Trip on a Tank – Robert H. Treman State Park
Let’s face it. Money is tight and gas prices are high, but you’re ready to pull your hair out – you NEED to get out of the house before you go batty. I completely get it. Believe it or not, it IS possible to escape for the day on a tank of gas or less and Robert H. Treman State Park is one of those places you can escape to!
Robert H. Treman was born into a wealthy family in Ithaca in 1858. Treman attended Cornell and after his time there, joined the family hardware business which grew from a small shop to a large corporation. The Treman family also owned an iron foundry, and they had controlling interests in the Tompkins County Bank, the Ithaca Gas Light Company, and the Ithaca Water Works. The Treman family bought land around Buttermilk Falls and other creeks in the area just in case they needed to tap the water for their company.
It was about 1915 when Treman was showing the Enfield gorge to friends that he noticed the hamlet was in decline. He decided he didn't want it to disappear completely and so made arrangements to buy the mill as well as the miller’s house. He closed the mill and then during World War I, Treman and his wife Laura continued to buy properties in the area. It was 1920 by the time most of the property in the hamlet of Enfield Falls had been purchased and Treman and his wife decided to donate the land to New York State to create a a state park that they asked to be called Enfield Glen Reservation.
Treman passes away in 1937 and it was then that Governor Herbert Lehman renamed the park to the Robert H. Treman State Park in memory of Treman’s leadership and service to the Ithaca area as well as his donation of land to the New York state park system.
The upper portion of the park has a small lake as well as hiking trails through wooded areas and along the gorge. There are also picnic areas and playing fields. The lower portion of the park has a pool and playing fields, and a nature trail that leads through Larch Meadows, which is a wetland. Camping is also available if you’re interested in staying the night. The park boasts 12 waterfalls, including the 115-foot Lucifer Falls where if you’re brave enough to look, you can see a mile-and-a-half down the wooded gorge.
The park is located at 105 Enfield Falls Road in Ithaca and you can learn how to get there and more about the park and its amenities here.