Set on a hilltop at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, Cornell's pastoral elements include three gorges crisscrossing the campus and trees that pre-date the university's 1868 opening. Scores of flower gardens and green spaces dot the hilly campus.
Such features highlight the changing seasons. Highlighter yellow forsythia and lavender crocuses mark the arrival of spring. Green foliage gives way to reds and golds as the students return to campus. And as the fall semester ends, campus waterfalls go from a light trickle to raging white-water, then freeze for much of the winter.
The best place to appreciate the university's pastoral setting is Cornell Plantations, a 2,900-acre park of bogs, gorges, glens, meadows, and woodlands. Miles of paths allow visitors to stroll and bike through an arboretum (above) and a seventies-era collection of abstract concrete sculptures.