Hiking NY – Buttermilk Falls (Gorge, Bear and Lake Treman) – July 2020

Buttermilk Falls State Park is located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY. It is easy to moderate, 4.52-mile hike with well-groomed trails. Features a heavily used swimming area at the base of the falls. The hike along the gorge has good views of the cascading falls along the hike up towards Lake Treman. Don’t wait till August or later to come here as the falls can dry up late into the season.

Trail summary is per current COVID-19 trail rules regulating the flow of hiker traffic one way around.


  • Lake
  • Waterfall
  • Picnic Area
  • Swimming Area
  • Wild Berries
  • Wild Flower

Table of Contents

Fun Fact(s):

Buttermilk Falls land was gifted to NY state by Robert and Laura Treman in 1924. Over the years NY state has acquired additional land to form Buttermilk Falls State Park.

Weather Forecast:

Getting Here:

Below is location of parking lot. Click on ‘Directions’ to get a Google Maps route to here. There is a second overflow parking lot on Sand Bank Rd. Both lots charge the standard NY State Parking fee. Picture posted below is from the overflow lot.

Official Maps:

Trail Map, Elevation and Statistics

Total distance: 4.98 mi
Max elevation: 910 ft
Min elevation: 336 ft
Total climbing: 863 ft

Trail Guide:

  1. [0.00 miles] From the overflow lot, the trail entrance is located at the parking lot entrance.
  2. [0.18 miles] At Buttermilk Falls swimming area. COVID-19 revises the trails paths as one way. Need to start on Orange(looks red to me)/Rim Trail located to the left of the swimming and picnic area by the main parking lot.
  3. [1.18 miles] End of Rim Trail. Red/Bear Trail is located on your left after a quick right-handed walk on the street.
  4. [1.91 miles] End of Bear Trail. Cross the street to picnic area and falls from Lake Treman.
  5. [2.28 miles] Falls from Lake Treman. Go up the hill to White/Lake Treman loop trail.
  6. [2.35 miles] Notice for bridge collapse on the trail and lake loop cannot be completed. Turn around and go back through Red/Bear Trail.
  7. [3.35 miles] End of Bear Trail. Cross the street to Yellow/Gorge Trail. Hike along many beautiful falls along the way.
  8. [4.52 miles] Finish.


The base of the falls where the swimming area is located. As the waterfall tends to dry up late into the season, recommend viewing Buttermilk Falls in Spring or early Summer.

The starting point for the one way trail directions. This is located just to the left of the vending machine nook.

Waterfall from Lake Treman at the top of the hike before turning around. This area is greeted by a nice picnic area with tables.

Lake Treman – hike around the lake temporarily suspended for construction ?. Turn around to head towards the gorge.

Raspberries growing by the trail.

The squirrels can jump here well!

Start of the Yellow/Gorge Trail and enjoy many beautiful waterfalls along the way.

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