithaca area has a long foliage season due to its variable terrain and the moderating influence of 40-mile long Cayuga Lake. If you’re thinking of a weekend visit, be advised it's a busy time of year as many want to take in the rich fall colors and scenic vistas. Check out availability for local accommodations and book your leaf-peeping visit today. Consider visiting midweek for the best accommodation rates and a more relaxed, socially distanced experience.
For updated foliage conditions statewide, visit the official I LOVE NY Fall Foliage Report.
To learn more about The Science Behind Leaf Color Change, read Understanding Autumn Foliage (Cornell Daily Sun, Sept. 2019)
November 9, 2021: In this weekend's Foliage forecast, Ithaca and Tompkins County should expect to see a 100% change in peak leaf colors. Depending on where you are in the county, expect to see mostly bright yellow, orange, and brown colored leaves. The occasional green and red leaves can still be seen.
Best Places to see the changing colors:
The Cayuga Waterfront Trail running from Cass Park to Stewart Park is flat, accessible and offers beautiful hillside views with a shoreline perspective of some of the late-season changing trees.
From the water aboard the MV Teal with Discover Cayuga Lake! Fall boat cruises are available for learning pods and homeschool groups, as well as socially distanced 1.5 hour fall eco-cruises open to anyone.
Feeling a little more adventurous, take in the beauty from above and get a view like the one above with Southern Tier Balloon Tours.
Stroll through the Cornell Botanic Gardens for the latest seasonal blooms and foliage views.
Foliage Progress: see how the colors changed in previous years
View from October 20, 2020
View from October 14, 2020
Get your Free Waterfall Guide
Finding waterfalls in the Ithaca area is easy with a free waterfall field guide. The full-color guide highlights public-access waterfalls, gorges and hiking trails in and around Ithaca and Tompkins County. Sites range from 215-foot tall Taughannock Falls, to the cascading series of drops at Buttermilk Falls, to the 25-foot Potters Falls, a "local secret" in a hidden wildflower preserve. Pick up your copy at one of the Visitor Centers, view it online or get one mailed directly to your door.
Discover all things Fall in the Ithaca area!
Known for waterfalls and gorges views, the Visit Ithaca Waterfalls Challenge is your guide to exploring some of the area’s most notable natural assets. For avid adventurers or new outdoor enthusiasts, this passport will enhance your visit and allow you to earn prizes while you keep track of where you have gone.