Cornell Dynamics and Climate Summer School

July 14-24, 2020

Things to Do in Ithaca has lots of information. Here are some of our favorites.

Cornell Campus

Consult a campus map for exact locations.

McGraw Tower at the South end of the Arts Quad has Chimes Concerts every day. The tower is “open to anyone who wants to climb the 161 stairs to the top.” The view from the top is spectacular. You can also hear the music from the ground! Learn more from the Cornell Chimes wikipedia page.

The Johnson Museum of Art (free admission) is located on the top of Libe Slope by the Arts Quad. It has some nice art as well as maginficent views of the lake and town from the upstairs gallery.

There is a pedestrian suspension bridge that spans the gorge on the north edge of the campus. The south end of the bridge is across the street from Tjaden Hall, which is at the north end of the Arts Quad. (Please do not swim in the gorge; it is extremely dangerous.)

Beebee Lake
Beebee Lake

If you walk north from Malott Hall (i.e., exit on the Bailey Hall side of the building) and go down the hill you will reach Beebee Lake, which has a nice walking trail around it. To the east of Beebee Lake you will encounter the beginning of the Cornell Plantations. The botanical gardens, Mundy Wildflower Garden, and the F. R. Newman Arboretum are nice areas for a stroll or short hike. The arboretum has big green fields ideal for lounging around or playing frisbee.

Tower Road is the street on the south edge of Malott. Walking east along Tower Road and then between the greenhouses is another way to access the Plantations.

Cornell Cinema, located in Willard Straight Hall to the south of the Arts Quad, has 8-10 movies a week, ranging from recent releases to classics, art films, and obscure historical works.

The Commons

The Ithaca Commons in Downtown Ithaca has a wide variety of interesting shops and restaurants, and an independent art-house movie theater (Cinemapolis). It is a short walk down the hill, and TCAT’s route 10 bus loops between the Cornell campus and the Commons every 10-15 minutes on weekdays, 7:30 a.m through 8:00 p.m. The fare is $1.50 for adults.

Ithaca - on foot or by bus

The walks to these are pretty long so you might want to take a TCAT Bus. Stewart @ Williams is one of many possible starting points.
Ithaca Falls
Ithaca Falls

If you walk down University Avenue from Alice Cook House and go a little right of straight at the four-way stop, you will be on Lake Street. Walk down the long hill past the ruins of the Ithaca Gun Factory, and at the bottom of the hill you come to Ithaca Falls on your right.

If you stay on Lake Street you will come to Stewart Park after you cross under Route 13.

The Ithaca Farmers Market has been a popular destination for conference participants. It is open Thursdays 3:00-7:00 p.m. in DeWitt Park downtown. Saturdays 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and Sundays 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. it can be found at Steamboat Landing. To get there, cross Route 13 at Third Street. They have a map on their web site.

Ithaca - by car

The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail offers a unique blend of award-winning wines, scenic waterfalls, and gourmet eateries.

The Museum of the Earth is said to be very interesting, and is just outside of town. Follow signs for Route 96 and the hospital. Detailed directions are available on their web site.

Taughannock Falls is located 7 miles north on 89 North, along the western edge of Lake Cayuga. There are two hikes:

Buttermilk Falls
Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls is along route 13 going south out of Ithaca. Drive past the fast food places and car dealerships and soon after you pass under a bridge you will see the entrance on your left. There are hiking trails along the edge of the falls and, even though it does not look like it from the picture, a swimming area at the bottom.

Treman Park is a few miles south of Buttermilk Falls on route 13. NY state road 327 will split off to the right and take you to the entrance to the park. Following the park road as it winds around, you will eventually come to a large parking lot. There is a swimming area about a quarter mile away through the trees.

Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. The entrance to the trail is on the north end of the parking lot and begins by taking you up a large hill. After this climb the hike gets much easier. The trail takes you along one edge of the creek that winds through the gorge. After a couple of miles you will cross a bridge over the creek and come to the bottom of the 115-foot Lucifer Falls.

The dedicated can climb 100+ steps to upper Treman park for more scenery but my preference is to walk back along the trail on the other side of the creek which is about 0.1 miles from where you crossed the creek. Getting back to your starting point: Near the end you will see the swimming hole. Once you walk past some of the cabins you can cross the creek again, walk up to the swimming hole, and back to the parking lot. The round trip takes about an hour and 45 minutes, including a stop for a snack at the halfway point at the falls. The elevation gain is 600 feet, but the total amount of climbing is about 800 feet.

Farther Afield