Sure, you could hop in your car and take in the scenic fall foliage that covers Cortland County, but we recommend stepping outside your vehicle and explore these unique leaf peeping spots.
1. Fall Foliage with some adrenaline.
Catch some of New York’s best fall foliage from the mountain! Try out Greek Peak’s Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster for some added adrenaline to your leaf peeping this fall.
Step back into nature as you tour our majestic mountain on the Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster. You control the speed in the two-person car, up to 28 mph, as you climb the mountainside, cruise over the peak, navigate pitches and turns, and enjoy an exciting descent through the forest.
*Go in the morning and then have lunch outside on the deck at Trax!
2. Cortland Rural Cemetery Cemetrail
What is a ‘Cemetrail?’ It’s a trail that takes you throughout the cemetery with 20 interpretive signs that discuss the notable people buried, the geology of the monuments, artistic observations, and the unique trees. This Cemetrail opened in 2015 and was made possible by a generous grant from the J. M. McDonald Foundation. The project included new signage throughout the cemetery with self-guided walking tour maps. Each trail marker includes QR code for your smart phone to give you even more information. Highlights from the Cemetrail are notable residents that include the vault of Charles Sanders, an author in the 1800s who wrote and revamped children’s primers with sales totaling 13 million copies in his lifetime, and Lydia Hammond Strowbridge a 19th-century Suffragette and early doctor.
The Cemetrail identifies the many different species of trees that are found throughout the cemetery. These include a European Larch which is a New York State record holder and an American Hophornbeam, another New York State Record-holder.
Go anytime! The Cemetrail is free of charge.
3. Fall Kayaking on the Tioughnioga River
Examine the fall colors from the water. The Tioughnioga River is just over 34 miles long and the main branch runs right through Cortland County. There are many launch points to choose from whether it is Marathon, Blodgett Mills, or in the City of Cortland. Don’t own your own kayak? Check out Lighthouse Landing for rental options.
4. Cupola Views: The 1890 House Museum
Even back in the late 19th century, the Cupola at the top of 37 Tompkins Street would have served as an excellent vantage point. Today, you can still climb the three flights of stairs at the 1890 House Museum and admire the 360-degree views of Cortland. Sitting at and above the tree tops, this hidden gem is a great way to view the fall foliage. You can take a guided tour of the whole house or explore it on your own!
Take advantage of their extended summer hours! The museum is open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 11 to 5 and Sundays 11 to 3 until September 30. Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays Noon to 4 after September 30.
*Note that there is a fee for the museum. $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for students, seniors and military, and children 10 & younger are free.
5. Hike Jones Hill at Labrador Hollow
This family friendly hike won’t take the whole day and the views from the hand glider launch site are breathtaking. You can park at the entrance for Tinker Falls and follow the Sky Trail. The trail is a gradual incline to the top. You can hike the entire trail to the top and back in under an hour.