Buttermilk Falls State Park swimming cover

Buttermilk Falls State Park

In Buttermilk Falls State Park, like most of the Finger Lakes gorge parks, stairs are the primary walkway along Buttermilk Creek. It’s a challenging hike and worth it!

Buttermilk Falls State Park swimming

Swimming at Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls has one of the best swimming holes around!

Buttermilk Falls

Where to begin

Google Maps will direct you to the Lower park entrance where you begin at the bottom and climb your way up along the Gorge Trail.

parking lot
Buttermilk Falls Trail
trail
stairs

Once you reach the bridge you can either keep going toward the upper park entrance, turn around and walk back along the Gorge Trail, or cross the bridge and take the Rim Trail down.

Buttermilk Falls bridge

The Rim Trail is more of a sloped trail through woodlands; quite beautiful, but no view of the creek.

We met locals who said they started from the upper entrance to Buttermilk Falls and walked all the way to the bottom along the Gorge and up the Rim.

One woman said she walks the trails 3 times a week, up the Gorge and down the Rim. Really quite impressive as we were ready to call it after the first set of stairs!

Again, fellow hikers encouraged us to keep going, and that it was worth it for the view. They were right.

Buttermilk Creek

More information about Buttermilk Falls

Cost: $7 per vehicle, free off-season (roughly Oct-May)

Located in Ithaca, roughly 1 hour 45 minutes / 90 miles from Rochester (get directions)

More information: parks.ny.gov or take a virtual tour

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Have you hiked through Buttermilk Falls State Park?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!

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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.