If you are planning an RV road trip to central New York, Buttermilk Falls State Park is a must-visit! Located in the Finger Lakes Region, just south of Cayuga Lake, this gorgeous state park will dazzle you with mystifying waterfalls, majestic wetlands, and enchanting woodlands. The park is named after its most popular attraction, the 165-foot tall Buttermilk Falls, which is just one of ten waterfalls within the park. Each cascading waterfall is just breathtaking, making this state park a haven for photographers.
There are plenty of activities to get you out of the RV and into the great outdoors. Buttermilk Falls State Park features miles of scenic hiking trails, plus opportunities to swim in a natural pool during the summer. Anglers enjoy the chance to catch bass and trout in these beautiful waters as well. You don't have to do it all in one day either since Buttermilk Falls State Park offers a well-maintained campground for smaller RVs, trailers, and tents that is pet- and family-friendly. So whether you want to enjoy a peaceful summer picnic or explore the beautiful falls, Buttermilk Falls State Park is a perfect RV destination in NY.
RV Rentals in Buttermilk Falls State Park
Transportation in Buttermilk Falls State Park
Buttermilk Falls State Park is located outside of Ithaca, New York so it's easy to access by a car or RV. The park is situated just off Route 13, which is a larger road, making travel easy for even larger vehicles. However, this state park is best suited for smaller RVs and trailers, especially if you are staying at the campground since the maximum vehicle length is only 20 feet.
You'll also need to use caution driving inside the park since many of the local roads are narrow, hilly, and wooded. You could always opt to bring along a tow vehicle, which would make it easier to get around inside the park and the surrounding area.
You can enter the park in two places, at the Upper or Lower entrance. There are three parking lots available situated along Buttermilk Creek. The largest parking lot is located near Lake Treman. Once you park the rig, the best way to see all the waterfalls and amazing natural features the park has to offer is by traveling on foot along the hiking trails.
Campgrounds and parking in Buttermilk Falls State Park
Campsites in Buttermilk Falls State Park
Buttermilk Falls State Park Campground
Buttermilk Falls State Park offers a cozy campground with 25 sites open to smaller RVs, trailer, and tents. Unfortunately, large rigs won't fit here, since the maximum vehicle length is 20 feet. This campground is perfect for those wanting to get in touch with nature since no hookups are provided. However, you can camp with your furry friend. Plus, each site offers a gravel pad that is shaded by the surrounding woodlands. Restrooms, showers, dumpster, and a recycling station are centrally located. Located on the southern end of the park, you can easily access the natural swimming pool and the Gorge and Rim Trails right from your site.
Seasonal activities in Buttermilk Falls State Park
If you only have time for one thing during your RV trip to Buttermilk Falls State Park you must take a hike to the waterfalls. The two most popular trails, the Gorge Trail and the Rim Trail, take you on an adventure to explore the park's 10 waterfalls. From the Gorge Trail trail head it's an easy hike to the mystifying Buttermilk Falls. If you want to see wetlands and woodlands you can hike along the Larch Meadow Trail. This is also the best spot to view wildlife and go birding.
There's is nothing like taking a dip in a natural pool close to towering waterfalls to get a break from the summer sun. Buttermilk Falls State Park offers swimming in this natural oasis from June to early September. The kids will love splashing in the cool waters, followed by a serene picnic at the nearby picnic area. Don't forget to pack hats and sunscreen in your camper. You'd be surprised how much sun exposure you can get even when you're surrounded by woodlands in this region.
Anglers love the Finger Lakes Region and the fishing opportunities at Buttermilk Falls State Park can stand with the rest of them. Buttermilk Creek and Lake Treman are well-known spots in the area for trout. Every year more than 1,000 brown trout are stocked in these waters, meaning they are relatively easy to catch. If you're lucky you might catch one that's over a foot long. Whether you're fishing for tonight's dinner or just for fun, this state park is a great place for anglers of all ability levels.
Wildlife Watching and Bird Watching
Don't forget to pack your best camera and binoculars in your rig since there are lots of things to see besides the waterfalls. Many different types of wildlife call these majestic forests home including red foxes, chipmunks, opossum, and even coyotes. The Larch Meadow Trail is the best place to spot these woodland critters. If you venture to the creek you might see a beaver too. Birders will have the chance to see songbirds, woodpeckers, owls, and even hawks.
There are a number of spots to enjoy a serene picnic during your RV trip to the Finger Lakes. If you want to be close to the action of Lake Treman, there is a picnic area located just off the trail head. Some of the most popular picnic areas are close to Buttermilk Falls, so you can grab a quick lunch before hitting the trail to the falls. All of the picnic areas have restrooms and parking nearby for your convenience.
Self-Guided Geology Tour
If you want to learn more about the unique geology of the park you can take a unique self-guided geology tour. All you have to do is download an app on your phone and head along the gorge trail. This self-guided tour was actually created by local elementary school students with the help of park experts to encourage visitors to learn about the natural features of the park. You can learn about masonry steps, Pinnacle Rock, and much more. Ask park staff for more details.