Robert H. Treman State Park

Explore this 2-mile-long, glacier-carved gorge in Ithaca, New York, complete with waterfalls and incredible natural features. 

Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, New York (photo by Michael Grandeau)

Dive into the water of a naturally formed swimming hole, swim your way to a waterfall and perch next to its cascade on a stony ledge. Swimming at the foot of Enfield Falls is just one of the wild and wonderful experiences that await adventurers at the more than 1,100-acre Robert H. Treman State Park in New York’s Finger Lakes region. (It can only be done when lifeguards are on duty though.)

Named for the pioneering conservationist who donated much of its land, the park sits off the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and features a 2-mile-long, glacier-carved gorge known as Enfield Glen as well as numerous waterfalls.  

Because the gorge’s rugged rock walls impede mobile phone service and make driving or biking directly to its most notable sites impossible, the park possesses a pristine, get-away-from-it-all ambiance relished by hikers, campers, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. 

Follow Rim Trail to the top of the 115-foot-tall Lucifer Falls to get a stunning view of the gorge. Then, stay on Gorge Trail as it runs parallel to the verdant course of Enfield Creek, free from the ding of incoming text messages. Instead, you’ll hear only the sweet songs of orioles and indigo buntings and the soft, soothing sound of cascading water accompanying your steps along the way.   

Along these trails, hikers cross arched stone bridges and climb craggy sets of steps — including the challenging, workout-worthy Cliff Staircase — that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Those federal workers also constructed the park’s renovated cabins as well as the handsome pool house that is still in use at the swimming hole. Before you take the plunge, go see the model of the Civilian Conservation Corps encampment that is displayed inside the park’s historic Old Mill, which a Treman ancestor built. 105 Enfield Falls Rd., Ithaca, New York 14850, 607/273-3440,