Six Mile Creek Trail Project

Six Mile Creek Trail is the name of a route of existing and proposed sidewalks and trails along Six Mile Creek in the City of Ithaca between the Six Mile Creek Natural Area and Cayuga Lake. The character along the trail varies considerably from urban sidewalks and the Six Mile Creek Promenade west of Aurora St., to a stone dust trail and natural surface hiking trails east of Aurora Street. The long range vision is to establish a route that travels from the Ithaca Commons westward to the Cayuga Waterfront Trail (which connects to the Black Diamond Trail northward to Taughannock Falls State Park), and from the Ithaca Commons eastward through the Six Mile Creek Gorge to the South Hill Recreation Way (which connects to the future Gateway Trail, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and the Finger Lakes Trail … which then connects to the 4,600 mile long North Country National Scenic Trail).

The City of Ithaca is currently working to establish a natural surface hiking trail connection from the existing stone dust trail just east of Aurora St. to the existing trails in the Six Mile Creek Natural Area (this new connecting trail will be just under 1 mile in length). Establishing this trail is complicated due to the steep gorge topography which will require three new bridges to cross the creek three times, as well as a few smaller bridges to span ravines along the gorge. The Six Mile Creek Trail Plan produced in 2016 provides a good overview of this section of trail. A copy of this plan can be viewed here

In the spring of 2019, the City of Ithaca was awarded funding from the Tompkins County Tourism Program to commission a feasibility study to better understand the soil conditions, creek flow impacts, and other issues associated with developing this trail. Results from this study will allow for the project scope to be clearly defined and will allow for the development of an accurate cost estimate. This information will then be used when seeking future funding for design and construction costs. 

For more information or to provide comments, contact Kent Johnson, Assistant Transportation Engineer, at 607-274-6528 or

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.