From Rochester, Route 96 follows Interstate 490 southwest until it hits the Thruway. There, it runs parallel to the Thruway on the south side straight East until it intersects Route 14. Then, it veers away from the Thruway, going southeast to Waterloo, where it makes a sharp turn and goes straight south through Waterloo between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. In Ovid, it turns East then travels southeast along Cayuga Lake and goes through Trumansburg then Ithaca at the south end of Cayuga Lake. Finally, it goes south to Spencer, East to Candor, and south to Owego.