hike #39

Taughannock Falls State Park Trails

General information about this state park:

Taughannock Falls State Park (ny.gov)

This may be the most popular of the state parks in the county. Most of our hikes here involve a loop hike of the Gorge and Rim trails, where we walk completely around the gorge rim plus walk up the gorge trail to the waterfall.  The Rim and Gorge trails are not usually crowded at all at the time of morning we’re here, and the waterfall trail to the base of the waterfall is usually only busy in the peak of vacation season.  We usually do the loop hike counter clockwise (for no special reason)  —  the hike is easy except for the long climb up from the gorge level to the overlook, which is a bit tiring.  In addition to having so many great views, this hike is popular because you can walk side by side and schmooze pretty easily.

We have four places to meet in Taughannock Falls State Park, depending on the season, what trails we want to hike in and around the park, and whether the park is charging admission.

TaughannockFallsTrailMap.pdf (ny.gov)

Meet-up location # 1:  Dirt pull-off area on the north side of Gorge Road a little SW of the intersection with Willow Creek Road.  When the spots in the parking area fill up, park along the edge of Gorge Road  —  plenty of room to park



Meet-up location # 2: Small parking lot on the southwest side of Taughannock Blvd- State Route 89- at the foot of the gorge trail. Often fills up during the summer season, so late arrivals might need to park across Rte 89 in the larger parking lots there.


Meet-up location # 3: Parking lot on Jacksonville Rd, near the intersection with Taughannock Park Rd:

Black Diamond Trail North Trailhead – Google Maps

This parking area is currently undergoing upgrades as of early 2024. We normally park here when hiking the upper end of the Black Diamond Trail, but the other trails within the state park are easily reached from here as well.

Meet-up location # 4: Parking lot on Rice Rd, at the sledding hill.

The group parks here when we intend to hike the trails on the north side of the park, primarily between Rice Rd and Taughannock Park Rd. We used to hike this part of the park but stopped for many years until Mark S recently re-introduced the trails on this side of the park to the group.

Rice Hill Sledding Hill – Google Maps

Do NOT rely on Googe maps to get you to this trailhead, as the map pin takes you to the BOTTOM of the sledding hill, NOT to the parking area. To get to the Rice Rd parking lot:

  • Take NY-89 N for about 9 miles. You’ll pass the main entrance to Taughannock Falls SP.
  • Take a slight left onto Taughannock Park Rd.
  • After about a quarter mile, take a slight right onto Rice Road and watch for the parking lot on the right.


Last revised 03-2024 JFR