Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls State Park /təˈɡænək/ is located in the Town of Ulysses in Tompkins County, New York, in the United States. The park is northwest of Ithaca near Trumansburg, New York. The name Taughannock comes from the Algonquian-speaking Lenni Lenape (Delaware) Indians, referring either to chief Taughannock or the word taghkanic (great fall in the woods).

The main cataract of the falls is a 215-foot drop (66 m), making it 33 feet (10 m) taller than Niagara Falls. It is the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. The water flows through a long gorge with cliffs up to 400 ft high (120 m), characteristic of the area's gorges that give rise to the common "Ithaca is Gorges" bumper stickers and t-shirts. The waterfall and gorge comprise an example of a hanging valley that developed in a very similar fashion to the one at nearby Watkins Glen State Park. None of the local gorges were "carved by glaciers." In fact all of the gorges are post-glacial valleys carved by the streams that still run through them. It is the valleys over which the waterfalls hang that were eroded (over-deepened) by the advance of the Pleistocene ice sheets.

Visitors can reach an excellent view of the waterfall by walking along a 3/4-mile-long trail (1.2 km). The gorge trail is open all year long, unlike the rim trails which are closed to the public in winter. Visitors in autumn can enjoy the picturesque colors of the surrounding trees.

The Park offers hiking and nature trails, camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, and a boat launch, as well as ice-skating, sledding, cross-country skiing in the winter at Rice hill just north of the park.


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New York State
Tompkins County
Andersen Hill And Potato Hill State Forest
Buttermilk Falls State Park
Cliffside State Forest
Danby State Forest
Hammond Hill State Forest
Robert H. Treman State Park
Shindagin Hollow State Forest
Taughannock Falls State Park
Yellow Barn State Forest

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.