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

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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
School is out and spring is here, it's time to head outside! Each day of camp is filled with fun and educational activities that celebrate this muddy season. Camp runs 9 am-4 pm and free before and after camp care available from 8 am to 5:30 pm. 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

These informal, drop-in sessions offer a relaxed setting for non-native English speakers to practice conversation and listening skills. The meetings will help participants discover and access language-learning resources at the Library and in the community and provide a forum for information sharing. Snack and Chat sessions are free and open to individuals with the desire to improve their English or willing to serve as conversation partners for others. All ages and abilities are welcome. Light refreshments will be provided. More
Date: Wednesday, April 9
Time: 3:15 - 4:30 pm
Place: Tompkins County Public Library, BorgWarner Community Room West
Primitive Pursuits believes the seeds of a deep connection to nature are in each of us from the time we are born. Come explore various nature themes through stories, crafts and activities. For children ages 3 to 5 and their families. More
Date: Thursday, April 10
Time: 11:00 am
Place: Tompkins County Public Library, Thaler/Howell Room
Maya Lin will discuss her work, including her recent sculptures and the installation Empty Room, from her What is Missing? memorial. The talk will take place at the Milstein Hall Auditorium. A free public reception at the Johnson Museum will follow. More
Date: Thursday, April 10
Time: 5:15 pm
Place: Milstein Hall Auditorium and Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
Artist Lucy Orta will give a gallery talk about Food-Water-Life during this reception at the Museum following Maya Lin's talk. More
Date: Thursday, April 10
Time: 6:30 - 7:30 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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