Cayuga Trail Half-Centenial Hike (Registration required)


Sunday, September 28, 2014 - 9:00am to Monday, September 29, 2014 - 8:45am




Cayuga Trail - Ithaca to Varna along Fall Creek


Cayuga Trails Club


Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Cayuga Trail

The Cayuga Trails Club and Cornell Plantations Natural Areas Program will jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cayuga Trail, a beautiful hiking trail along the north and south sides of Fall Creek in Ithaca. The Cayuga Trails Club proposed the Cayuga Trail in 1964 as a special project of the club to offer visitors and Ithacans an introduction to the many beautiful and interesting areas that are within easy walking distance. The Cayuga Trail, with its route along Fall Creek and bordering steep, hemlock-lined gorges, rapids, and natural areas is considered one of the most beautiful trails through university lands.

The trail’s anniversary will be celebrated with two hikes on Sunday, September 28, 2014. Members of the Cayuga Trails Club and the general public are invited to participate in this special event. The long hike will be a west to east “end-to-end” hike of the 8.5-mile-long trail. The short “half-ender” hike will cover the eastern-most 4.5 miles of the trail. The western terminus of the Cayuga Trail is about one mile north of downtown Ithaca at the Stewart Avenue bridge over Fall Creek.

From Stewart Avenue, the trail continues through the central Cornell campus, Cornell Plantations, and agricultural fields and along the high banks of Fall Creek to NY Route 13 at the Fall Creek bridge just south of Lower Creek Road. After crossing Fall Creek on the highway bridge, the trail enters woods and returns on the abandoned Lehigh Valley rail bed and through the woods to the un-named dirt road by the railroad overpass above NY Route 366 in the hamlet of Varna. The Cayuga Trail through the Cornell campus and Plantations and along the rail bed is fairly easy walking. The trail on the north side of Fall Creek after crossing on the Stevens Suspension Bridge off Forest Home Drive is more difficult.

The long end-to-end hike will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the eastern end of the trail in Varna with a car shuttle to Stewart Avenue. The short half-ender hike will start at 12:00 noon at the Cornell Garden Plots on Freese Road. Both hikes should finish together at about 3:15. Along the way, hikers will stop for a brief time at a beautiful spot on the trail high above Fall Creek to dedicate a new bench for future hikers to rest and enjoy the vista.

Pre-registration is required for both hikes. The long hike will be limited to 15 participants; the short hike will be limited to 20 participants. All participants will receive a map of the Cayuga Trail, a copy of “A Brief History of the Cayuga Trail,” and a “trophy.” For more information and to pre-register please go to the link above or call Tom Reimers at 607/272-8679. Hikes will proceed rain or shine. Participants for the long hike should bring a trail lunch. All participants should dress appropriately for the weather, bring at least a liter of drinking water, and wear sturdy, broken-in hiking boots.