Letchworth State Park

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Letchworth State Park, New York.

The sun was setting over Letchworth State Park in Livingston County, New York. A mist hung in the air above the middle and upper falls, obscuring the picturesque railway bridge that spanned the Genesee River Gorge. The evening light shone through the mist, painting the sky in brilliant hues of pink, white and blue.

The cascading waters of the middle falls tumbled over the terraces in numerous white tendrils, creating a beautiful and peaceful interplay between the river and the surrounding woodlands. As the water settled in the pool below, its gentle ripples echoed in the stillness of the night.

The leaves had started to turn, their autumnal colors erupting through the woodlands and heralding the end of summer and the coming winter. Birdsong filled the air, while the chirping of crickets provided a soothing backdrop. All around, the peacefulness of the nature was palpable.

It was a sight to behold. As the sun descended below the horizon, the mist gradually began to clear, revealing the majestic view of the Genesee River Gorge. An awe-inspiring spectacle that reminded us of the beauty of nature and the power of its elements.

Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park, often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East," is a magnificent and vast state park located in western New York State, USA. It is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, dramatic waterfalls, deep gorges, and diverse outdoor recreational opportunities. Here's an overview of Letchworth State Park:


    Letchworth State Park is situated in Livingston and Wyoming counties in western New York State. It covers an expansive area of approximately 14,427 acres along the Genesee River.

Genesee River Gorge

    The park's most prominent feature is the Genesee River Gorge, which has been carved over approx. 20,000 years through layers of shale, limestone, and siltstone. The gorge reaches depths of up to 600 feet and stretches for nearly 17 miles, offering stunning vistas and scenic overlooks.


    Letchworth State Park is home to three major waterfalls along the Genesee River, each with its own unique charm. These waterfalls are:

  • Upper Falls: The Upper Falls is a beautiful picturesque waterfall, with a drop of approximately 70 feet. A railway bridge spans the gorge above the waterfall, framing the scene wonderfully.
  • Middle Falls: The Middle Falls is located a bit downstream and features a 107-foot drop. It is the largest and arguably the most spectacular because of its sheer size and beautiful terraces creating a wonderful cascade.
  • Lower Falls: The Lower Falls are also impressive, with a drop of about 70 feet and approx. 280 feet in width. It is the last of the major falls before the river continues its journey through the gorge.

Hiking and Trails

    Letchworth State Park offers numerous hiking trails that cater to various skill levels. The trails provide opportunities for visitors to explore the park's diverse landscapes, including woodlands, meadows, and the river gorge. The park's trails are suitable for hiking, biking, and even horseback riding in designated areas.


    In addition to hiking, the park offers a range of recreational activities, including picnicking, camping, fishing (with the appropriate permits), wildlife viewing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing in the winter. There's also a swimming pool and a playground for families.

Visitor Centers

    Letchworth State Park has two visitor centers: the Letchworth State Park Main Visitor Center and the Humphrey Nature Center. These centers provide educational exhibits, information about the park's natural and cultural history, and guided programs and events.

Wildlife and Natural Beauty

    The park is home to diverse wildlife, including white-tailed deer, foxes, woodchucks, coyotes, bald eagles, and a variety of bird species. The changing seasons offer different opportunities for photography and wildlife observation.


    The park offers cabin, tent and RV camping facilities, making it possible for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area for an extended stay.

Seasonal Considerations

    Letchworth State Park is a year-round destination. While summer offers ideal weather for outdoor activities and waterfall viewing, the park takes on a different kind of beauty in the fall when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.

Letchworth State Park is not only a natural wonder but also a place where visitors can engage with the great outdoors through a wide range of activities. Its awe-inspiring landscapes and magnificent waterfalls make it a popular destination for nature lovers, hikers, photographers, and anyone seeking a serene and picturesque escape from the bustle of city life. Before visiting, it's advisable to check the park's official website for current information on hours of operation, trail conditions, and any other important updates.

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