Robert H. Treman State Park
and Lucifer Falls
Treman Gorge, Enfield Glen, Lucifer
Tell People About it
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Along State Route 327; in
South of Cayuga Lake;
Tompkins County; New York
GPS: Swimming area: N 42.39710 / W 76.56108;
Lucifer Falls: N 42.40056 / W 76.58420
From Ithaca, travel
south on Rt 13 (also Routes 34/96) for 5 miles until the
junction on the right with Rt 327. From here, you can travel
¼ mile and park in the lower park and hike the entire
gorge, or go further on Rt 327 for 2 miles and park in the
upper portion which is closest to the main attraction,
Number of falls:
2 large named waterfalls. 10 smaller falls.
Size/Types: Lower Falls (or Enfield Falls) is a 70 ft
Lucifer Falls is a 115 ft cascade. The creek features
numerous tiered staircases, cascades, plunges, and flumes.
Best time to visit: Year-round. The best water flow
will be after rainy weather and in the spring and fall.
Winter will give you the opportunity to see the lower falls
frozen over. The park trails close after November 10th,
so Lucifer Falls is inaccessible after this time.
Flow: Generally constant. Enfield Glen has a large
watershed so the falls have a rather decent flow nearly all
year, except in cases of extremely dry weather.
Waterway: Enfield Creek (a tributary to Cayuga
Time: A full day to a weekend.
Year round; dawn to dusk. The trails close on November 10th
and reopen in the spring after repairs. Camping season runs
from mid-May to November 30th. Swimming season
generally runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
Ample at either end of the park. Lots are generally at
trailheads or near pavilions.
Admission: $7 parking fee per vehicle.
Handicap accessibility: Yes. The short trail to the
swimming area and Lower Falls is handicap accessible, as
well as most park amenities. The gorge trail is not.
Pets: Allowed on leash with proper documentation.
Not allowed on the gorge trail: for safety reasons; not
allowed in bathing areas.
Accommodations: Swimming; camping (72 sites with 11
electric); cabins (14 electric with refrigerators); hiking
trails; historic sites; playgrounds; pavilions; fishing;
hunting; picnic tables; grills; bathhouse; open fields;
Tours: Check with the park office for interpretive
Swimming: Yes, in a dammed area of the creek, just
below the lower falls. There are three sections of different
depths, changing rooms and diving platforms. The swimming
area can easily accommodate hundreds of swimmers.
Enfield Glen is full of rugged beauty and
wonderful trails that crisscross all over the different
terrains inside Robert H. Treman State Park. The park's
namesake, Robert and his wife Laura Treman, bought much of
the land surrounding the Glen and built stone walkways and
bridges. They donated their 380 acres to New York State in
the 1920s. Additional acquisitions throughout the years have
expanded the park to the massive 1072 acre gem we have
Enfield Glen and Creek
are very typical of the area – a mix of seemingly
never-ending limestone and shale layers. The dammed Lower
Falls area at the lower end of the park is much like nearby
Falls State Park in that you can swim in the large pool
directly at its base. The rounded shape of this roaring 70
ft cascade is as visually pleasing as swimming up to its
powerful current is refreshing. The swimming here is easily
the most popular attraction, especially on summer weekends.
Hundreds of families, complete with screaming and laughing
children, will pack the swimming area and detract from the
Luckily, the Lower Falls
pool is just a small sliver of what this park has to offer.
Further up in the Glen there are countless flumes and
plunges that are very typical of nearly all the glens in the
Ithaca area. Although most of the waterfalls in the gorge
between Lower Falls and Lucifer Falls are small, averaging
no higher than 10 ft, they vary widely in character. Walking
up the gorge trail towards the west end of the park gives
you expansive views of the sheer rock cliffs rising over 100
ft above you, along with views of several miles down into
the lower reaches of the park.
The center of attention
in this park is no doubt the towering 115 ft high Lucifer
Falls. Cutting through a relatively narrow notch in a 90
degree bend in the creek, the falls is a challenge for
anyone trying to get a full view. Luckily the falls can be
observed from several vantage points. A walk up the Gorge
Trail offers a breathtaking view of the lower half of the
falls from the base, while ascending to the upper park
serves up excellent top down views of most of it. It’s quite
a challenge for the photographer to fit it all in frame.
Further up from Lucifer
Falls, numerous cascades tumble in rapid succession through
the narrow gorge as they make their way downstream. One
could easily spend a whole day here just exploring the
various trails and catching glimpses of the numerous
cascades and stone formations. The park features other
activities including interpretive hikes, picnic facilities,
fishing, and great fossil hunting. Taking advantage of it
all could easily occupy multiple days, making the rough, but
accessible 72 site campground worth a look.
Easy to difficult
(quite a bit of steps, some steep).
Markings: The trail heads are marked with signage.
They are well-worn.
The Gorge Trail – (Moderate) The gorge trail can be
accessed through either the lower or upper end of the park.
The length of the trail (one way) is 2.25 miles and it is
clearly marked. Taking it from the upper
parking area, you will mostly be traveling downhill; taking
it from the lower area, you will be traveling moderately
uphill towards Lucifer Falls, which is located about 2 miles from
the lower parking area. It is a mixture of stairs, graded
trail, woodland and gorge walking. The gorge trail affords
you with most of the close-up views of the waterfalls
including walking directly over Lucifer Falls and across
beautiful stone bridges.
The Rim Trail - (easy to difficult) The Rim Trail can be
accessed from either the upper or lower ends. The length of
the trail (one way) is also around 2.25 miles. From the
lower park the trail provides you with your only access
to Lower Falls and the swimming area. It also allows for
“front-on” views of Lucifer Falls from across the glen. It
has a very steep stone staircase near the upper portion
that climbs over 100 feet and gives you beautiful views of the
glen and Lucifer Falls. A good portion of this hike goes
through mature hardwood forests above the gorge.
The Red Pine Trail – (easy) This is a short ½ mile
trail off of the gorge trail that travels through some pine
forests to a lovely picnic area.
Finger Lakes/North Country Trail – (easy) A portion
of this long regional trail runs 3 miles through the
southern portions of the park. It can be accessed through
the upper parking area near the Old Mill by taking the CCC
Memorial Trail down Fish Kill Creek.
As is very common with the Ithaca area gorges, the history
of Enfield Glen begins in the Devonian Era, somewhere around
350 million years ago when the area was part of a massive
inland shallow sea. Over the course of millions of years,
the seabed was deposited in the area, shifting its level
over time which gives Enfield Glen alternating layers of
both shale and sandstone deposits. When walking around
the park's many trails you can sometimes find many
fossils in the rocks of the sea creatures that once
inhabited this prehistoric sea.
The most recent glacial period around 12,000 years ago began
the process of carving out the glen. As the water eroded
away softer layers, Enfield glen was born and the process
has continued giving us Lucifer and Lower Falls within the
park. The Glen actually was carved out multiple times.
First, a series of glacial events carved out a larger,
shallower trench. Then the water erosion from the Creek
diverted, following the natural joints and breakage in the
bedrock, carved out a diverted path. The result is a massive
interwoven mix of wide, forested slopes from the older
glacial events, and the sharp, dramatic cuts made by the
The original settlers of the area were the Iroquois. There is confusion as to how Lucifer Falls originally
got its name; some speculate that it is a reference to the
original Iroquois name. The earliest settlers to the area
moved in during the 1790s from land grants at the end of the
Revolutionary War (as payment for service). They began to harness the waterways of
the area and built mills near the tops of the waterfalls.
One such mill still exists in the top portion of the park
today (see below). A small milling community arose amidst
the small tumbles of Enfield and Fish Kill Creek called
Enfield Falls, which declined as a result of the industrial
In 1920 Robert
Treman family donated 387 acres of the glen to the state;
which sparked further acquisitions and the development of
the park. The Treman family, known for their generosity and
philanthropy to the Ithaca community donated many properties
for public use, including nearby
Who was Robert
Henry Treman was the first of the Ithaca native Treman
family to attend Cornell University (class of 1878). While
there, he excelled as a pitcher and team captain for the
University baseball team. He also rowed on three teams,
played football and was a tenor in the glee club. After
graduating he became the University's athletic director and
then served on the school's board of trustees for 6 years.
Upon leaving Cornell, Robert became a successful banker
becoming the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New
York. For a short period he was married to silent film
Irene Castle. He maintained his close ties to his
hometown of Ithaca, buying and preserving estates and
beautiful gorges such as Enfield Glen.
▪ One of the problems with both of
the park’s main waterfalls is that they lie in very open
areas of the park, and are usually flooded with sunlight and
plagued by strong shadows. Wait for overcast days, get there
early just before sunrise and after sunset to get consistent
▪ Lower Falls provides a great backdrop to catch people
swimming and playing underneath or diving off the board
directly in front of it. Stay back and use a zoom lens to
crop in to the people as tight as possible. This will help
isolate the subject, filling the background with falling
water. Use a high shutter speed to catch falling water
droplets without blur.
▪ Lucifer Falls is large and is hard to fit fully in the
frame without obstruction or with a standard lens. It is
possible with an ultra-wide angle lens (14mm or less). Try
to catch different sections of the falls, or even try taking
various pictures to stitch them together later. A front-on
view of Lucifer Falls can be had from the rim trail
overlooks, but even then, the bottom gets obscured by trees.
▪ Some people walk in the creek bed to the base for better
photos or to play, but this is not advised and in fact,
against park regulations. Chances are you will be prosecuted
if you do so.
▪ See the Articles section
for more waterfall photography tips.
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Lodging / Hotels
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Wineries / Breweries
Book a Campsite at this Park
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Ice Cream joints...
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Center Ithaca - Ithaca, NY
Ithaca Mall - Ithaca, NY
Hangar Theatre - Ithaca, NY
Kitchen Theatre Company - Ithaca, NY
State Theater - Ithaca, NY
Cinemaopolis - Ithaca, NY
Book a Campsite at this Park
About Robert Henry Treman (the man)
History of Ithaca and Tompkins County
Finger Lakes Memories
The Best in Tent Camping: New York
Wild NY: A Celebration of Our State's Natural Beauty
200 Waterfalls in Central and Western NY
Do not miss...
The Old Mill,
which is located in the upper park near the west entrance(map),
was constructed in 1839 by Isaac Rumsey, replacing an older
one that burned to the ground. The mill was operated until
1917 by John Kuhns when it was purchased by Robert Treman.
The Treman family donated the mill to the state in 1920.
Today it is run as a small museum. You can still walk
through the building and see how the mill operated and once
functioned. Behind the mill is a nicely sized cascade on
Fish Kill Creek, a tributary to Enfield Glen. A picnic area
is adjacent to the mill.
Ithaca is Gorges!
Visit the many waterfalls and gorges in the
Robert H. Treman State Park
105 Enfield Falls Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-3440
Reservations: (800) 456-2267
Book a campsite online
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Robert Treman State Park
and Lucifer Falls