Taughannock Falls State Park

This 738-acre park in Trumansburg, New York, offers hiking trails and a lake for boaters, but the main draw is its namesake 215-foot waterfall. 

Taughannock Falls State Park in Trumansburg, New York (photo courtesy of destionation)

Located in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, 738-acre Taughannock Falls State Park offers hiking trails and a lake for boaters, but the main draw is its namesake 215-foot waterfall that plunges over rocky cliffs into the gorge below.

One of the highest drops east of the Rocky Mountains, Taughannock Falls guarantees spectacular views. For those who want to take a closer look at the falls, the three-quarter-mile Gorge Trail is perfect for an easy stroll with the family along a flat path. The more adventurous can climb the Rim Trails. (Trailheads are located at both the Gorge Trail and Overlook parking lots, as well as at the junction of the North and South Rim trails.)

The North Rim and South Rim Trails connect and loop a total of 2.75 miles, offering hikers beautiful overlook views of the falls from 400 feet above the gorge. Summer visits make for a great time to cool off at Cayuga Lake Beach. The roughly 38-mile-long lake is staffed with lifeguards seasonally, starting June 19. The nearby marinas offer rentals of canoes, paddleboards and sea kayaks. There’s also a fishing pier (a valid New York State fishing license is required) where anglers cast their line for lake trout, yellow perch and landlocked Atlantic salmon often seen there.

For those who want to stay on-site, Taughannock Falls State Park has 16 cabins and 76 campsites. Picnic areas abound throughout the park, but you can also explore the Ithaca’s Farmers Market on the weekends for fresh produce and ethnic cuisine.

Enjoy fresh seafood and live music at Boatyard Grill along the Cayuga waterfront or opt for a fine dining American-Mediterranean experience and waterfall views at the Inn at Taughannock Falls. 

1740 Taughannock Blvd., Trumansburg, New York, 607/387-6739, parks.ny.gov