Ithaca/Tompkins County

Visit Ithaca Waterfall Guide

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Glaciers, Gorges and Waterfalls Ithaca owes its "gorges" scenery to ice, lots of ice. The local landscape was revealed roughly 15,000 years ago when milehigh glaciers retreated, leaving Cayuga Lake and its steepwalled valleys. Subsequent erosion scoured deep gorges and created the waterfalls the area is famous for today. Though the Some slogans stick. landscape is young geologically, "Ithaca is Gorges," the the exposed rock is quite tourism tagline that's ancient. It's actually the bed of a helped draw visitors to the area since the late primordial sea that covered the 1970s, has appeared on countless T-shirts and region more than a half-billion years ago. Sediment collected on this sea floor for 300 million years and bumper stickers. The popularity of the line is due in part to the generosity of its creator, local adman Howard Cogan. Cogan refused to trademark "Gorges," saying the move would take the magic out of the phrase. Since then, "Ithaca is Gorges" has gone global. It's been spotted as far away as Beijing. hardened into beds of sandstone, shale and limestone we see today. Gorges Advice This publication lists waterfalls and gorges in Tompkins County that are publicly accessible through state lands, municipal parks and local natural areas. To preserve public access Devonian fossils are common for future visitors, please respect posted rules in these rocks; keep your eyes and stay on marked trails. While enjoying open for fossilized clams and your visit, use common sense. The same other evidence of early life. forces that created these wonderful gorges continue today. Floods and rockslides are not uncommon. Trails are often wet with slick Many of the trails are closed footing. Terrain is steep and climbs can be in winter due to hazardous strenuous. Be smart while you're exploring. conditions. And don't forget your camera.

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