Parks, Trails and Preserves

The Town of Ithaca park, trail and preserve system consists of a wide variety of types and sizes of facilities.  These facilities include many neighborhood parks, one developed community park, six nature preserves, three multiuse trails, and numerous walkways.  The existing Town parks provide a range of recreational facilities including play structures, ballfields, playfields, sledding hills, picnic areas, nature trails, and even a community garden in one undeveloped Town park.  The multiuse trails and walkways provide off-street alternatives for joggers, bikers, and walkers, as well as commuting paths to work, school or shopping.  Dog waste facilities are available at several sites. 

The Ithaca area is also fortunate in having two large City parks, four State parks, Village parks, and the non-publicly owned open areas of Cornell University, Ithaca College, The Nature Conservancy, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust, as well as numerous other public and private recreational facilities within or near the Town of Ithaca.  Both Buttermilk Falls State Park and Robert H. Treman State Park are located within the Town of Ithaca.



Town Parks


The Town of Ithaca Public Works Department maintains a system of eleven neighborhood parks, one community park, and several undeveloped park sites.  These parks provide a range of recreational facilities including play structures, ballfields, playfields, grills, picnic tables, park benches, and walking trails.  The Town also maintains the playfield at the private Coddington Road Community Center, which is open to the public.  At Tutelo Park, Valentino Field is a regulation sized Little League field that is available for rent.  The Tutelo Park pavilion is also available for rent.  The Town also owns approximately 38 acres of parkland that is not currently developed for any active uses.  Please click on the parks listed below for more information.


Coddington Road Community Center Playfield

Eastern Heights Park

East Shore Park

Forest Home Park

Grandview Park

Hungerford Heights Park

Northview Park

Salem Park

Tareyton Park

Troy Park

Tudor Park

Tutelo Park

Vincenzo Iacovelli Park

 Town Multi-Use Trails


The Town owns and maintains approximately seven miles of off-road multi-use trails that provide safe and quiet paths for jogging, strolling, bicycling, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.  Portions of the South Hill Recreation Way and East Ithaca Recreation Way pass through attractive woodland and meadows and afford local residents convenient access to high quality natural settings.  The Town’s multi-use trails also provide important commuter alternatives for pedestrians and bicyclists.    

East Ithaca Recreation Way

Northeast Ithaca Recreation Way

South Hill Recreation Way

  Town Preserves


The six preserves within the Town of Ithaca consist of a mix of habitat types that support a wide range of plants and animals.  The Dress Woods Preserve and Gerda Knegtman’s Glen Preserve are located within the Culver Creek Ravine and Woods Unique Natural Area (UNA-140) and are completely forested with a couple small streams crossing them.  In general, the preserves are managed on a passive basis, including infrequent mowing of any paths, reduction of invasive species, maintaining a walkable trail surface as appropriate, and clean-up of storm damage as necessary.  The Town will not be developing these preserves for active uses and many of them have deed restrictions outlining their future uses, with the intention that these parcels remain ‘forever wild’.  The following are the six preserves in the Town.

Dress Woods Preserve (11.6 acres)

East Ithaca Nature Preserve (27.9 acres)

Gerda Knegtman’s Glen Preserve (11.2 acres)

Glenside Preserve (7 acres)

Pine Tree Wildlife Preserve (14.2 acres)

Westhaven Preserve (10.7 acres)

West Hill Community Garden


Within a portion of the Town’s undeveloped West Hill Park is the West Hill Community Garden.  Access to the garden is provided by a short walking path from the end of Conifer Drive in the Linderman Creek development (located off NYS Route 79).  There are 20’ x 20’ plots available and water, compost, mulch and tools are provided.  For more information contact Paulette Terwilliger, Town Clerk, at 607-273-1721.


Community Garden at West Hill Application Form

  Park / Trail Permit Application

 A Park/Trail Permit is required in the Town of Ithaca for:
  • Any event by a group of more than five people at which alcoholic beverages are being possessed or consumed.
  • The conducting of a picnic or other event by a group or organization in excess of 50 persons.

A permit application should be provided to the Town Clerks office at least 48 hours in advance of the event. Permits are issued on a first come – first serve basis.  Please see the application form or Chapter 200: Parks and Recreation Areas of the Town Code for additional information regarding fees, security deposits, insurance requirements, and other requirements. 

 Park / Trail Permit Application

Adopt-A-Park / Trail / Preserve Agreement

 The Adopt-a-Park / Trail / Preserve program provides a fun opportunity for individuals, volunteer groups, neighborhood associations, and businesses to take an active role in the maintenance and improvement of the Town of Ithaca’s parks, trails, and preserves.  Your efforts help to keep these places clean for all to enjoy.  All we ask for is a two-year commitment and to have a clean-up a minimum of 2 times a year.  The Town provides safety vests, gloves, and garbage bags and will pick-up and dispose of the trash bags. 


Adopt-a-Park, Trail, or Preserve – Town Application

 Adopt-a-Park, Trail, or Preserve – Agreement

 To learn more about adopting your favorite park, trail or preserve, please contact the Town’s Parks Maintenance Manager at 607-273-1656 or fill out the application form above and return it to the Town of Ithaca Public Works Facility, 106 Seven Mile Drive, Ithaca, NY. 14850

Town of Ithaca Park and Trail Rules and Regulations

To enhance and promote the safety and enjoyment of everyone using the Town of Ithaca parks, trails, and facilities, and to assure that everyone has an equal opportunity in the use and enjoyment of such facilities, the Town has established various rules and regulations. 

         Parks and Trails are closed ½ hour after sunset and reopen ½ hour before sunrise.
      Children under 6 years old must be under adult supervision at all times.
      Domesticated household pets are allowed in Town Parks and Trails if in a cage or on a leash. Owners shall clean up after them.
      Bicycle and pedestrian traffic shall keep to the right on all trails, except for passing.
      No firearms, hunting, trapping, camping, motorized vehicles, or unreasonable noise is permitted.  Fires are not permitted except
      for in the charcoal picnic grills maintained by the Town.
      Town Parks and Trails are carry-in / carry-out facilities.

For a complete list of all park and trail rules, see Chapter 200: Parks and Recreation Areas of the Town of Ithaca Code.

For emergencies and for reports of suspicious activity, call 911.

Town Park and Trail Documents

Town of Ithaca Park, Recreation and Open Space Plan December 1997

The South Hill, East Ithaca, and Northeast Ithaca Recreation Way’s and their Effect on Adjoining Residential Properties 9/2009

Links to Other Recreational Facilities in the Town of Ithaca

 Buttermilk Falls State Park

 Robert H. Treman State Park

 Cornell Plantation

 The Cornell Lab of Ornithology – Sapsucker Woods

 Eldridge Wilderness (The Nature Conservancy)

 Sweedler Preserve at Lick Brook (Finger Lakes Land Trust)

Out on the Trails - Ithaca & Tompkins County