Taughannock Falls State Park summer cover

Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls, most often pronounced tuh·GAN·ick but sometimes pronounced tuh·GAN·uhk, is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the New York State Park system.

There are two viewing options for enjoying the falls. The first option is to go to the free overlook outside the state park, pictured above. The overlook has a free parking lot, paved pathways leading to it, a visitor center with restrooms, and a water bottle refill station.

The second option is to walk along the 0.75-mile Gorge Trail. You will need to pay the state park admission fee for this option. Follow the generally wide and flat path to reach the waterfall’s base.

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Taughannock Falls Overlook

Taughannock Falls State Park Ithaca NY
Taughannock Falls Overlook Visitor Center

The visitor center

There is a lovely visitor center with restrooms, area information, and freshwater to refill your bottles. A paved pathway leads you through a landscaped route to the overlook, which is only a short walk away.

State Parks Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls Overlook

One of the best things about Taughannock Falls is that the most impressive view from the overlook is also the most accessible. Additionally, viewing from here is free!

Taughannock Falls looking up
The base of Taughannock Falls

Do you see that odd rectangular cut in the tree line on the top left side of this photo above? That’s the overlook, and this is the view from the base of the waterfall looking back.

Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls State Park Ithaca NY
Gorge Trail .74 Miles

Taughannock Falls Gorge Trail

After paying the vehicle admission fee, you can begin your 0.75-mile walk along the gorge trail. The path is wide and flat and remains consistent throughout. Just beyond the sign is a smaller waterfall that makes for a great picnic spot.

lower Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls pathway summer
Taughannock Gorge

Along the gorge trail

The trail consists of a mix of a shaded pathway lined by trees and open canyon walls.

Taughannock Falls State Park Ithaca NY
End of the Gorge Trail

A glorious amphitheater for a magnificent waterfall!

Here’s a fun fact about Taughannock Falls State Park: as the gorge erodes, the park’s size increases. The fallen rocks are utilized to construct Taughannock Point in the park, which is located along Cayuga Lake. When visiting the falls, keep in mind that you are facing southwest, which means that you may be directly pointing your camera toward the sun between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

I waited for the sun to drop below the gorge wall before taking this photo, which shows the sun just touching the top of the falls. I am excited to visit the park again in autumn or winter when the sun is lower in the southern sky or at sunrise to capture more stunning photos.

Taughannock Falls in Winter

Taughannock Falls winter icy
Taughannock Falls winter bridge
Taughannock Falls winter pathway
Taughannock Falls winter cover
Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls winter overlook
Taughannock Falls in Winter

Taughannock Falls is one of the few gorge trails in the New York State Park System that remains open during winter. Although the path can be slippery in certain spots, particularly near the falls, it is flat, making it safer than Watkins Glen or Stony Brook.

Taughannock Falls State Park bridge
Taughannock Falls

More information about Taughannock Falls State Park

Cost: Overlook free, admission fee to hike

Located in Trumansburg near Ithaca, 90 minutes / 80 miles from Rochester (get directions to the Overlook and Gorge Trail)

More information: parks.ny.gov

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What is your favorite time to visit Taughannock Falls?

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.

2 thoughts on “Taughannock Falls State Park”

  1. FYI the park is not located in Trumansburg – it’s about 3 miles from the village of Trumansburg. It’s located in the town of Ulysses NY. Tompkins County map will verify this. Or check Wikipedia. The state park web site lists the location as 1740 Taughannock Blvd. but that is for US mail purpose only. Taughannock Blvd. is also well outside the village of Trumansburg.

    1. Thank you, Adam, for the additional information. I use Google Maps information since many people will use those directions to navigate to a destination. Google Maps indicates the address for the overlook as 2381 Taughannock Park Rd, Trumansburg, NY 14886, and for the state park gorge trail parking lot as 1738 NY-89, Trumansburg, NY 14886. Post office vs. town borders are a technical issue in many places.

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