While planning our road trip through New York state this past summer, many people recommended visiting the Ithaca area as the top thing to do in upstate NY. They were excited about its beautiful swimming holes and sweeping gorges. So although we didn’t have a lot of extra time to budget for it, we made sure to swing through. I’m glad we did because family hiking in upstate New York is magical. And the Ithaca gorges!
Literary Inspiration: In college I had read a fantastically silly and mythical book called The Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff about magical happenings on the Cornell University campus in the town of Ithaca. It was fun to see its setting.
Purity Ice Cream Stop, Ithaca, New York
Our first stop was to Purity Ice Cream Shop because we love ice cream and are always on the look-out for ice creams to try. The shop was nice and clean and had a large variety of flavors. The ice cream was good, but a bit pricey. If you are obsessed with ice cream as much as I am, check out my Pinterest page devoted to it.
Ithaca’s gorges, natural waterfalls and swimming holes
Robert H. Tremain swimming holes
Robert. H Tremain’s hiking trails
The hiking trail was easily followed and very well maintained, but plunge 500 feet over the 2.2 miles that the Enfield Creek flows through the Enfield Glen. So, the upper hikes can be difficult for people not in good shape or with disabilities. The easiest hike is the lower trail. Check out all the hikes. You definitely need to bring your own water and snacks. Because we took the long trail from the top and maybe due to the swimming being closed, there were not too many crowds, which I very much appreciated.
Later in this trip we went to Niagara Falls, which although is more impressive due to the sheer volume of the water falling over them, did not overshadow the beauty of these falls with the gorgeous granite cliff faces. These reminded me of the rock formations that I saw while hiking in southern Iceland. We loved the seemingly endless continuation of the waterfalls. There are also placid areas where one can wade through the waters and explore the rocks up close.Gorgeous family hiking with swimming holes in upstate New York Click To Tweet