Cayuga Nature Center

adventures with nature

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

we're for the birds

Cornell Plantations

natural beauty and serenity

The History Center

from generation to generation

Johnson Museum of Art

discover a world of art

Museum of the Earth

where the Earth comes to life


look...touch...listen and discover

Tompkins County Public Library

navigating a sea of resources

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Welcome to the Discovery Trail

Atoms to artifacts, foxes to fossils, robins to rhododendrons, sculpture to storytellers – Ithaca's Discovery Trail has something for everyone!

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.

Discovery Trail News

Follow the Discovery Trail on Facebook at and Twitter@discoverytrail More
The Sciencenter is open Monday, April 14, 10 am to 5 pm. Join us every day during Spring Break at 11 am and 1 pm for hands-on activities. More
Celebrate 150 Years and Counting highlighting 150 years of Library service. This three-part exhibit includes: Artists in the Archives, Talk Tompkins and Diary of a Library: A Community Card Catalog of Pictures, Memories and Stories. More
Kids Discover the Trail! provides curriculum based field trips to the eight sites of the Discovery Trail. With the conclusion of our 2013 school year, we have now served over 23,000 students in the Ithaca and Trumansburg school districts since the program started in 2005. More

Upcoming Trail Events

Animal Time: Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to hear the story Barnyard Tracks by Dee Dee Duffy and make pig masks. More
Date: Friday, April 18
Time: 10:30 am
Place: Sciencenter
Are you interested in the science behind (and underneath!) glaciers? Join PRI for our Glacier Lecture Series! Our final lecture for the series features Laura Faye Tenenbaum, Education Specialist - Earth Science Communications Team, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. More
Date: Friday, April 18
Time: 6:30 pm
Place: Museum of the Earth
Join Cecil for our annual dinosaur egg hunt in the Museum. Activities are included with Museum admission. More
Date: Saturday, April 19
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Place: Museum of the Earth
NEW TIME! Ne(x)tworks, a contemporary music ensemble from New York City, will present John Cage's iconic Song Books at the Johnson as part of a three-day residency in Cornell's Department of Music. More
Date: Saturday, April 19
Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Place: Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

Featured Video

Welcome to the Discovery Trail
(run time: 3:03)

Trail Sites

  • bugCayuga Nature Center
  • birdCornell Lab of Ornithology
  • treeCornell Plantations
  • washingtonThe History Center
  • frameJohnson Museum of Art
  • dinosaurMuseum of the Earth
  • saturnSciencenter
  • bookTompkins County Public Library

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