Hike #67

Some Shorter Hikes

Most of the hikes listed on our Hikes page are intended to document the locations the Ithaca Hikers go to for our two-hour group hikes.

This page lists (in no particular order) a number of shorter local and nearby hikes that don’t require two full hours, but which hikers may enjoy as an abbreviated solo or small group hike.

Hike #67-1: Caywood Point Finger Lakes National Forest, Watkins Glen

Caywood Point, Finger Lakes National Forest – Google Maps

Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forests – Caywood Point (usda.gov)

Caywood Point – Finger Lakes National Forest – Hector, NY | Adventures in New York (adventuresny.com)

Hike #67-2: Edwards Lake Cliffs Preserve, Lansing

Edwards Lake Cliffs – Google Maps

Edwards Lake Cliffs Preserve – CornellBotanicGardens

Ithaca Trails – Edwards Lake Cliffs Natural Area

Pocket Falls at Edwards Lake Cliffs (Lansing, NY) Waterfall Guide (nyfalls.com)

edwards-lake-cliff-trail-map.pdf (nyfalls.com)


(17) A Virtual Tour of Edwards Lake Cliffs Preserve – YouTube

Hike #67-3: Campbell Meadows, Dryden

Campbell Meadows Natural Area – Google Maps

Ithaca Trails – Campbell Meadows

Hike #67-4: Genung Nature Preserve, Freeville

Google Maps

Genung Nature Preserve | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

Genung Nature Preserve Loop: 23 Reviews, Map – New York | AllTrails

Village Parks – Freeville NY

Hike #67-5: Roy H. Park Preserve South Trail, Caroline

While we normally do group hikes from the north parking of the preserve, the nearby south parking lot has a shorter but equally enjoyable trail.

Preserve-Brochure-Park.pdf (fllt.org)

Hike #67-6: Dotson Park, Danby

Dotson Park Natural Playground – Google Maps

www.dotsonpark.org (google.com)

Ithaca Trails – Dotson Park

Hike #67-7: Eldridge Nature Preserve, Ithaca

Eldridge Wilderness Trail – Google Maps

Ithaca Trails – Eldridge Wilderness Preserve

Eldridge Wilderness Preserve (nature.org)

Hike #67-8: Ringwood Ponds Natural Area, Dryden

Ringwood Natural Area – Google Maps

Ringwood Ponds – CornellBotanicGardens

Hike #67-9: Ithaca College Natural Lands, Ithaca

There are two options; the trails directly behind the campus, or on the opposite ( westerly ) side of 96B. The westerly trails are more easily reached from Stone Quary Rd where they meet the road nearly opposite the Owl Creek Trail

Owl Creek Trailhead – Google Maps

Trails — Ithaca College Natural Lands (icnaturallands.com)

Hike #67-10: Greensprings Natural Cemetery, Newfield

A safe place to hike during hunting season.

Greensprings Natural Cemetery – Google Maps

Hike #67-11: Salt Point, Lansing

Salt Point Natural Area – Google Maps

Salt Point | Town of Lansing New York (lansingrec.com)

Ithaca Trails – Salt Point

Hike #67-12: FLT through Tarr-Young Preserve toward Summerland Farm Preserve, Caroline

Tarr-Young Preserve – CornellBotanicGardens

Summerland Farm Preserve | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

We used to hike this as a group, but the parking area/ turnaround on state Route 79 where we used to park is now entirely signed as no parking, so the only parking option when coming in from the lower end of the trail is to park on the grass near the state highway.

If you’re coming from the upper side through Summerland Farm Preserve on Blackman Hill Road, the FLTC has recently built a new but very small parking area.

Hike #67-13: King Nature Preserve, Tioga County

King Nature Preserve – Google Maps

King Nature Preserve | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

We tried this one as a regular group hike location a couple of times, but it’s just too short to get a full two hour hike out of it. I’m hoping that eventually they’ll cut a connector trail to the nearby state forest, but for now we won’t be returning for group hikes.

Hike #67-14: Excelsior Glen Falls, Watkins Glen

Excelsior Glen Trail – Google Maps

Excelsior Glen (near Watkins Glen) Waterfall Guide (nyfalls.com)

Hike #67-15: Lansing Center Trail, Lansing

Lansing Center Trail – Google Maps

Ithaca Trails – Lansing Center Trail

Brochure SIDE 2 – 10-14-22 w-Map (lansingrec.com)

Hike #67-16: Emilie Jonas Falls Nature Preserve, Lansing

Emilie Jonas Falls Nature Trail – Google Maps

Emilie Jonas Falls Nature Preserve (Lansing, NY) Waterfall Guide (nyfalls.com)

Hike #67-17: Smith Woods Forest, Trumansburg

Smith Woods Forest – Google Maps

Smith Woods — Cayuga Nature Center

Ithaca Trails – Smith Woods

Hike #67-18: Habitat Preserve, Trumansburg

Habitat Nature Preserve – Google Maps

Town of Ulysses, NY | Habitat Nature Preserve (townofulyssesny.gov)

Ithaca Trails – Habitat Preserve

There’s limited parking on Salo Drive at trailhead and overflow parking at the Trumansburg Farmers Market parking area.

Hike #67-19: Stevenson Preserve, Enfield

Stevenson Forest Preserve – Google Maps

Stevenson Forest Preserve | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

I think that awareness of this preserve tends to get lost because it exists in the shadow of the nearby Robert Treman State Park and Connecticut Hill WMU, as well as the Bock-Harvey Preserve. This is a shame, because while the trail here is a shorter single track, it goes through some pretty sections of woods.

The Finger Lakes Trail also passes through this preserve, although there is a good deal of road walking on either side of the preserve to reach Connecticut Hill WMU or Robert Treman State Park.

Hike 67-20: Etna Nature Preserve, Dryden


Etna Nature Preserve | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

Hike #67-21: Ithaca Falls Natural Area , Ithaca


Ithaca Falls Natural Area (Ithaca, NY) Waterfall Guide (nyfalls.com)

This trail is short on hiking length, but a few minutes’ walk brings you to a great view of the falls.

Hike #67-22: Cascadilla Gorge Natural Area, Ithaca

Located in the heart of downtown Ithaca in the Fall Creek neighborhood and climbing to the Cornell campus, this fairly short trail is always good for a three-season visit with family and visitors.

cascadilla gorge natural area – Google Maps

Ithaca Trails – Cascadilla Gorge Natural Area

Hiking the Amazing Cascadilla Gorge in Ithaca, New York – Uncovering New York

Hike #67-23: Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen

Catharine Valley Trail (ny.gov)

Catharine Valley Trail – Go Finger Lakes

This rail trail is little bit of a drive from Ithaca but worthwhile.

Hike #67-24: Jennings Pond, Danby

A detached portion of Buttermilk Falls State Park, Jennings Pond features a loop trail that totals about 1.3 miles.

jennings pond danby ny – Google Search

Finger Lakes, New York | Tompkins County | Town of Danby | Jennings Pond (ilovethefingerlakes.com)

Ithaca Trails – Jennings Pond

Jennings Pond Park Hiking Trails | Trailforks

Hike #67-25: Coy Glen, Ithaca

Keep in mind that you must receive permission from Cornell Botanic Gardens BEFORE you hike this location.

Some very nice woods and well-marked trails that in combination with the YMCA Outdoor Education Center trails – that groups trailhead off Route 79 West (Outdoor Education Center – YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County (ithacaymca.com) and nearby Ecovillage trails can work to create a longer hike.

Coy Glen – CornellBotanicGardens

Hike Coy Glen, Ithaca, New York (theoutbound.com)

Hike #67-26 Van Riper and Whitlock Nature Preserves

A few miles outside of Tompkins County on State Route 89.

VanRiper and Whitlock | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

(7) Adventures in NY Sneak Peeks: VanRiper Conservation Area & Whitlock Nature Preserve – YouTube

(7) Winter Waves and Waterbirds on Cayuga Lake at VanRiper Conservation Area (Seneca County, NY) – YouTube

Hike #67-27 Odessa Hector Rail Trail

Currently two miles in length, with trailheads on Texas Hollow Rd and Hayes Hill Rd, its too short for the Ithaca Hikers to hold a group hike here without relying on multiple passes up and down the existing footpath. Hopefully that will change when they extend the current rail trail.

Odessa-Hector Rail Trail — Seneca Lake Scenic Byway

Hiking trail officially opens in Odessa – The Observer (observer-review.com)

Finger Lakes Land Trust Supports Village of Odessa Rail Trail Project | Finger Lakes Land Trust (fllt.org)

Odessa-Hector Rail Trail – Google Maps

(64) Odessa-Hector Rail Trail opens after community donates funds and labor – YouTube

Hike # 67-28 Kingsbury Woods Preserve Town of Danby

Meet-up: Jersey Hill Road, Danby


Click here for more information on the Conservation Area

We only recently started doing group hikes in this Conservation Area; the parking lot is small, which limits group hikes here to our Wednesday hikes. Unfortunately we’ve found that the trail system is too limited to get a full two hour hike at this location, so I am relegating this Preserve to our shorter hikes list.

The trail loop itself is short, which requires hikers to turn around and re-trace our steps to come close to a two hour hike. We still need to do some bushwhacking around the blazed trail, or cross over Jersey Hill Rd and hike the ridgeline on the parking lot side of the road (still on Conservation Area property) to reach anything close to two-hour hike duration.

The Trail is often muddy in summer months; the parking area isn’t plowed in winter, which can require hikers to park along the minimal shoulder with a dip in the road on one side, and a sharp curve at the other end of the road.

Last edit 12-21-2023 JFR