Surrounded by beautiful forests and scenery and the center of several running groups, Ithaca is a wonderful place to run for fitness or other personal goals. This page lists some tips and links to help newcomers get started and to help experienced runners enhance their experience.
New to running and need some gear and advice? Visit one of the local running and sporting goods stores to get you suited up. Tons of online resources are available to get you started.
Already a runner but looking for people to run with or don’t know where to run? Check out the running clubs, popular routes and parks in the area.
And don't forget to check out our blog posts on running (label)!
Places to Run
Nearby Parks and Forests
Other helpful links
Finger Lakes Runners Club (FLRC)
For all runners. Small fee for a membership to get discounts on races and for social events. Organizes great local races (road and trail), track meets. Join email list for group run and race announcements.
High Noon Athletic Club
A group that runs from Teagle Hall on Cornell Campus every (business?) day. Club website has a long list of Ithaca area running routes. Various pace groups depending on attendance.
Cornell Running Club (CRC)
Mostly undergraduates with daily runs starting from Campus for various paces and distances. Join email list for announcements and events. Members join local and national races together.
Other clubs of interest: Syracuse Chargers Track Club | New York Road Runners Club | Road Runners Club of America | Triple Cities Runners Club
Island Fitness Center
City Health Club
YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County
Cornell Fitness Centers
Memberships are available to currently enrolled Cornell students, staff, faculty, retirees and spouses/partners/dependents of the aforementioned groups. Various locations. See our page on the CFC for more information.
Ithaca College Fitness Center
Indoor track at Barton Hall on Cornell campus is open daily (except for holiday breaks). See link for hours and details. Call (607) 255-7775 to check hours which are subject to change for special events. The center court area is often used for Cornell intramurals in the evenings. The track is used by IC track team in the evenings during winter -- you may use the track at this time but expect fewer lanes. An updated schedule is posted next to the Issue Room in Teagle Hall (not always promptly).
Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Company
Formerly the Finger Lakes Running Company was founded by local runner Ian Golden 2005 on State St. just off the Commons. They have since moved into the Commons and expanded to serve the triathlon community of the area. Weekly group runs start at the store. They offer running mechanics classes and host various events.
The Outdoor Store
For active clothing and outdoor gear.
Eastern Mountain Sports
Fleet Feet Syracuse
Offers professional footwear fitting services.
Shops at Ithaca Mall
Places to run
South Hill Recreation Way (see Six Mile Creek map or on Google maps)
Mostly soft surfaces except for the sloped section at the turn. Note that the South Hill Rec Way is officially closed (but access is not blocked) for approximately 4 weeks from mid-November to mid-December for hunting season.
East Ithaca Recreation Way
One end begins on Honness Ln west of Pine Tree Rd and runs northward to Maple Ave, passing through wooded areas and Maplewood (Cornell Residence). The trail breaks at Maple Ave but continues about a quarter mile down the road to the east. Trail turns east at the intersection with Pine Tree Rd. and ends at Game Farm Rd. Trail is marked on Google Maps.
Cayuga Waterfront Trail Map
Phase 1 and Phase 3 are complete
Ithaca College Trails
Trails in Ithaca on Wikipedia
Cornell Plantations (maps) trails and natural areas on or near Cornell Campus
See route list at High Noon Athletic Club
Nearby Parks and Forests
(Note that some trails are not suitable for running. Use caution.)
Buttermilk Falls State Park (see Tortoise & Hare Trail Run from the FLRC list below for a map of a good route in this park)
Robert H. Treman State Park
Taughannock Falls State Park
Monkey Run Preserve
Dryden Trails (Jim Schug, Dryden-Freeville, Monkey Run, Hammond Hill, Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve, OD Von Engeln, Etna Nature Preserve)
Other helpful links
Running Map for Six Mile Creek As with all trails in general, trail and crossing conditions vary over time. Use caution.
Running in the Ithacan winter and have an extra pair of running shoes? Try screwing your shoes!
Also see the Gear Blog entry at Running Times
MapMyRun | Running Map (Search for Ithaca, NY)
USA Track & Field (USATF) Running Routes database
Take a class with Cornell Outdoor Education in trail running!