Buttermilk Falls State Park swimming cover

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Stairs are prevalent along the 0.65-mile Buttermilk Creek Gorge Trail. When you reach the stone bridge, you can continue to the upper park, return through the gorge, or cross the creek and take the Rim Trail back to the parking area, where you can enjoy a swim in the natural stream-fed pool beneath Buttermilk Falls.

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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

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?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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