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; Easy. Paved trail.
To Start from the Visitor Center [Northeast End]; From Route 13 coming in from the east. Take the Route 34 N/Stewart Park exit. Head right on James Gibbs Dr, then turn left on Route 34. First left into the Visitor Center.
To Start from the Park Road parking lot [Southwest End]; From Route 13 coming in from the east. Enter downtown and turn right on W Buffalo St. Cross over Inlet Island and turn right on Park Rd. Parking lot is on your right.
To start from the Cass Park Access Road parking lot [Northwest End]; From Route 13 coming in from the east. Enter downtown and turn right on W Buffalo St. Cross over to Inlet Island and turn right on Route 89. Travel 1.1 miles and turn right at the Allen Treman State Marine Park entrance. Turn right on Cass Park Access Rd and park. The trail passes in front of the parking lot.
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 Lower 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 [Northeast End]; 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 Mile 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. You'll pass by the Ithaca Youth Bureau which contains ITHACA BIKE RENTALS . 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 [Southwest End] 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 a crosswalk just before Cass Park Access Rd at 4.3 miles. Left is the Cass Park Access Road parking lot [Northwest End].
Note; You have 2 Options from here: 1. Extend your ride by checking out the Treman State Marine Park Loop. 2. Completing the Case Park Loop. I did both options starting with the first.
Option 1; [Re-zeroing Mileage] Turn right across the road to a short paved trail that brings you out to the Hanger Theatre Access road.
Note; Straight ahead is the HANGAR THEATRE .
Turn right, passing by Ithaca Dog Park and quickly pick up the wide, paved Treman State Marine Park Loop past the gate. The trail travels through a large meadow.
Note; Since I last rode this trail, it has been paved (was grass) so not sure if my directions or mileage has changed.
Come to Intersection 1 and bear left (narrow paved trail or stone-dust?). This trail (keep left) Loops around a meadow and Osprey nest with views of the Cayuga Inlet Lighthouse out in Cayuga Lake as the trail follows the shoreline Come to Intersection 2.
Note; Right the trail leads to picnic pavilions.
Continue straight along the shoreline (a causeway divides the Cayuga Inlet from Fall Creek on the other side), past more picnic table to Intersection 3. Head straight to a dead end where boats can enter the inlet from the marina. Return to the intersection and continue left, traveling around the marina, past Intersection 4 (which leads back to Intersection 2) and back to Intersection 1. Follow the trail back to Cass Park Access Rd for a 1.6 mile Loop?
Option 2; Cross Cass Park Access Rd and continue left along the Cass Park Loop past a side trail on your right.
Note; This side trail brings you to the HANGAR THEATRE .
The paved trail passes by the Cass Park Access Road 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 Ithaca Children's Garden before coming to an intersection at 5 miles. Left a spur leads to the Children's Garden parking lot.
Note; Right a spur leads to the Black Diamond Trail which follows a stone-dust rail trail north along the old Lehigh Valley Railroad route whose Black Diamond Express once ran from Buffalo to New York City. This trail travels 8.4 miles currently ending at TAUGHANNOCK FALLS SP near Trumansburg. Taughannock Falls plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above a gorge. I haven't checked out this trail yet.
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.
CLICK HERE FOR CAYUGA WATERFRONT TRAIL MAP
CLICK HERE FOR BLACK DIAMOND TRAIL MAP
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