7 Gorgeous Waterfalls to Visit Under 3 Hours Away in Ithaca



Written by Alexis Wagner

Published on July 6, 2022
Photo Courtesy of Buttermilk Falls

Waterfalls are no mystery to any true Buffalonian. But, if you travel approximately two and a half hours east of Buffalo, you’ll stumble across the town of Ithaca where you’ll encounter a slew of waterfalls that rival even our own WNY world wonder in their own ways.

Within just 10 miles of Ithaca, there are hundreds of beautiful waterfalls located within gorges that were carved out by glaciers millions of years ago. If you are looking to see more of the waterfalls that New York has to offer within just 3 hours of Buffalo, this is the guide for you.

Here are 7 of the most popular and gorgeous waterfalls Ithaca, NY has to offer:

Looking for more things to do in Ithaca? Check out our Ithaca road-trip guide!

1. Taughannock Falls

1740 Taughannock Blvd., Trumansburg, NY 14886

Height: 217′

Taughannock Falls is located in Taughannock Falls State Park. There are countless trails that provide great views of the falls.

Fun fact: Taughannock Falls stands three stories taller than Niagara Falls!


2. Buttermilk Falls

106 E Buttermilk Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

Height: 165′

Buttermilk Falls is located in Buttermilk Falls State Park. Buttermilk Falls is also home to dozens of other falls so be sure to check those ones out too! There is a natural pool at the base of Buttermilk Falls that allows swimming. There are 5 trails that wander through the park and allow for great views of the falls.

Fun Fact: Buttermilk Falls is the largest of 10 other falls along Buttermilk Creek.

3. Ithaca Falls

Lake St., Ithaca, NY 14850

Height: 150′

Ithaca Falls is close to downtown Ithaca. The waterfall plunges into Cayuga Lake and there is no fee to witness this beautiful scene!

Fun Fact: With a width of 175ft, Ithaca Falls is the region’s most powerful waterfall.

4. Lucifer Falls

105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

Height: 115′

Lucifer Falls is located in Robert H. Treman State Park which is 6 miles southwest of Ithaca. There is about a one mile hike to reach the falls and you’ll see about a dozen other smaller waterfalls on your hike to Lucifer Falls.

Fun Fact: There’s a natural swimming hole located at the lower falls.


5. Lick Brook Falls

1 Townline Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

Height: 93′

Lick Brook Falls is located in The Sweedler Preserve which is managed by the Finger Lakes Land Trust. There are three major falls in this location ranging from 25ft to 93ft.

Fun Fact: Since these falls are managed by the Finger Lakes Land Trust, Lick Brook is able to remain wild and undeveloped.

6. Triphammer Falls

Intersection of University and East Ave., on Cornell campus, Ithaca, NY 14850

Height: 55′

Triphammer Falls is located as a centerpiece of Cornell University’s campus. Triphammer Falls was named for the Triphammer forge that operated in this location in the 1820s.

Fun Fact: Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, fell in love with this spot when he first arrived in Ithaca. He ultimately built the first Beebe Lake Dam to deliver reliable year-round waterpower to mills downstream.


7. Ludlowville Falls

Salmon Creek Rd., Lansing, NY 14882

Height: 35′

Ludlowville Falls is located on Salmon Creek. The soft shale underneath the falls has eroded away which has created an overhang cave and deep plunge pool.

Fun Fact: This fall powered the early settlement of Ludlowville.

This post was originally published in 2021 and has been updated.

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Alexis Wagner</a>

Written by Alexis Wagner

Alexis is from a small town called Freedom, NY (40 miles south of Buffalo). As a senior at Houghton College graduating this Spring with a degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications and Human Resources Management, she hopes to work with a Buffalo based company or store in the marketing department once she graduates. Alexis finds the Buffalo community to be fun, creative, ambitious, hardworking, and energetic and she's excited to learn more.


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