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
Hike #67-2: Edwards Lake Cliffs Preserve, Lansing
Hike #67-3: Campbell Meadows, Dryden
Hike #67-4: Genung Nature Preserve, Freeville
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.
Hike #67-6: Dotson Park, Danby
Hike #67-7: Eldridge Nature Preserve, Ithaca
Hike #67-8: Ringwood Ponds Natural Area, Dryden
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
Hike #67-10: Greensprings Natural Cemetery, Newfield
A safe place to hike during hunting season.
Hike #67-11: Salt Point, Lansing
Hike #67-12: FLT through Tarr-Young Preserve toward Summerland Farm Preserve, Caroline
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
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
Hike #67-15: Lansing Center Trail, Lansing
Hike #67-16: Emilie Jonas Falls Nature Preserve, Lansing
Hike #67-17: Smith Woods Forest, Trumansburg
Hike #67-18: Habitat Preserve, Trumansburg
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
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
Hike #67-21: Ithaca Falls Natural Area , Ithaca
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.
Hike #67-23: Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen
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.
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.
Hike #67-26 Van Riper and Whitlock Nature Preserves
A few miles outside of Tompkins County on State Route 89.
Last edit 09-2023 JFR