CAYUGA WATERFRONT TRAIL:
ITHACA, NEW YORK
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 4, 2016
Length: Cayuga Waterfront Trail; 5.3 miles.
Inlet Island Trail; 0.4 miles
Lower Black Diamond Trail; 0.5 miles
Treman State Marine Park Loop; 1.6 mile Loop.
Difficulty: Cayuga Waterfront Trail; Easy. Flat paved trail.
Inlet Island Trail; Easy. Stone-dust trail.
Lower Black Diamond Trail; Easy. Paved trail.
Treman State Marine Park Loop; Moderate. Flat mowed grass trail. Very ridable.
To Start from the Visitor Center; From the junction of Routes 13/ 34 and 89/96 in Ithaca head north on Routes 13/34 for 1.6 miles. Take the Route 34 N/Stewart Park exit. Head left on Shore Dr (Route 34) and just past James Gibbs Dr turn left into the Visitor Center.
To Start from the Park Road parking lot; From the junction of Routes 13/ 34 and 89/96 in Ithaca head west on Routes 89/96. Cross two bridges over the inlet continuing along Route 96. Take your first right on Park Rd. Parking lot is on your right.
The Cayuga Waterfront Trail is a multi-use trail connecting STEWART PARK in the east to CASS PARK in the west and traveling alongside parts of Cayuga Lake & Inlet. The Inlet Island Trail is an offshoot that travels north along Inlet Island and the Black Diamond Trail is another offshoot that travels south along the Flood Control Channel. For more information visit; CAYUGA WATERFRONT TRAIL and ITHACA TRAILS .
Cayuga Waterfront Trail:
Starting from the Visitor Center; Restrooms available. From the parking lot travel across a small bridge to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail. A short metal 0 mile marker is located here. These hard to spot markers are located every 1/4 mile along the trail. Left brings you to E Shore Dr. Head right along the wide paved trail. Blue signs mark the route. Come to the entrance to Stewart Park and head right across the RR tracks and Stewart Park Rd. The trail now travels right through the park, past a parking lot and alongside the shores of Cayuga Lake at 0.2 miles. Large beautiful Willow tress line the shore. Pass by picnic tables, pavilions, playgrounds, carousal and restrooms. The trail then follows alongside Fall Creek, crossing over a pedestrian suspension bridge and boardwalk. You leave the park after crossing a bridge over the creek. The trail then continues alongside the creek. A cross-walk at a mile takes the trail alongside Pier Rd and around the Newman Golf Course. The trail crosses Pier Rd a couple of times before turning left at Willow Rd at 1.5 miles. The trail now travels through an industrial area and out to N Meadow St and some RR tracks. Turn right and cross a bridge over Cascadilla Creek where the trail travels between the creek and the water treatment plant. Travel past the farmers market and a dock as the trail now travels alongside Cayuga Inlet. Picnic tables, along with a map board located here. Come to an intersection at 2.1 miles.
Note; Heading left a paved trail will bring you to a wide sidewalk alongside 3rd St. Cross the RR tracks and you'll come to N Meadow St after a 1/4 mile.
Continuing south along the inlet you'll travel past the Crew Crow Overlook and Ithaca College and Cornell University boathouses and a dock along Old Cayuga Inlet. A wide sidewalk takes you out to W Buffalo St where you head right across an iron pedestrian bridge. Cross-light over Taughannock Blvd and you pass by the old brick Lehigh Valley RR Depot on your right along with an old locomotive and rail cars before coming to an intersection on your right at 2.9 miles. Here you'll find a map board.
Note; Right is the trailhead for the Inlet Island Trail. This stone-dust trail travels out to the Cayuga Inlet and heads north traveling underneath Taughannock Blvd and past a dock to Lookout Point at 0.4 miles.
Continuing straight along the wide sidewalk you cross the Cayuga Inlet and come to Park Rd where a trail leads down to the Cayuga Inlet and an intersection at 3.1 miles.
Note; Right leads to the paved Lower Black Diamond Trail which travels south underneath W Buffalo St and W State St and along the Flood Control Channel before ending off of Floral Ave after 0.5 miles.
Continuing left along the Cayuga Waterfront Trail the trail travels north alongside the Cayuga Inlet passing by the Park Road parking lot before coming to an intersection. Here the trail splits to form a Loop around Cass Park.
Note; The trail to your left is part of the Cass Park Loop. This is where you'll loop back to.
I continued straight underneath the Taughannock Blvd Bridge. Soon you'll be traveling between Taughannock Blvd and the Cayuga Inlet. As you enter Cass Park you'll come to an intersection. Continue straight passing by a butterfly garden before crossing a bridge over Linderman Creek. This brings you to another intersection. Head right as the trail continues along the inlet passing by more gardens, a dock, playground and sports fields. Access to restrooms. The trail then turns inland bringing you to Cass Park Access Rd at 4.3 miles. Left is the Cass Park parking lot.
Note; You have two options from here: 1. Extend your ride by checking out the Treman State Marine Park Loop or 2. Completing the Case Park Loop. I did both options starting with the first.
Option 1; Turn right and cross the Treman SMP access Rd to a Service Rd. This road takes you past a "Dog Park" on your right and the Hangar Theatre on your left before coming to an old red caboose. Head past the left side of the caboose and you'll come to a large meadow. Mowed trails travel through this meadow creating the Treman State Marine Park Loop. Follow the grass trail keeping to the left at all intersections so that your skirting the woods. Very ridable trail. You'll come to Cayuga Lake at 0.6 miles where your afforded wide open views in an isolated setting. The trail follows the shoreline. Keep left alongside the shoreline at all intersections. Picnic tables along this section where a causeway divides the Cayuga Inlet from Fall Creek on the other side. You'll need to turn right and cross the grass when you reach the "Slow Wake" sign as the marine harbor opening is straight ahead. The grass trail now travels around the boat harbor, past a parking lot and alongside a fence for the "Dog Park" on your left. Halfway along the fence line bear right (the grass becomes wet and mucky) to an intersection. Head left past the red caboose and out the Service Rd returning to the Cass Park Loop for an 1.6 mile loop.
Option 2; Cross Cass Park Access Rd and continue left along the Cass Park Loop past a side trail.
Note; This side trail brings you to the HANGAR THEATRE .
The paved trail passes by the Cass Park parking lot and sports fields before crossing Cass Park Ave. You pass by the Cass Park Rink & Pool before coming to Taughannock Blvd. Here you'll find a map board. A cross-walk takes you over and around more sports fields. Pass by the Children's Garden parking lot at 5 miles.
Note; Right a trail leads to the Upper Black Diamond Trail which travels north along a power line for 8.4 miles and consists of a hard packed dirt and grass base. More of a hiking trail.
Hang a right at the next intersection and you'll return to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail and end of the Cass Park Loop after 5.3 miles.
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