Buttermilk Falls State Park

Taking its name from the foaming cascade formed by Buttermilk Creek as it flows down the steep valley toward Cayuga Lake, Buttermilk Falls State Park has a small lake, hiking trails through woodlands and along the gorge and rim, picnic areas, and playing fields. The lower portion of the park, which offers an easy view of the namesake Buttermilk Falls – the 165-foot cascade and last of 10 waterfalls along the creek, also has a natural pool and campground.

While visiting Buttermilk Falls, you are not far from further exploring the area around Danby. If you are looking for a local craft beverage and food, nearby popular places are Ithaca Beer Company and South Hill Cider.

Please go to the NY State Parks website for the most up-to-date notices of any park closures and to confirm if swimming is currently open. NY State Parks reserves the right to close entrances to manage crowd size for the safety & enjoyment of all.

Of note:
  • Swimming is prohibited in the gorge
  • Lifeguarded swimming is available seasonally
  • Dogs are allowed on a leash
  • There is a car parking fee seasonally, which is valid all day at all state parks

Buttermilk Falls Trails

There are multiple hiking trails that provide views of the falls and the gorge. We strongly advise that you stay on the trails and not enter the water where a lifeguard is not present. The rock beds can be slippery, so if you do choose to walk through the shallower areas to cool off, please know that it is at your own risk, so please use caution. Water shoes, with bottoms that grip, are recommended.

  • Gorge Trail: 0.65mi with a 600-foot descent following Buttermilk Creek
  • Rim Trail: 0.82mi along Buttermilk Creek; forms a loop trail with the Gorge Trail
  • Bear Trail: 0.67mi connects lower and upper falls areas
  • Lake Treman Trail: 1.29mi leads to Lake Treman
  • Owl Creek Trail: 0.8mi
  • Larch Meadow Trail: 1.02mi circles a marsh near the lower parking lot
  • Trails may be closed due to seasonal weather.

Ithaca to Buttermilk Falls Directions

Take Rt. 13 south 2.2mi to Buttermilk Falls State Park for access to the camping, lower falls and swimming area. 

112 E. Buttermilk Falls Rd (off Rt 13), Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-5761
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