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Gulf Creek Chute

Pocket Falls

Pocket Fals

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Upper Hidden Falls


Gulf Creek is a tributary of Cayuga Lake, 5 miles north of Ithaca in the Town of Lansing, Tompkins County.
Access Private Most of this gully is on posted property and you will need permission from several different landowners to enter it. The middle of the gully on the south side of the creek is on the Edwards Lake Cliffs Natural Area of Cornell Plantations. A trailhead with parking for a single car can be found at the end of Teeter Rd. Please observe signs designating the boundary of the preserve to avoid trespassing on private property.
Hiking Difficult. The portion of Gulf Creek below Route 34 is a wild gully with no trails, steep walls, deep pools, and poor hiking conditions. In high water, much of this gully would be impassable. However, there are three good sized waterfalls on the main stream and 4 waterfalls on side streams. Above Route 34, the creek flows gently through the back yards of a residential neighborhood. There are numerous small cascades and ledges but no waterfalls except for Ruth's Waterfall.

We have entered this gully from the bottom and hiked upstream to Pocket Falls. We have also entered just downstream from Pocket Falls and hiked down to the Lower Falls. Recently, we entered the gully just upstream from Pocket Falls and hiked up to Hidden Falls and Emilie Jonas Falls. You can see the crest of Emilie Jonas Falls from the Route 34 bridge and a glimpse of Rainbow Falls from a side road. During the wonderful winter of 2002-3 we rediscovered the upper part of this gully on snowshoes.

Here is a list of waterfalls on Gulf Creek (W=waterfall on perennial stream, I=waterfall on intermittent stream):

Lower Gulf Creek Falls† 30'
Gulf Creek Chute* 100'
Tori Falls* 25'
Pocket Falls 35'
Hidden Falls 85' (35' + 50')
Emilie Jonas Falls* 65' + 6'
Rainbow Falls† 55'
Ruth's Waterfall* 14' + 4'

Refer to the map for location.

*Our names.
†Thanks to Stephen Tobin via Scott Ensminger for supplying the names of these falls.

Upper Gulf Creek Falls    Upper Gulf Creek Falls    Upper Gulf Creek Falls    Upper Gulf Creek Falls

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Last modified: 18-Mar-2009