Just a few miles southwest of downtown Ithaca, NY, Buttermilk Falls State Park is 811 acres of shady woods, wetland meadows, and no less than 10 waterfalls cascading down a narrow gorge toward Cayuga Lake. It also makes a great place for camping near New York. The park was designated in 1924, yet its namesake cascade, Buttermilk Falls, was named as early as 1866, as it was likened to “a mass of thick, frothy foam” as it tumbles down a 165-foot slab of layered stone. This makes Buttermilk Falls the park’s main attraction, and the wide pool beneath the falls is a popular swimming hole for cooling off in the summer months. The park’s many other falls, ranging in height from 5 to 35 feet, are viewable from some of the 5.5 miles of hiking trails along the Buttermilk Creek gorge. The park offers free guided gorge tours and interpretive programs.
The campground at Buttermilk Falls is small, offering only 25 tent and RV sites and 18 rental cabins. Campsites are mostly back-in, and can accommodate vehicles/trailers only to a maximum of 20 feet. Sites are equipped with picnic tables and fire pits; hookups are not available. Of the cabins available, visitors can choose from historic cabins with electricity and modern cabins sans electricity. There is one ADA accessible campsite and cabin available. Campground amenities include a bathhouse with showers, a picnic shelter, and a trash/recycling station. A trailhead in the campground provides walking access to the park’s trail network, viewpoints, playground and ball fields. Dogs are permitted, but must remain leashed, and only in pet-friendly areas. Campsite rates are $15–$24/night; cabins are $52–$60/night with two-night minimum. The park also charges an entry fee.
We have stayed here on two seperate occasions. It is close to so many waterfalls and gorges and some of my favorite hiking trails. The lack of amenities drives a lot of people away- we have never felt crowded while here.
The Finger lakes region is so beautiful . Be sure to time your visit with the fall foilage change, or grab your snow shoes for a winter adventure. Great cabins for rent here!
One of the more relaxing campgrounds in the gorge-ous area. Doesn't have as many amenities as some of the other area (no showers) but still nice spacious sites with restroom, tables and fire rings. Simple nice park which is much less crowded than some of the other State parks in the area. Nice trails and more awesome falls.
Just about anywhere you go to explore in Ithaca is spectacular and this park is no exception. Good size campsites with room for a tent or rv, cabins are also available too. What makes this park different from the rest is the short walk to the many smaller falls of the finger lakes region. The staff here are friendly and it is a great place to stay when in the area to adventure no matter what the season!
Short drive out of Ithaca proper near one of the Finger Lakes. Medium to easy trails (the ones near the gorges are steep but with nice rock steps). If you can only go to one park in the Finger Lakes I’d pick this one. Wading in some spots in summer. Tenting sites are shady and semi-private but I don’t think any of them have direct views of the gorges. Nice wildlife too.
Tenting, trailer or cabin this is a beautiful relaxing area. The upper park has a small lake that runs along side many trails and flows into Cayuga Lake one of the Finger Lakes which is beautiful itself. There are guided tours, hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing available in this tranquil campground. The swimming area is safely guarded and staff with certified guards for your protection. The waterfalls are gorgeous and they flow through a luscious gorge emptying into a marshland full of activity. Bird watching along with other wild life is there . To get away from the hussle of big city come relax here.
Buttermilk Falls State Park is a great state park in central New York. The scenery is what makes this park stand out. Unlike neighboring Taughannock Falls State Park, there isn't a large waterfall at the end of any trail. However, it is the mix of constant small waterfalls that really show in this park. There are plenty of overlooks, you can go in the streams, and the camp sites are great. They are spacious and inviting, and the neighbors are close, but not TOO close. Excellent for a weekend getaway or longer because there is so much to see.