The two gorges that run through the Cornell campus represent more than 10,000 years of beauty. They help to make Cornell one of the world’s most beautiful campuses, and the natural beauty on our campus is truly a “gorges” display of rock, water and trees. Cascadilla Gorge is located to the south of campus and Fall Creek Gorge is to the north of campus. While the gorges are wonderful for recreation and hiking, they can be very dangerous.
Cascadilla Gorge Trail
Ascending four hundred feet from downtown Ithaca to College Avenue on campus, the Cascadilla Gorge Trail follows Cascadilla Creek through the gorge past waterfalls, ancient bedrock of shale and sandstone, and many plants adapted to gorge life.
Fall Creek Gorge Trails
Fall Creek Gorge begins just west of Beebe Lake. Within the gorge, Fall Creek plunges over six waterfalls, the last of which is Ithaca Falls in downtown Ithaca. Visitors to the gorge can explore Fall Creek Gorge and rim on four trails. View or download the Gorge Safety Brochure (.pdf) for trail information.
Please respect and safely use the gorges
Please be safe while visiting the gorges. People have been injured and killed through the misuse of this natural wonder, but most of these incidents could have been avoided.
Swimming is prohibited in Cornell’s gorges, and Chapter 250 of the City of Ithaca code, Peace and Good Order, states, “No person shall bathe in, swim in, or for purposes of swimming and/or bathing enter any of the waters within the City of Ithaca except in the waters officially designated as swimming or bathing areas.”