Home > Basics > Lakes

Lake Treman

Coordinates: 42.3989°N 76.5114°W

Elevation: 957 feet/291.6 meters


Lake Treman in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, New York, USA

If the word lake conjures the idea of Superior, Victoria, or Baikal, Lake Treman will seem more like a pond to you. But if your idea of a lake is an intimate body of water surrounded by a peaceful forest walk with many native wildflowers and animals, Lake Treman is just your thing.


Lake Treman is located in Buttermilk Falls State Park in the Town of Ithaca in Tompkins County just south of the City of Ithaca. Buttermilk Falls State Park is divided into two sections by West King Road--an upper and lower section. Lake Treman is in the part commonly called Upper Buttermilk.


The lake is fed from the south by Buttermilk Creek, which eventually runs through Lower Buttermilk, over Buttermilk Falls, and into Cayuga Lake. The trail around the lake is only 1.5 mi./2.4 km., At Lake Treman, you can picnic right next to the falls.with the lake being probably only .5 mi./.8 km. at its longest. The southern end of the lake is filled with vegetation--cattails, mostly--but the rest of the lake is open. There is a place to launch a kayak, however, the lake is really so small, that you won't get much of a ride.


The trail around the lake goes through two types of habitat--one on the east side and one on the west--each with its own vegetation. In early spring when the weather is still cool and the soil moist, you can see trilliums, columbine, uvularia, violets, and many other lovely native plants. Warblers, vireos, woodpeckers, blue jays, and other forest birds are abundant. Rough-winged swallows spend their time hunting insects over the lake and mallards and geese frequent the water. Sometimes you can see turkey vultures roosting in the trees around the lake and muskrats swimming noiselessly in the water.




At the northern end of the lake is a crosswalk across a high dam constructed of local stone. This directs the outflow of the lake over a lovely falls right next to a picnic area. Parking and bathroom facilities are on the other side of the picnic area.

Northern end of Lake Treman in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, New York, USA, showing stone dam and walkway.

Access to the Lake

Enter Upper Buttermilk from West King Road. If the park is open, The path to Lake Treman in Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, New York, USA.you will be able to drive all the way along a lovely tree-lined road across Buttermilk Creek to the upper parking lot. The lake is just about 100 ft./30.4 m. up a paved walk from there. If the park is closed, you will have to park in the first parking lot of Upper Buttermilk and walk the tree-line road to the lake. This is a popular early morning walk for local residents and their dogs, so don't be surprised to see people even at an early hour. In the winter, this tree-lined road is great for cross-country skiing.


The lake trail is 1.5 mi./2.4 km. in circumference. It is met and joined by the Finger Lakes Trail. There are also other trials in Buttermilk State Park. Many people park in the lower parking lot of Upper Buttermilk, walk the tree-lined road up to the lake and come back by Bear Trail on the west side of Buttermilk Creek. Bear Trail gives you a good look at many wildflowers and another waterfall at an old dam.


As you pull into Upper Buttermilk, there is a small ticket booth. (At certain times of the year the park charges a parking fee.) Here you will find free brochures with maps and a large board, displaying a plan of the entire park. Bathrooms are in the building behind the ticket booth. Upper Buttermilk has lots of picnic tables and a pavilion.

The falls over an old dam on Buttermilk Creek in upper Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, New York, USA.








Your ad could go here!


Your ad could go here!