Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Buttermilk Falls State Park

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Update August 10: Swimming is temporarily closed at Buttermilk Falls State Park. Please contact the park office for additional updates and information.

Address
112 E. Buttermilk Falls Rd.
(Off Rt. 13 S)
Ithaca, NY 14850
Latitude 42.417700
Longitude -76.523400

Buttermilk Falls State Park takes its name from the foaming cascade formed by Buttermilk Creek as it flows down the steep valley side toward Cayuga Lake. The upper park has a small lake, hiking trails through woodlands and along the gorge and rim, picnic areas and playing fields. The lower park has a campground, natural pool and playing fields, beyond which is Larch Meadows. Larch Meadows is a wetland area through which a nature trail winds.

Picnic Shelter Reservation Information

Current Water Quality - Beach Results

 

Household pets only; caged or on a leash not more than 6 feet. Certificate proof of rabies inoculation. Not allowed in bathing areas.  For campers, if your site allows pets, there is a two-pet maximum.

Mailing Address
c/o Robert H. Treman State Park
105 Enfield Falls Rd.Ithaca, NY 14850

Hours of Operation

  • Park open all year.
    Vehicle entry fee collected from mid-April to mid-October.
  • 2018 Camping Season: May 18 - October 14

    Odd numbered Cabins:
    Per night – two night minimum 5/19 -6/21 and 8/25 – 10/14
    Per week- one week minimum, Friday – Friday rentals: 6/22 -8/24

    Even numbered Cabins:
    Per night – two night minimum 5/19 -6/24 and 8/27 – 10/14
    Per week- one week minimum, Sunday – Sunday rentals: 6/24 -8/26

    Please note within the camping season time frame, some loops/sites may open later or close earlier. For more details, please call the park or visit http://www.newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com

  • Trails Update: All trails are currently open.

    Before your visit, please contact the park office for an updated status.

  • 2018 Swimming Season: 6/29 - 9/3: 11AM - 7PM, Fri, Sat, Sun & Holidays only
    *Swimming at Buttermilk Falls is dependent on the weather conditions, and the schedule is subject to change. Before traveling, we strongly recommend contacting the park office to confirm swimming is open.

  • Shelters Reservations: May 1 - October 31
  • Deer hunting, bow only, is permitted in season.

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Vehicle Entry Fee Collection
  • Cars: $8
    Non-Commercial Bus Fee: $35
    Commercial Bus Fee: $75
    Seasonal Bus Permits: $75

    Collected:
    4/28 - 6/22 from 8:30 AM - 6 PM, weekends & holidays
    6/23 - 9/3 from 8:30 AM - 6 PM, daily
    9/4 - 10/21 from 8:30 AM - 6 PM, weekends & holidays

    *Overflow lot fees collected via automated pay station.

  • Cabins
  • daily rate is 1/4 the weekly charge (two night minimum)
    Per week: $210 (one week minimum Sat.-Sat.)

    $2.75 Walk-in fee
    $9 Reservation fee
    $7 Non-NYS Resident fee per night or $28/week

  • Camping
  • $15-$19/night

    *Additional $5/night for out-of-state patrons

  • Peddling Fee
  • $400
  • Shelters/Pavilions
  • Upper shelter - enclosed: $100 (flat rate)

Maps

Firewood source maps show a 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. For more information see firewood restrictions.

The Finger Lakes Environmental Education Department offers scheduled gorge tours and educational programs at Buttermilk Falls, Robert H. Treman, Taughannock Falls and Watkins Glen State Parks. All park programs are free and open to the public, no registration required, although a parking fee may be charged.

If you have a group (10 or more) that is interested in scheduling its own gorge tour or educational program at a Finger Lakes State Park, please fill out this quick form to help us best assist you. The regional Environmental Educator Josh Teeter (Josh.Teeter@parks.ny.gov) will respond and coordinate a free program with you.

The Finger Lakes Story Sparkling lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and rolling pastoral land dominate the landscape of the Finger Lakes Region. Over thousands of years, gigantic glaciers and coursing streams have carved this landscape. The most recent glacier moved through shallow river valleys leaving in its place deep, steep-sided troughs. When the glaciers receded north 10,000 years ago, water filled these new troughs, creating the 11 Finger Lakes. Since that time water has flowed down glacially steepened hillsides carrying debris that cut away at soft sedimentary rock to form our beautiful and unique gorges.

Gorge Tours provide information and insights about individual park history, ecology, gorge formation and geology. Tours last approximately one and one half hours.

The Buttermilk Falls Gorge Tour - You'll ascend approximately 600 feet on the gorge trail from its beginning at Buttermilk Falls by the time it ends just past the 42ft "Pinnacle Rock". The gorge trail follows Buttermilk Creek through its cool, moist, gorge past deep pools, sculpted rocks and several waterfalls. There are many beautiful stone steps on this trail making it a difficult hike for some visitors.

Educational Programs are offered about a variety of topics.

Birds ● Fossils ● Reptiles and Amphibians ● Insects ● Invasive Species ● Mammals ● Trees● Park Histories ● Animal Tracks ● Wilderness Survival

If don't see a specific topic please call or email us with your questions.

 

Deer hunting (bow only) is permitted in season in DESIGNATED SECTIONS OF THE PARK ONLY. Please reference the NYS DEC Hunting & Trapping Guide for current dates and rules. Refer to the park hunting maps below to see hunting and non-hunting areas.

A valid New York State hunting license with the proper hunting stamps will serve as the regional hunting permit. The Self Issued Hunting Permit can be printed out and completed from above link, and is also available posted outside each of the park offices during the season.

Hunters at Buttermilk Falls must sign in each day at park office and upper contact station. If a deer is taken, hunters must call the Robert H. Treman park office to report sex of deer and approximate age of deer.

Safety zones and restricted areas are marked on map to ensure the safety of other park patrons and regional personnel. Signs will be posted at all parks during hunting season to notify patrons of this activity. Handguns will not be permitted in any of the parks. No trapping is allowed.

For additional information, please contact Robert H. Treman State Park at: (607) 273-3440.

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Did You Know? This park is home to the Grey Petaltail Dragonfly, a species that flew with the dinosaurs!

Amenities, Activities & Information

  • Amenities
  • Cabins (Accessible)
  • Camper Recreation
  • Campsites (Accessible)
  • Grills
  • Nature Trails
  • Pavilions (Accessible)
  • Picnic Tables (Accessible)
  • Playgrounds
  • Playing Fields
  • Scenic Views (Accessible)
  • Showers (Accessible)
  • Swimming Beach (Accessible)
  • Tent/Trailer Sites (Accessible)
  • Waterfalls (Accessible)
  • Activities
  • Fishing (Accessible)
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Recreation Programs (Accessible)