Lucifer Falls

Ithaca, New York, USA

About Lucifer Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.4 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2007-06-17
Date last visited: 2007-06-17

Waterfall Latitude: 42.40059
Waterfall Longitude: -76.58398

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Lucifer Falls is perhaps the feature attraction of Robert H. Treman State Park.

While the 115ft high cascade made for a worthwhile sight, I thought the Enfield Glen (the gorge we walked through to get to the falls) was just as impressive.

Lucifer_Falls_044_06172007 - Lucifer Falls
Lucifer Falls

It almost felt as if we were hiking through scenery that canyoneers earn when they descend into the slot canyons in the deserts of the American Southwest except we were in New York on an easy walk!

As a matter of fact, we happened to be here when people from a well-dressed wedding party also managed to reach the falls (just to give you an idea of how easy the walk was).

The gorge in which this falls was a part of looked to be composed of shale instead of sandstone.

Hiking in the Enfield Glen

I’m sure we could have done the longer 3-hour (5.3-mile) loop hike along both the Gorge and Rim Trails that would’ve helped us appreciate the geology better as well as give us different views of Lucifer Falls.

I believe this trail would’ve also included the pretty Lower Falls (or Enfield Falls).

Lucifer_Falls_011_06172007 - The Enfield Glen, which was easily experienced along the developed walkway leading down to Lucifer Falls, gave us an unusual geology lesson in upstate New York of all places!
The Enfield Glen, which was easily experienced along the developed walkway leading down to Lucifer Falls, gave us an unusual geology lesson in upstate New York of all places!

In any case, even though it was cooler in the glen, perhaps the heat and humidity of the Summer enticed us to go the lazy route instead of the longer loop hike.

Thus, we wound up on the shorter walk which started and ended from a car park at the head of the gorge down to Lucifer Falls itself.

I didn’t keep track, but I’m pretty certain the walk we did was about a mile or less round trip.

The walk started from the upper parking area near an Old Mill, which was a very popular car park, it seemed.

The walk from here immediately descended into the scenic narrow gorge and past some picturesque smaller cascades on the way to Lucifer Falls.

Lucifer_Falls_087_06172007 - A small cascade seen en route to Lucifer Falls
A small cascade seen en route to Lucifer Falls

We also noticed interesting football-looking pods by the falls.

It was almost as if someone with tremendous accuracy managed to chuck footballs on the other side of the falls.

I’m still not sure what exactly those things were or how they got there.


Lucifer Falls resides in the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca in Tompkins County, New York. It is administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Lucifer_Falls_025_jx_06172007 - The Old Mill
Lucifer_Falls_004_06172007 - Going deeper into Enfield Glen
Lucifer_Falls_009_06172007 - Looking up ahead at Julie crossing a bridge
Lucifer_Falls_001_jx_06172007 - Further in the Enfield Glen
Lucifer_Falls_024_jx_06172007 - Triple cascades in the scenic Enfield Glen
Lucifer_Falls_105_06172007 - Looking back at the stairs we just took above a small but pretty cascade
Lucifer_Falls_024_06172007 - Direct view of that pretty cascade
Lucifer_Falls_053_06172007 - The context of Lucifer Falls
Lucifer_Falls_037_06172007 - The footballs on the other side of the falls
Lucifer_Falls_090_06172007 - Going back to that pretty cascade on the way back to the car park

From Ithaca, we headed south on Hwy 13 for a few miles and then turned right onto the Hwy 327 turnoff. We then followed Hwy 327 for a little over 2.5 miles (it becomes Enfield Falls Rd) where we turned left onto a park road that dead-ends near an Old Mill (and also near some buildings where a wedding was held when we were there).

For geographical context, Ithaca was about 156 miles (under 3 hours drive) east of Buffalo, 167 miles (3 hours drive) west of Albany, or 233 miles (4.5 hours drive) northwest of New York City.

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One of the cascades seen upstream from the main Lucifer Falls

Tagged with: lucifer, enfield, treman, robert, state park, ithaca, western new york, new york, finger lakes, waterfall, gorge trail, upstate

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Lucifer Falls from south overlook Fall 2012 July 2, 2016 8:32 pm by Les Dudek - Lucifer is possibly my favorite falls. Hiked around falls with my sister (ages 57 and 75). Low-traffic weekday. Beautiful fall day. Down north trail from mill, across bridge and up cliff-face trail (a must - don't miss catwalk with dedication plaque on way up). A lot of climbing both down and up. Fully-constructed trails, but… ...Read More

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