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Buttermilk Falls State Park facts for kids

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Buttermilk Falls State Park
Buttermilk Falls, Buttermilk Falls State Park, near Ithaca, NY (15 05 2005).jpg
Buttermilk Falls, May 2005
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Type State park
Location 112 East Buttermilk Falls Road
Ithaca, New York
Nearest city Ithaca, New York
Area 811 acres (3.28 km2)
Created 1924 (1924)
Operated by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Visitors 197,981 (in 2014)
Website Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park is a 811-acre (3.28 km2) state park located southwest of Ithaca, New York, United States. Like Robert H. Treman State Park, a portion of the land that was to become the state park came from Robert and Laura Treman in 1924.


Buttermilk Falls was named for the frothy appearance of its churning waters. The naming of the cascade was described in 1866:

Here cleft by a mountain torrent, that comes pouring over the sharp rocks of its bed in a mass of thick, frothy foam, that evidently suggested to the unaesthetic and domestic countryman the name of Buttermilk Falls.

The original 164 acres (0.66 km2) of the park were presented as a gift to New York State by Robert and Laura Treman in 1924. It grew to its current 811-acre (3.28 km2) size through various state acquisitions in the years that followed.

Revolutionary War era soldier Joseph Plumb Martin mentioned a Buttermilk Falls in his diary; however, this refers to present day Highland Falls in the Hudson Valley and not in Ithaca, NY.

Park description

Buttermilk Falls State Park features 10 waterfalls in total, with Buttermilk Falls being the main attraction. The park also offers a beach, cabins, fishing, hiking, deer bow-hunting, nature trails, pavilions, a playground, playing fields, recreation programs, and a campground with tent and trailer sites.


The nature trails in the park include Gorge Trail, which follows Buttermilk Creek as it cascades, dropping about 600 feet (180 m) along the trail. Gorge Trail is complemented by Rim Trail on the other side of the creek, which make for a loop of about 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Beyond these two trails is the Bear Trail which continues up Buttermilk Creek to Lake Treman Falls and Lake Treman. The trail to and around the lake is another 1.5 miles (2.4 km). At the far end of the lake is a spur of the Finger Lakes Trail. Another trail in the park is the Larch Trail, which circles a marsh near the main (lower) parking area and is about one mile (1.6 km) in length.


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