Cayuga Nature Center – Ithaca, New York - Atlas Obscura

Ithaca, New York

Cayuga Nature Center

A six-story treehouse offers spectacular views of New York's Finger Lakes region. 

An epic treehouse is every kid’s dream. Head to this nature center, and you’ll find a six-story one that stretches skyward like a glorious stack of sticks.

The first thing you see when you enter the Cayuga Nature center is a pair of enormous aquariums, one that has live examples of the fish that lived in Finger Lakes before the European immigrants settled in that region, and the other that has examples of the aquatic life present in Cayuga Lake today.

Throughout the Lodge (as the main building is called), there have exhibits that tell about the ecology and environment of the region, plus live “animal ambassadors,” most of which are native to upstate New York. Outside of the Lodge, there are more animal ambassadors, including Daisy the Red Fox and Ace the Red-Tailed Hawk.

Wander a bit farther past the animals, and you can climb the massive tree house and look into the forest canopy. You can wander on miles of trails throughout the more than 100 acres that have a wide range of habitats, from waterfalls nestled in the woods, to meadowlands that include ponds teeming with wildlife. 

Know Before You Go

From Memorial Day to Columbus Day, the center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The winter hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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