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Buttermilk Falls State Park. Water cascades over 10 falls through a ¾-mi gorge, dropping close to 500 feet, at this park on Ithaca's south end. A swimming hole sits at the base of the falls, and the park also has playing fields, a campground (open mid-May to mid-October), and hiking trails through woodlands and wetlands. Nearly all the trails are closed in winter. The park is about 3 mi south of the city. Rte. 13, Ithaca, NY, 14850. 607/273–5761 May–Oct.; 607/273–3440 Nov.–Apr.; 800/456–2267 camping reservations. nysparks.state.ny.us. Parking $7 Memorial Day–Labor Day and weekends Apr., May, Sept. and Oct.; free at other times. Daily dawn–dusk.
Robert H. Treman State Park. A dozen waterfalls, including Lucifer Falls, which has a 115-foot drop, are the highlight here. Nine miles of well-maintained hiking trails lace the park, which also offers swimming, fishing, a campground, and a playground. The trails all close for winter in early November. The park is 5 mi south of the city, near Buttermilk Falls State Park. Rte. 327, Ithaca, NY, 14850. 607/273–3440. nysparks.state.ny.us. Parking $7 Memorial Day–Labor Day and weekends Apr., May, Sept. and Oct.; free at other times. Daily 8am–dusk.