Hiking, Biking, & Running Trails

Hidden waterfalls. Unique views. Unexpected beauty. With four pristine State Parks within five miles of Downtown Ithaca, it’s easy to jump to a number of trails for an afternoon of hiking, biking, running, or anything in between and disconnect with reality. With a variety of difficulties, lengths, and locations, everyone in the family – young and old – can enjoy Ithaca’s trails and outdoor recreation.

The lists below are our top recommendations for hiking, biking, and running.
Go to ithacatrails.org to search a comprehensive directory of Ithaca trails by difficulty, activity, or natural features.

Top Ithaca Hiking Trails

Taughannock Falls State Park

1740 Taughannock Blvd., (Rt 89), Trumansburg, NY 14886
(607) 387-6739

Gorge Trail: 0.95mi along Taughannock Creek to the base of the falls. Easy
South Rim Trail: 1.6mi. Moderate
North Rim Trail: 1.44mi. Moderate

Robert H. Treman State Park

105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca

Easiest access to Lucifer Falls via the Gorge Trail from the park’s upper entrance. 0.5 miles Strenuous
Gorge Trail: 2.12mi. Strenuous
Rim Trail: 2.09mi. Strenuous
Red Pine Trail: 0.79mi. Strenuous, open April-October
CCC Memorial Trail: 0.49mi. Moderate
​Finger Lakes Trail/North Country Trail: 5.15mi. Moderate 

Buttermilk Falls State Park

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

View falls from the park entrance area or lower Gorge Trail. Easy/Moderate
Gorge Trail: 0.65mi with a 600-foot descent following Buttermilk Creek. Strenuous
Rim Trail: 0.82mi along Buttermilk Creek; forms a loop trail with the Gorge Trail. Strenuous
Bear Trail: 0.67mi connects lower and upper falls areas. Moderate
Lake Treman Trail: 1.29mi leads to Lake Treman. Easy
Owl Creek Trail: 0.8mi Easy
Larch Meadow Trail: 1.02mi circles a marsh near the lower parking lot. Easy

Top Ithaca Biking Trails


Shindagin Hollow State Forest
off Shindagin Hollow Rd, Dryden
Short loop 4.8 miles, intermediate loop 8 miles & long loop 15.5 miles Flat-steep, hard-packed
Natural setting, forest, wildlife


Black Diamond Trail
8.4 miles Gentle incline, hard-packed
Cruise downhill from Taughannock Falls State Park to Cass Park. Connect to the Cayuga Nature Center for a pit-stop on your way!


Cayuga Waterfront Trail
904 E Shore Dr, Ithaca
6 miles Flat, paved
Waterfront ride linking the Visitors Center, Stewart Park, Ithaca Farmers Market, Children’s Garden, and Cass Park. Don’t have a bike? Rent one at Ithaca Bike Rental, found in the Youth Bureau!


Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway
87-mile loop around Cayuga Lake, Paved
Looking for a multi-day biking trip? Take the opportunity to experience all that makes the Byway a worthy destination. Stop by roadside stands for special local treats, dip your toes in the lake to cool off at the local and state parks, and much more.

Best Ithaca Running Trails


Cayuga Waterfront Trail
904 E Shore Dr, Ithaca
6 miles Flat, paved
Waterfront views. Links the Visitors Center, Stewart Park, Ithaca Farmers Market, Children’s Garden, & Cass Park.


Cornell Botanic Gardens
124 Comstock Knoll Dr, Ithaca
7 miles Flat-steep
Arboretum, botanicals, natural wooded areas