Pets allowed
Allowed
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
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Like many of the New York state parks in the Finger Lakes region, Fillmore Glen State Park is home to a long, narrow gorge and numerous waterfalls. What makes this park special, though, is that it sees far fewer crowds than nearby state parks. It's a 30-minute drive from Ithaca, and while visitors flock to Watkins Glen and Buttermilk Falls State Park, Fillmore Glen attracts a more local crowd. Picnickers, hikers, photographers, and swimmers will all find something special here.

Fillmore Glen State Park encompasses more than 900 acres of geologically significant land. The gorge is the main attraction, hidden away in a dense forest of diverse plant and animal life. There are three interconnected trails: the North Rim Trail (1.92 miles), the South Rim Trail (0.94 mile), and the Gorge Trail (1.31 miles). The Gorge Trail takes you into the gorge, crosses eight bridges, and provides stunning views of five amazing waterfalls. At the end of the trail, you can hike a set of killer switchbacks up to the North Rim Trail or ascend an easier grade to the South Rim Trail. Either way, both rim trails will take you back to the parking/swimming/picnic areas. There are no views to speak of on the rim trails, just a nice hike through the woods.

There is a roped-off area in the river with lifeguards for swimming near the lower parking lot. Most visitors to Fillmore Glen come for the swimming. You'll also find an expansive lawn with picnic tables, a bath house with showers, and a cool replica of the cabin Millard Fillmore (the 13th U.S. president) was born in. In addition to the Gorge Trail, visitors who park in the lower parking lot should definitely take a short walk to the cow sheds. It's cooler than the surrounding forest, and local cows used to venture here for a respite from the sun. There's also a beautiful waterfall near the cow sheds and very few people.

Fillmore Glen State Park maintains a campground not far from the main swimming area. There are 60 tent/RV sites, but they offer little privacy and are quite close together. Campers can also reserve one of three cabins, which are also quite close together. The campground does not provide electric hookups, but it does have restrooms, showers, and potable water.

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Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

Not as busy as other nearby state parks.

Cons

Gorge Trail may be closed in bad weather.

Features

ADA accessible
Geologically significant
Showers
Campgrounds + Campsites
Historically significant
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Waterfalls
Bird watching
Wildlife

Site type

Cabins

Location

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