Lake and River Swimming
Buttermilk Falls State Park - Buttermilk has a nice swimming area at the bottom of the falls. There is a secondary very shallow swimming area in that same spot that is sometimes open as well. Buttermilk has changing rooms, restrooms and a fun playground nearby. Trails along the river provide other spots for dipping your feet.
Flat Rock - This favorite local swimming hole has very shallow areas for little ones to splash about, as well as areas with slightly deeper water that moves quickly. Kids often bring inflatables or boards to "ride the waves" that stem from water moving over a small dam. Swimming here is technically not permitted, though on any warm afternoon in the summer you may see as many as 50 people up and down the river. There is no lifeguard on duty, so play at your own risk. Flat Rock is part of the Cornell Plantations trails. Click here for an approximate map to the parking area.
Myers Point has a beach that operates every weekend throughout the summer 11am to 6pm and same times during the summer holidays. It's free except at the weekends, when people who cannot prove their Lansing residency have to pay entrance fee to Myers Park.
Six Mile Creek has many areas where one can wade/swim at their own risk. Swimming within the Ithaca city limits is prohibited (though many still do it), but the creek goes all the way out through Brooktondale and past the Caroline Elementary school. No lifeguards, so swim at your own risk.
Taughannock State Park - North on 89 near Trumansburg, Taughannock has a large area for swimming in Cayuga Lake. The lake is slightly wavy, creating a mild ocean effect with waves splashing on the shore. The water gets deep quickly, sloping to over 3 feet deep by about 15 feet out. Taughannock has changing rooms, restrooms and a fun playground nearby. Trails along the river provide other spots for dipping your feet.
Robert H. Treman State Park - located south of Ithaca off 13, Treman State Park has a large swimming area that goes right up to the lower falls. There is a diving board perched on a cliff right in front of the falls and rocks on the bottom of the falls make it possible to stand and let the water pour over you (see picture below). Treman has changing rooms, restrooms and a fun playground located closer to the entrance of the park. Trails along the river on the upper falls trail walk provide other spots for dipping your feet.
Nearly every pool on this list also provides swimming lessons. See their websites for more information.
Alex Haily Pool - This pool is in the Fall Creek area of downtown. The big pool has a water slide. There is a kiddie pool for babies and toddlers.
Cass Park Pool - The Cass Park Pools have season pass memberships or day passes. There is a great zero depth entry kiddie pool for babies & toddlers as well as an Olympic size pool with diving board and a water slide. Lap Swim times and swimming lessons are available. There is an area with Little Tikes houses and slides for toddlers to play in, but this area is on a black cushioned mat that gets very hot on little feet, so bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Cass park is located on the West side of town on State Route 89.
Cornell's Helen Newman Hall - Family Swim hours are available for faculty, staff and their children.
Ellis Hollow Pool - located at the Ellis Hollow Community Center along Ellis Hollow Road and Genung Road, the Ellis Hollow Pool requires a membership or that you are a guest of a member. It's a nice sized outdoor pool with a shallow end of about 3 feet with stairs or ladders to enter the pool. Swimming supports and Floaties are allowed in this pool.
Greek Peak Indoor Water Park - Cascades Indoor Water Park at Greek Peak (about 30 minutes East of Ithaca) is fun and finally open to the public. The waterpark is now open to the public 7 days a week. Check their website for specific days and times.
Groton Memorial Park Pool - Sykes St. Groton, NY Phone: 607-898-3966
Part of Groton Memorial Park, this olympic-size pool is fully staffed with lifeguard. Call for hours. Open late June-Labor Day.
Ithaca College Pool - The Ithaca College Outdoor Pool is open only to Ithaca College students, alumni, faculty/staff and their immediate family and guests. Valid Ithaca College ID cards or Outdoor Pool membership card MUST be presented in order to gain access to the pool. Even the shallow end of the outdoor pool is about 4 feet deep, but they allow life jackets and floaties. The Indoor pool has swimming lessons that are open to the public and is available for birthday parties. It is a very large pool and at least one section can have the depth changed to become very shallow.
Ithaca Swim Club - This outdoor pool facility has a kiddie pool (1/2 foot depth) and large pool that is open to members and their guests.
Stewart Park Fountain Sprinklers - not a pool, but Stewart Park has a nice fountain area with sprinklers for kids to run through. I'm not sure what their on/off times are, but we've been there at 11 am and they've been on, and we've been there at 7 pm and they've been on.
TC3 The pool at TC3 is open to the public - schedule can be found here: http://www.tc3.edu/student/rec_pool_schedule.asp Fees are here: http://www.tc3.edu/student/rec_pool_fees.asp What they fail to mention on the website is that community members can also purchase a 20 visit punch card for $20. There are always two lifeguards on duty and there are pool accessories available for use - balls, pool noodles, life vests for kids, inner tubes, flippers, etc... A nice place on super hot summer days and in the dead of winter when it's hard to get outdoor exercise.
YMCA - The YMCA has 2 indoor pools, a "family pool" that is used mostly for lessons and free play and a large lap pool. Swimming lessons are available year round to members and non-members alike. Day passes and pool passes are available for non-members as well. The YMCA is located in Lansing near the mall.
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