Cayuga Trails uses an out-back C-shape course configuration w/ a lollipop loop on the far end. The out-back configuration was chosen secondary to the FLT extending onto road and fairly unremarkable sections beyond each terminus. The result has allowed entrants to have the opportunity to see the race shaking out ahead and behind them in several points.
It starts and ends in Robert H. Treman State Park where it ascends the gorge trail, passing through the Lucifer Fall's area in the upper gorge and the Finger Lakes Runner's Club's Old Mill AS, before wrapping out/connecting with/descending on the Finger Lakes Trail. Once clearing the Binghamton Area Trail Runners Underpass AS runners will cross a creek and ascend single-track through and beyond the Finger Lake Land Trust's Lick Brook Gorge. From there it feeds through to Buttermilk Falls State Park where it begins the lollipop loop, traversing the upper old reservoir, merging w/ a scenic park road and descending on the Rim Trail to Trails Roc's Buttermilk AS. From there it ascends the Buttermilk Gorge Trail on its way back to the start. Fifty milers complete two circuits. 50k runners will complete one circuit plus one more trip to the Old Mill AS and back.
The elevation gain for the 50 mile is most likely somewhere around 9,000 though GPS devices have recorded as much as 11k+. It's tough to get a handle on an accurate read given the nature of the tight gorges and inaccurate signals. There are creek crossings around mile 7.5, and 18.5…hit again on the return so the feet will stay wet.