Enjoy the Gorges

The unusual beauty of Fall Creek Gorge and Cascadilla Gorge make them great places to explore plants and wildlife and to enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, walking, and birding. The gorges contribute to overall wellness and are favored places to unwind, find inspiration, reduce stress, contemplate, meditate, and be creative.

students on a Fall Creek Gorge hikeThere are several scenic areas to enjoy the gorges from creek level or from above the gorge. Look for these destination areas marked on the maps in the gorge safety brochure (pdf). View a full list of hiking trails within Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Natural History Information

The amount of direct sunlight is varied throughout the gorge, which creates a wide range of growing conditions and rich diversity of habitats. In addition, gorges expose the area’s bedrock, which makes them ideal places to appreciate the geologic history of the Ithaca area.

Four interpretive panels are found in destination areas around Fall Creek, which provide information on the natural and cultural history of the area.

Learn more about natural heritage of Fall Creek Gorge and Cascadilla Gorge, as well as the ecological communities within Cascadilla Gorge.

Access for Mobility-Impaired

Several locations with great views of the gorges are accessible to the mobility-impaired.

  • For a stunning view of Fall Creek, park on Fall Creek drive on the North side of the Fall Creek Gorge and proceed across the suspension bridge. This grade is flat.
  • Similar views are available on the Thurston Avenue bridge near North Campus and on the Beebe Lake pedestrian bridge.
  • In addition, the lower part of Cascadilla Gorge in downtown Ithaca, called Treman Triangle, has a low grade up to the first falls.