Discover Cayuga Lake & why we care about the 

Cayuga Lake Ospreys

The Ospreys of Cayuga Lake serve an important role in the Cayuga Lake watershed as an indicator of lake health. Previously unknown to the region, they began to settle along the lakeshore in the early 1990s. In the last 30 years, through a series of circumstances, they’ve grown to a population of over 150 nesting pairs that rely on the shallow waters and abundant fish life of the lake. Discover Cayuga Lake has come to honor these beautiful birds as important educators for the communities we serve. Due to their historical decline in the mid-1900s as a result of the widespread use of the pesticide DDT, and then their re-emergence as a result of dedicated efforts by environmentalists to protect wildlife, the story of the osprey is the story of the negative, and positive, impact that humans can have on nature. Children and adults alike can marvel at the unique qualities of the ‘Fish-Hawk’ as they learn about its many incredible adaptations and they role they place in the local ecosystem. Join our efforts to learn more!

    osprey eco-cruise

    Come learn about the ecology and natural history of Cayuga Lake through the eyes of our resident osprey while enjoying a 1.5 hour cruise. A great cruise for children and adults alike! Our interpretive crew are on board to point out osprey nests and other natural features of the ecological landscape. View the plankton they eat through microscopes and the surroundings they live in through binoculars (we have a few on board but please bring your own if you have them).

    • Offered weekly May – August, 4:30-6pm

    • $30/adults, $10/child (3-16)

    Cayuga Lake Osprey Trail – Driving Tour

    Download the Pocketsights app and take a driving tour of the Osprey nests around Cayuga Lake. DCL interns have described and marked the sites of 62 of the most accessible nest sites on this GPS navigated tour. There are many beautiful stops you can make along the way, including parks, marinas, wineries and more to create a half or full day tour. When viewing the Osprey we recommend you use your car as a blind in order to avoid disturbing them. Please be mindful of the busy roads when stopping, and avoid trespassing. Gas stations are sparse on the North and West shores of the lake–check to be sure you have a full tank of gas before embarking on the tour. Enjoy yourself and please send us any great pictures you take!

      Great Experiences with Discover Cayuga Lake

      Our Mission

      At Discover Cayuga Lake, our mission is to cultivate informed and equitable relationships between people and the watersheds upon which they depend and we do all this while providing memorable, breathtaking family, friend, and community experiences on the beautiful Cayuga Lake.

        We’d Love to hear from you!

        with Us


        Local Learning
        Direct Experience
        Equal Access
        Citizen Science

        1000 Allan H. Treman Park Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850

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        Discover Cayuga Lake 2023
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