Last summer I was in Ithaca for my work and I did the whole Watkins glen gorge trail and back on the Indian Trail; the Treman gorge trail and back on the rim trail; and the Buttermilk gorge trail and back on the rim trail. I did all of them after noon so I hiked pretty fast. I will be taking my family with me this summer and have a day to see a few parks and am trying to nail down a game plan so I appreciate any comments. They are all experienced hikers and have done far more difficult hikes like 2,000 ft elevation gains and 8+miles so that is not the issue. But I am trying to pick and choose which hikes to do and which to just do the quick view points. I have not been to Taughannock before and thought I might squeeze that in too and maybe a quick stop at Ithaca falls the night before.
We will be staying in Ithaca the night before and Syracuse the night after. So a possible plan would be to go to Buttermilk and just get a quick look. I know the falls are not too impressive and I actually liked the Gorge trail, but picking and choosing I thought we would maybe just walk up the first set of stairs and get a look in the gorge.
Then go to Treman and instead of doing the whole loop, just go to the upper parking lot, do a quick hike to Lucifer Falls and then go swimming at the bottom. With the exception of the view point above Lucifer Falls, I think we wouldn't miss the Rim trail, and the gorge trail below Lucifer was nice but not crucial to see.
Head over to Taughannock falls and do the Gorge trail and maybe stop at the top parking lot to see the viewpoint. Is this trail worth it or should we just do the view point and maybe hike more at Treman or Buttermilk.
Then head to Watkins Glen and see how we're feeling when we get to the top of the gorge. I don't remember being too impressed with the Indian trail so we'll probably just head back on the gorge trail.
I appreciate any comments, my wife can't really help me spitball ideas because she has not been to any of them.