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Welcome to Dryden, NY


Dryden is a town in the eastern part of Tompkins County. The town contains two villages: one also named Dryden and one called Freeville. There are also two hamlets, Etna and Varna. It is the largest town in the county in terms of area. Students in Dryden attend Dryden Central Schools.


Dryden is a rural town with much active farming, but the village of Dryden has an historic and walkable Main Street with some small businesses, including Dryden Community Center Café and the Dryden Hotel. A more car-oriented commercial landscape extends up Route 13 from the village.

Recreation & Entertainment

The Dryden Hills traverse the southern part of the town. Here you will find Dryden Lake, with a town park providing access to the water, and Yellow Barn and Hammond Hill state forests, which have trails for hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and biking.

Transportation & Traffic

For a rural town, Dryden does see it’s fair share of traffic, especially during rush hour at the intersection of Route 13 and Route 38, as commuters – and truckers – use those roads to get to and from Ithaca and Cortland. As for public transportation, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) runs regularly from Ithaca to the town. There are small regional airports in Lansing, Corning, and Binghamton.

Pros & Cons

Dryden is a great place to live for those who want an ex-urban or suburban location with more urban environments right around the corner. Because of the amount of natural land put aside development in the southern part of town is limited. For cons, the village of Dryden has an ongoing issue with arsenic in its water – a situation still being resolved.