Now in its 14th year, the Discovery Trail is a partnership of eight member individual organizations with a common goal: awareness, study, education, and preservation of nature, science, and culture. The group has evolved into a fundamental educational platform for area schools, providing learning opportunities for kids of all ages. All in all, the Trail boasts almost 50 places to visit! But let's start with the main locations:
Cayuga Nature Center
1420 Taughannock Blvd, Ithaca, NY
A 75-acre nature center with a goal of education focusing on the impact of climate change on Tompkins County's plants and animals.
Museum of the Earth
1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY
Paleontological research and education holding almost three million specimens. Natural history displays, interactive science experiences, and art, all mixed into one great museum. Upcoming exhibitions include the soon-to-be-permanent Glacier Exhibit, and Raising the Dead: the Art and Science of John Gurche (who uses forensic-type sculpting techniques to create clay head models from skulls, and creates both biological and dioramic illustrations).
601 1st Street, Ithaca, NY
A hands-on scientific learning center that is fun for adults and children alike.
Tompkins County Public Library
101 E. Green St., Ithaca, NY
Reading, research, and various exhibits.
The History Center in Tompkins County
401 East State Street, Ithaca, NY
Education of Tompkins County through documentation, exhibits, programs, and restoration.
Johnson Museum of Art
114 Central Avenue, Ithaca, NY
Renowned art museum at Cornell University featuring a wide array of art and collections.
124 Comstock Knoll Drive, Ithaca, NY
On-site arboretum and botanical garden, and more than 40 nature preserves. Start your visit at the Nevin Welcome Center and proceed from there!
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY
Bird-lovers will not want to miss this attraction! Dedicated to the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds, both here and around the world. Features programs and guided birding walks.
Unsure of which to go see? The Trail offers a number of suggested itineraries based on various topics. Pick your favorite and base your Upstate New York getaway around a day (or more) of destinations:
- History Buff
- Family fun
- Ivy League Experience
- On Cayuga's Waters
- Outdoor Enthusiasts (a 3-day schedule!)
- Outdoor Winter's Day