We are visiting our student son up in Ithaca, NY. Since the preferred option for our student kids with visiting parents is to be taken out for dinner but not be bothered much the rest of the time (it interferes with studying), we are looking for some launch sites/paddling recommendations near Ithaca. Any suggestions?
Hi, I live in Ithaca. The water here is a big lake… Cayuga and the inlet leading to/from it. To launch into the inlet you’ve got a few options:
Off Rt 13 on the left if you’re driving north, follow the signs to the farmer’s market and put in off the dock or shore there.
Off Rt 34 at the north end of town go to Stewart Park and follow the drive all the way to the boathouse at the end. There are some floating docks and some shoreline.
Rt. 89 North from town. Treman Marina has a boat ramp and some shoreline.
To launch directly into Cayuga Lake:
Stewart Park on Rt. 34
Continue north on Rt 34 a mile at most out of town and launch at the small East Shore Marina.
Best bet: Stewart Park
What kind of paddling?
You didn’t say if you wanted canoe or kayak, flat water or moving, how “exciting” etc.
Yes, there’s Cayuga Lake. It can get rough when the wind is wrong (or right, depending on yor preference). But there are also many streams and rivers in the 30-mile readius area ranging from exciting white water (though not this time of year, usually) to essentially flat or very leisurely current.
I used to canoe many of them, but after quite a few years away I cannot recall exactly where anymore, even looking at a map. I suggest you contact outfitters in the area and ask their advice. Google “kayak ithaca” or “canoe ithaca” to find some.
Ah, I recall one place – the Tioughnioga River near Whitney Point. It’s gentle current and scenic, if that’s what you are looking for. (It’s pronounced something like TAFF-knee-YOGA).
Yes, as the others have said. There are lots of other paddling places in the area. But be careful if you get your info from printed or online guides. The water levels in our streams is very low this year and a lot of smaller ponds are choked with vegetation. That said, let me know if you want info on paddling further out of town. I’ve got the local waters guides here.
The Ti is very dry right now.
Thanks and clarification
Thanks for the speedy replies. We are looking for flatwater Kayaking, lake or slow moving river (one car so we have to paddle round trip). We do some coastal paddling so a bit of roughness on the lake is not too much of an issue.
well, then I’d put in at Stewart Park at intersection of 13 and 34 and I’d go out , around the lighthouse, down the inlet, get out at a restaurant, enjoy, and paddle back to the lake. In any case, have fun.