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Ithaca's Many Gorgeous Waterfalls Captivate Year 'round

posted by Rob Montana, Visit Ithaca at 2023-03-01 14:29:00

Ithaca Falls

When is the perfect time to visit a waterfall? They get plenty of attention during the warm weather months, but winter brings out a special kind of natural beauty that is unparalleled. Whether it is braving colder temperatures or snow blanketing the surroundings, there is just something extra that comes from viewing waterfalls in winter.
With 150 waterfalls in the Ithaca area, there are plenty to choose from. But, it can also be daunting to pick from that number when planning your visit, not to mention some that close depending on seasonal conditions.
So, we have picked a few that fit your winter waterfall viewing bill.
Taughannock Falls State Park

Make your way to the Taughannock Falls Overlook to see the tallest waterfall in the region and, once freezing temperatures set in, incredible ice structures will form along the gorge and at the base of the falls. Located just 10 miles outside of Ithaca in the charming town of Trumansburg, the 215-feet-tall Taughannock Falls is one of the most popular attractions in the Finger Lakes. The overlook viewing platform is just a few steps from the parking lot, and is open year-round, though the stone steps to thelower viewing platforms are closed during the winter due to hazardous conditions.
After taking the long view of the falls, experience Taughannock Falls up close and personal by driving down to the main parking lot on Route 89. There you will find the Gorge Trail, a mile-and-a-half round-trip on a flat, wide trail perfect for a winter walk that is open throughout the winter months.
Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman State Parks

A winter waterfall excursion in Ithaca would not be complete without a visit to both Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman state parks, just minutes away from each other on the southern end of the city, off Route 13.
The Lower Falls at Buttermilk State Park, a wide cascade, look picturesque when frozen, especially when the trees are covered in snow. Benches and picnic tables at the base of the falls provide a place to rest and take in all that nature offers. This area of the park is open throughout the winter, and is easily accessible from the parking lot.
A popular swimming spot during the summer, the Lower Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park comes alive during the winter. Make sure you have your camera ready to capture stunning views of ice along the rocks surrounding the waterfall. The Lower Falls, open during the winter, are just a short walk along a level path from the parking lot – just don’t go in the water!
Denison Falls

Denison Falls, a 21-foot cascade in a peaceful wooded gorge, is located on the 160-acre Cayuga Nature Center property, full of trails and home to rehabilitating animals. For one of the region’s most unusual waterfall views, climb to the peak of TreeTops, a six-story treehouse overlooking Denison Gorge, and peer through the tree branches to see the lovely rush of water.
To get to Denison Falls, take Route 89 north about 5 miles from Ithaca to the signed entrance at Cayuga Nature Center. From the main parking area, take the Black Diamond Connector Trail direct to TreeTops and the falls.
It is important to use caution when visiting these outdoor spaces during winter, particularly on stones that may be iced over or are slippery; additionally, some trails at the state parks will be closed during your visit.
Lower Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park

These are just a few of the waterfalls you can experience when you visit Ithaca. Consider turning your cascade quest into a weekend getaway or staycation, too, and see more of what the region has to offer. Around-the-world cuisine is represented in the restaurants, with creative menus inspired by local ingredients. Sample the local craft cider and beer, and sip on award-winning Finger Lakes wines. Take in a theatre or live music performance, and expand your mind with a visit to our art galleries and museum. There is fun for the whole family, too, with outdoor fun to be had for all ages, and natural history and science museums that encourage the kiddos to get hands on.

To experience more, check out the Stay & Play pass, valid through March 2023. For more information, including your many lodging options, check out VisitIthaca.com.
posted at: 2023-03-01 14:29:00, last updated: 2023-04-15 07:35:18

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