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Gorge Safety


While tempting on hot days, swimming in the gorges is extremely dangerous and a serious threat of drowning exists. Swimming in the gorges is prohibited by Chapter 250 of the City of Ithaca code, Peace and Good Order, which states, “No person shall bathe in, swim in, or for purposes of swimming and/or bathing enter any of the waters within the City of Ithaca except in the waters officially designated as swimming or bathing areas.”

Please read “The Gorges of Cornell, Path and Safety Information” located at: .  This brochure provides a path guide and advice for safety precautions while visiting the gorges.  We also suggest that you take the time to watch a new student-created video that describes important information about enjoying the natural gorges areas safely.


Alternatives for safe and legal swimming in the Ithaca area include: 




Safety Tips:


Advise Police immediately of any suspicious person or circumstance in your residence hall or elsewhere on campus.

During hours of darkness travel with friends whenever possible, and if alone, keep your head up and ears open, undistracted.

Keep only small sums of cash in your purse or wallet, or in your room or office.

Lock your car doors when you leave your vehicle unattended, and place packages and other items out of sight - preferably in the trunk.

Participate in Cornell's key-tag program, which will enable lost or stolen keys to be returned to you by Cornell Police.

Participate in Cornell Police's Operation ID program, which enables you to permanently mark your personal property.

Report an emergency by calling 911 or by using any Blue light or other campus emergency phone. For general information or other non-emergency assistance, call Cornell Police at 255-1111.

Use the Blue Light bus, escort, and phone services.

...and Dont's

Don't attach personal ID information to your keys.

Don't bring irreplaceable property and heirlooms to the campus.

Don't go out at night or away for the weekend without telling a roommate, family member, or friend where you are going, with whom, and when you will return.

Don't hitchhike - and be wary of giving a stranger a ride. Controlling a situation inside of a moving vehicle can be difficult. Use public transit or ride with a friend, and notify the appropriate authorities if someone appears to need assistance.

Don't leave books, jackets, backpacks, or other personal items of value unattended anywhere on campus.

Don't leave your unoccupied residence or office unlocked - and don't prop exterior building doors open. Most thefts in college residence halls occur when outer and inner doors are left open. Lock you door even if you will be gone briefly.

Don't lend your keys, ID, or credit cards to anyone, including a friend or roommate.