The Finger Lakes Region is one of the most beautiful places to explore outdoors, and there’s a handful of stunning state parks near Ithaca, NY, for hiking, waterfall viewing, and enjoying the fresh air. The unique topography of this area formed during the last Ice Age as the glaciers receded, leaving caverns, gorges, canyons, waterways, and interesting rock formations. Thanks to many bold conservationists in this region, thousands of acres are protected and maintained for outdoor lovers to enjoy.
Of the state parks near Ithaca, NY, none quite compares to the impressive falls at Taughannock Falls State Park. Home to the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rockies, this state park is about 15 minutes from downtown Ithaca and even closer (less than five minutes!) to one of the best places to stay in the Finger Lakes, our romantic and intimate bed and breakfast and spa—Inn at Gothic Eves.
Our Finger Lakes bed and breakfast offers the perfect home base for those hoping to explore the abundance of outdoor activities in our region. Our inn has eight spacious, luxuriously appointed guest rooms with amenities like cathedral ceilings, gas fireplaces, and jacuzzi tubs; every room features super comfortable beds with plush linens, flat-screen televisions, and expansive custom-designed showers. After exploring outdoors, you’ll be ready to relax and rest at our bed and breakfast in the Finger Lakes. Book your lodging today!
Hiking at the Beautiful State Parks Near Ithaca, NY
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and have yet to explore the selection of state parks near Ithaca, NY, then strap on those hiking boots, gear up, and start planning! This region is rich with wilderness areas just waiting to be discovered! Thankfully, our region offers the perfect place for waterfall hunts, curated hiking routes, and an abundance of places to stop and soak up the natural beauty.
Here are our favorite state parks near Ithaca, NY, to explore this year:
- Buttermilk Falls State Park: The namesake falls at this park are a 165-foot gradual cascade of water over a beautiful rock-layered cliff that flows toward Cayuga Lake. There are ten falls in total to see along the trail here! Buttermilk Falls State Park has a small lake, hiking trails through woodlands and along the gorge and rim, picnic areas, and playing fields.
- Robert H. Treman State Park: Located about ten minutes from downtown Ithaca, this popular state park offers visitors a stunning view of Enfield Glen with highlights, including the 115-foot-tall Lucifer Falls and the upper falls called Devil’s Kitchen. You’ll find six trails with spectacular rocky gorges, wooded sections, and a three-mile section of the long Finger Lakes Trail that cuts through the park.
- Taughannock Falls State Park: Known as one of the most spectacular state parks near Ithaca, NY, Taughannock Falls is truly a nature scene that will remain in your memory on a visit to the Finger Lakes Region. Not only is this one of the tallest single-stream waterfalls on the East Coast, but the trails offer up-close views from above and below.
- Ithaca Falls Natural Area: This park is home to one of the most accessible waterfalls in the area, with a drop of 150 feet and a width of 175 feet. Ithaca Falls is one of the Finger Lakes region’s most potent and impressive examples! This is one of the best places to bring a picnic lunch and relax after exploring the shops and art galleries in Ithaca.
- Watkins Glen State Park: This part is a bit of a drive from downtown Ithaca, but it’s home to one of the region’s most impressive collections of waterfalls. The around two-mile hike takes you through some of the most beautiful rocky gorges with natural stone steps and by and under 19 different waterfalls of all shapes and sizes.
For more personalized recommendations for hiking options or directions to these state parks near Ithaca, NY, feel free to ask your Innkeeper at our Finger Lakes bed and breakfast.
One of the Best Places to Stay in the Finger Lakes
During your visit to the Finger Lakes, the state parks near Ithaca, NY, should be on your itinerary, especially if you find solace in peace in the great outdoors. These parks offer the best ways to soak up the beautiful wilderness, get some exercise, and break a sweat. With our Finger Lakes bed and breakfast as your base camp, you can relax knowing that you have comfortable accommodations and welcoming hospitality awaiting your return!
On your arrival, you’ll first notice our pristine, award-winning garden grounds, including our herb and vegetable garden, where we gather some ingredients for our organic and wholesome breakfast service in the mornings. The menu rotates daily, is always carefully prepared, and is served in our elegant kitchen dining room with French press and juice. This is the best place to fuel up before a day exploring the stunning state parks near Ithaca!
In the evenings, you’ll love retiring to your intimate guest suite. Each room has been expertly designed with a calming aesthetic, high-end appointments that rival any boutique hotel, and luxurious en suite bathrooms. With our on-site Finger Lakes Spa just a short walk from your room, you can break up your outdoor adventures with therapeutic massages, sauna sits, and energy healing. End your day in one of our outdoor hot tubs, available by reservation, so you’ll have this relaxing space to yourself. Book your lodging today!