Taughannock Falls State Park

Pronounced Tuh-GAN-nick. The falls’ name is believed to have derived from the Algonquian Taconic (“in the trees”) or Taghkanic (after a Lenape chieftain killed in battle nearby). Taughannock Falls carves a 400-foot gorge through layers of sandstone, shale and limestone that were once the bed of an ancient sea. With a 215-foot plunge, this waterfall stands three stories taller than Niagara Falls.

Enjoy swimming in Cayuga Lake, a picnic area, concessions, a playground, campingcabins, and more! There is a marina offering parking for 25 rigs, a concession stand, and a protected harbor.

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 in Cayuga Lake is available seasonally
  • Marina for boating is available
  • Dogs are allowed on a leash
  • There is a car parking fee seasonally, which is valid all day at all state parks

Taughannock Falls Trails

There are multiple hiking trails that provide views of the fall 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: 0.95 miles along Taughannock Creek to the base of the falls. Easy
  • South Rim Trail: 1.60 miles Moderate
  • North Rim Trail: 1.44mi. Moderate
  • Gorge Trail and the falls overlook are open year-round, but the other trails are open from April through October.

From Ithaca follow Rt. 89 north 8mi to Taughannock Falls State Park. The gorge and hiking trails are on your left. For an easily accessible view, turn left on Taughannock Park Road and follow the signs to the Overlook.