Today’s hike takes you to Taughannock State Park located in the Finger Lakes region of NY state. The Rim and Gorge trails make up an easy-moderate hike of 5.54 miles. The Rim Trail has nice views of the gorge and waterfall views from the top while the gorge trails allow you to experience the waterfall from the base.
There is an alternate shorter option to just hike the Gorge Trail which is an easy 2.25-mile hike for families to enjoy. Conditions permitting, walking on the river leading up to the Taughannock Waterfall is allowed.
Keep mind if you plan on walking over the river to take proper footwear. The walk on the river can be very slick, be sure to bring good water shoes and take your time staying safe.
Tauughannock waterfall is 215 feet tall that ultimately feeds into Cayuga lake.
- Good Views
- Picnic Area
- Wild Berries
- Wild Flower
Table of Contents
Taughannock Falls is the tallest waterfall in the northeast of America, surpassing Niagara Falls.
The formation of the gorge dates back 300 million years ago when the world’s continents were a Pangea. With the Pangea separation into continents, lateral and longitudinal collisions with the African continental divide is what gives the rock formation the unique look they have today.
Below is the location of the main parking lot. Click on ‘Directions’ to get a Google Maps route to here. There are plenty of parking spaces in the area right around the primary parking lot.
- NY State Parks Taughannock Falls Official Trail Map (free)
- Avenza Maps NY State Parks Taughannock Falls Official Trail Map (free)
Trail Map, Elevation and Statistics
Max elevation: 846 ft
Min elevation: 444 ft
Total climbing: 722 ft
Trail Guide (Long Path, 5.54 miles):
- [0.00 miles] Red/South Rim Trail is located to the left going uphill quickly.
- [1.47 miles] Turn left to go on the bridge joining Green/North Rim Trail.
- [1.54 miles] Take a short divergence to your right to get a view of high falls. After view of falls turn back around.
- [1.64 miles] Back to the Green/North Rim Trail. Continue by going to the right.
- [2.28 miles] Nice viewpoint to see Taughannock Falls from Rim Trail.
- [3.04 miles] End of North Rim Trail. Go right at the street to region main park area for Gorge Trail.
- [3.29 miles] Yellow/Gorge trail is just to the left of the picnic area.
- [4.69 miles] At Taughannock Falls. Turn around going back on Yellow/Gorge Trail to the parking lot.
- [5.54 miles] Finish.
Trail Guide (Gorge Path, 2.25 miles):
- [0.00 miles] Yellow/Gorge Trail is located straight ahead next to the picnic area.
- [1.4 miles] At Taughannock Falls. Turn around going back on Yellow/Gorge Trail to the parking lot.
- [2.25 miles] Finish.
Both the South and North Rim Trails are well maintained allowed for a relatively easy hike for families to enjoy. At the end of the stairs, one has arrived at the top of the gorge and the remaining portion of the Rim Trail is relatively flat.
Any time on a hike, keep an eye out on the critters and be careful.
Chipmunks are fairly active and abundant this year.
Turn off from the South Rim Trail to North Rim Trail going over the bridge.
Upper Falls is only visible from the Green/North Rim Trail hike.
Locks on the bridge fence connecting the red and green rim trails.
NOTE: This is not my lock. Taughannock State Park does not mention if this action is prohibited or not.
Taughannock waterfall view. Picture was taken from the Green/North Rim Trail viewpoint. This viewpoint is car accessible by car and has parking available.
View of the river bed drying up in July already feeding into Cayuga Lake.
The path towards Gorge Trail which will soon have an entrance onto the riverbed for those who. wish to walk on the river.
Difficult to capture the stunning beauty of this gorge responsible for the beautiful 215-foot waterfall. Panoramic pictures take from the riverbed.
Beautiful view of Taughannock Falls from the Gorge Trail.