Situated in the Finger Lakes region, this park has a surprise that’ll have your kids literally jumping for joy!
Located in south-central New York State in the Finger Lakes region, Robert H. Treman State Park has a surprising number of attractions for families. Hike the challenging Gorge Trail past 12 waterfalls, including the largest named Lucifer Falls. But you’re kids will likely only remember one waterfall - the one that they’re able to jump into from a diving board!
What to do?
Some 10,000 year ago, retreating glaciers formed Treman State Park and the surrounding Finger Lakes region. Visitors here are drawn to the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen. Start your visit at the Upper Entrance to the park off Route 327. Take a minute to explore the Old Mill and former hamlet of Enfield Falls. You can grab an Archaeology in the Park, A Walking Tour pamphlet for more on the history.
From there, hike along the paved trails and stone bridges of the moderately difficult, 4-1/4-mile (round trip) Gorge Trail, pass a dozen cascading waterfalls to awe-inspiring Lucifer Falls that cascades 115 feet down the rock face. The waterfall is particularly picturesque in the autumn, surrounded by the changing leaves.
KidTripster Tip: When you arrive at the state park, check about times for the ranger-led Gorge Tour. In addition to the dramatic scenery, you’ll learn more about the geological history of the area.
If you’re camping, return to the Upper Entrance and then drive around to the Lower Entrance and site of the campground. Or if you’re only hiking, continue through the lower part of the park to the designated swimming hole.
For kids, this is where the real fun happens! Swim in the stream-fed pool beneath Treman Falls. You can’t climb the waterfalls, but you can sit on the rock shelf underneath the gushing waters. Or jump off of the unadvertised diving board. Yes, dive into a natural pool in a state park! Watch here. The swimming area is manned by multiple lifeguards. Warning: the water is pretty nippy, but my boys didn’t seem to care.
Where to stay?
The campground is just a short walk from the swimming hole. You can rent rustic cabins or reserve a tent or RV site. A small number of RV sites do have electricity. Restrooms are clean and convenient; the campground also has nice playgrounds. Campsite cost: $18-28/night; additional $5/night for non-New York residents. Cabin cost: $210-$400/week; one quarter of weekly rate for the night; additional $7/day or $28/week for non-New York residents.
Where to eat?
Just two miles from campground on Route 13 toward Ithaca, you’ll find Ithaca Beer Company (122 Ithaca Beer Dr.), complete with a family-friendly tap room and beer garden. Serving local ales and pub fare, the brewery offers outdoor seating, bocce court, fire pit, bar, and brewery tour. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
The town of Ithaca, home of Cornell University, is a 10-minute drive from the state park and boasts to numerous eateries.
Treman State Park (105 Enfield Falls Rd.) is located southwest of Ithaca, New York. Don’t confuse the park with Allan H. Treman State Marine Park on Cayuga Lake. Vehicle entry fee (if not camping): $7; the fee is also good for nearby Buttermilk Falls.
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah travels to state and national parks with her husband and two sons. She’s logged thousands of miles behind the wheel of the family’s RV.