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Taughannock Falls via Gorge Trail

Easy
 4.4 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An Ithaca classic hike highlighted by 400 ft. gorge walls and amazing views of Taughannock Falls.


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Map Key

1.9

Miles

3.0

KM

Out and Back

631' 192 m

High

427' 130 m

Low

322' 98 m

Up

335' 102 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall

Family Friendly The path is very nice and will take you to an amazing waterfall.

Overview

This is a classic Ithaca area hike to one of New York's best waterfalls. It is a short and beautiful there-and-back route that follows the bottom of the gorge in Taughannock Falls State Park to a viewpoint of Taughannock Falls, a waterfall that is 30 feet higher than Niagara and the tallest single-drop falls east of the Mississippi. The trail is flat, wide, and very well maintained.

Need to Know

The path is wide and well maintained, but can be very icy in the winter.

Description

The hike begins at the Taughannock Falls Gorge Trailhead parking area on NY 89 about 9.5 miles north of Ithaca on the western side of Cayuga Lake. The trail starts right from the parking lot and immediately splits from the South Rim Trail. The trail will take you first to a lookout point for a mini-waterfall.

The trail then continues along a well-maintained wide path. Parts of it allow you to hike along the flat slabs of rocks along the river which can be quite fun. Other parts of it pass a little farther into the woods, but never too far from the creak as the gorge walls prevent you from leaving the water's edge too far.

The gorge walls will continue to climb higher and higher until they reach nearly 400 feet. At this point, the path will cross a bridge right below the falls offering amazing views. A few more steps will take you to the end of the trail - another great viewpoint of Taughannock Falls which drops 215 feet.

Retrace your steps to return to the parking area.

History & Background

Taughannock Falls is the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Mississippi River - 30 feet higher than Niagara Falls.

Contacts

Shared By:

Karl W

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 15 votes

#749

Overall
  4.4 from 15 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#12

in New York

#749

Overall
98 Views Last Month
10,897 Since Feb 23, 2017
Easy

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Photos

Taughannock Falls is sublime in the autumn.
Feb 24, 2017 near Trumans…, NY
The path near the base of the beautiful Taughannock Falls offers a fantastic look at the water and surrounding amphitheater.
Mar 1, 2017 near Trumans…, NY
Taughannock Falls plummets over the sheer cliffside.
Feb 24, 2017 near Trumans…, NY
While they're much smaller than Taughannock, the lower falls near the parking area are still beautiful in their own right.
Feb 23, 2017 near Trumans…, NY
The trail can get just a little icy in the winter!
Feb 23, 2017 near Trumans…, NY
Taughannock Falls shines beautifully in the winter sun.
Feb 23, 2017 near Trumans…, NY

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All Clear 3 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Mar 31, 2021
Tiff C
0.8mi — 0h 30m
Sep 20, 2020
Matthew Hall
Jul 28, 2020
Jean Ellefson
Great ramble with kids. Flat enough for a stroller if needs be! Fun with youngsters on stepping stones. 1.9mi — 1h 00m
Jul 15, 2020
Elleni Guzman
Jun 30, 2019
Adam Conklin
1.9mi
Oct 18, 2018
Jeff Mollica
hiked from the north rim trailhead at the overlook down to the gorge trail, out to the waterfall, then took a shortcut up the side of the south rim. 4.7mi — 2h 00m
Aug 30, 2018
Feral Dandelion
Looped
Aug 15, 2018
Louise Benjamin