The Discovery Trail of Ithaca, NY includes eight lively attractions in the Finger Lakes region. Spend a day exploring these locations which feature an eclectic mix of science, history, art and writing.


The Cayuga Nature Center, the northernmost stop on the Discovery Trail, offers fun, educational activities for the whole family. Spend the day hiking along designated trails and viewing wildlife exhibits or check out the bird’s-eye view from the center’s impressive tree house. If feathered friends strike your interest, then the next stop on the Discovery Trail is a must-see. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary is a bird lover’s paradise. Situated on 230-acres of protected land, the lab houses an interactive gallery and outdoor bird-feeding garden. Both on and off University grounds you can wander the Cornell Plantations, including an exotic botanical garden, arboretum and flower-filled solarium. Admission to the plantation is free and open from sunrise to sunset.


The fourth stop on the trail, The History Center of Tompkins County, is filled with Ithacan artifacts from times long ago. Delve into photos, diaries and scrapbooks as you trace local genealogies from then to now. At the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, designed by famous architect I.M. Pei, you can browse through stunning exhibits of American, Asian and European artwork including prints, drawings and photographs from the fifteenth century until present. Experience art, science and history all in one during your visit to the Museum of the Earth. In these galleries, natural history comes to life as you walk among shell and fossil remains from thousands of years ago. Enormous mastodon and whale skeletons are just two of the sights that will keep you coming back to the museum time and again. The Ithaca Sciencenter is for the inquisitive side in all of us. Kids especially will love the hands-on theme of the museum as well as the outdoor science park, live boa constrictor, walk-in camera and funhouse mirrors.


The last stop on the Discovery Trail is the Tompkins County Public Library, a great resource for research and discovery with unlimited wi-fi and, of course, thousands of books! Navigate your way around the Discovery Trail today!



Museum of the earth

The Cayuga Nature Center (left) & the Museum of the Earth (right) are two of the stops on the Discovery trail.