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Ithaca is Gorges - Gorge Safety

Contributed by Susan Testa on 08/27/12 

Submitted on behalf of Terri Stewart, Director for Public Safety & Emergency Management

Gorge Safety
No surprise, Ithaca is well known for its gorges - a main attraction and must see.  Perhaps less known is the potential for danger and the fact that it is illegal to swim in the gorges of Ithaca.

Sadly, over the years, many have been seriously injured and killed swimming and jumping from great heights into the gorges.  Both activities are extremely dangerous and may lead to tragic results which can easily be avoided.  Even the best swimmers risk being pulled underwater by a current and drowned.  Others who pursue the thrill of the jump or dive risk slipping, falling, and landing or colliding wrong with the rocks or water.

While there are no gorges situated immediately on the Ithaca College campus, the IC Office of Public Safety uses this opportunity to caution students to the potential hazards and risks and encourage responsible alternatives such as walking and hiking on the numerous designated trails that surround the area gorges.

Please be safe when discovering all that Ithaca Gorges has to offer.  Exploring the gorges can be done safely and without incident when choosing to travel and remain on designated trails, yielding to fence lines, and adhering to posted signage and warnings of danger.

Also see this recent article published in the Cornell Chronicle:  New signs spell out regulations for safe gorge use (May 23, 2012)


Ithaca is Gorges - Gorge Safety | 1 Comments |
The following comments are the opinions of the individuals who posted them. They do not necessarily represent the position of Intercom or Ithaca College, and the editors reserve the right to monitor and delete comments that violate College policies.
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Spring Gorge Safety Comment from mdoyle2 on 08/29/12
I know this is geared more towards the spring than late summer/fall, but I'd just like to add that everyone should be aware of the potentially cold water. In the spring, it's extremely tempting to go swimming in the gorges on those unexpected, really hot, beautiful days. However, since Ithaca weather is pretty crazy (in the spring, I've seen it at 40 degrees one week, then 80 the next), the water temperature will often still be EXTREMELY cold. It's quite dangerous for a hot, sweaty person in 80 degree weather to be jumping into 35-40 degree water because although somewhat rare, their body CAN go into shock. Trust me, I know this from experience...gorge jumping on that first beautiful day while it was still in the 30s the week before, but as soon as your body is immersed in that water, it's nearly impossible to breathe. As an extremely strong swimmer, the shock my body experienced made it very difficult for me to be able to swim to shore. It was an awful experience, so be careful. Seriously.