Welcome to Ithaca's Discovery Trail

From peaceful walks to famous talks, from hands-on fun to genealogical research, there's so much to see and do along the Discovery Trail. These eight fascinating sites are an easy drive from downtown Ithaca, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Cayuga Lake and other Finger Lakes attractions.

The Discovery Trail Partnership is a group of educational organizations based in Ithaca, NY. The only organization of its kind, the Discovery Trail promotes awareness and understanding of the connections among art, history, literature, science, and the natural world.

Join us for...

Trail Sites

kids discover the trail

Kids Discover the Trail! provides curriculum-based field trips to the eight Discovery Trail sites. Students receive a site-specific keepsake book to continue the learning experience at home and free family admission (where applicable) for a follow-up visit. The program is currently operating for all Ithaca City School District (ICSD) students in grades Pre-K through 5 and all Trumansburg Central School District (TCSD) students in grades Pre-K through 6.
Learn more...

Informal Learning Experiences

The Discovery Trail: A Community Partnership for Museums and Libraries
By Charlie Trautmann, Star Bressler, and Warren Allmon

The Discovery Trail, a museum-library partnership, has for nearly two decades fostered cooperation among cultural institutions in Ithaca and Tompkins County, New York. In this article, we describe the partnership’s formation, mission, programs, growth, and impact, along with some lessons learned for other communities considering a similar partnership of cultural organizations. (Download the PDF to read more)