Letchworth State Park Travel Guide

  • Marker sign describes Portage Bridge history
    Marker sign describes Portage Bridge...
    by mtncorg
  • Reconstructed Seneca Council House
    Reconstructed Seneca Council House
    by mtncorg
  • Gorge Trail also starts here going atop West Rim
    Gorge Trail also starts here going atop...
    by mtncorg

Letchworth State Park Things to Do

  • Take a walk up river to see Falls and...

    The park has good camping facilities and is an ideal place for outdoor, active holidays with numerous trails.As we were there for only a short time we spent our first afternoon following the river to the Lower Falls. The walk to the Council Grounds and Mary Jemison's Memorial is no distance, very close to the Glen Iris Inn. The trail to the Upper...

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  • A remarkable young woman

    This sign post was my first introduction to the story of Mary Jemison. It told very little about her other than that the flats on which I was looking down had been her home for 50 years and she had been known as the white woman of the Genesee; a statue of her stood in "the Council Grounds near Glen Iris". I thought no more about it but the...

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  • Letchworth Gorge Trail

    This trail takes you past Letchworth's three waterfalls, around the Big Bend, and downstream from there. It's a long hike, but you don't have to follow all of it. Just pick out the parts you really want to see.

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  • The North End

    The Genesee River winds its way northward toward Lake Ontario. At the northern end of the gorge, the walls begin to recede, and Mount Morris Dam looms ahead. This is the northern end of the park.

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  • Lower Falls Trail

    This is a side trip off of the main trail, which takes you all the way down into the depths of the gorge. Down here, one gets a different perspective. The climb in and out is fairly steep, but not too long. It's well worth it, if you have an hour to spare.

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  • Wolf Creek

    Another nice little side trip is to Wolf Creek. This is a pleasant place with a creek and picnic grounds. From here, one can see the top of Wolf Creek Falls. A better view can be seen from one of the nearby overlooks.

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  • The Museum

    Near the Visitors Center is a small museum. It's only about the size of a modest house, but has an impressive collection of historical memorabilia from the area. This is an excellent way to learn about this park, and the man who set this land aside for future generations.

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  • MARY JEMISON’S GRAVE

    Set on the hill above the Glen Iris Hotel is a Seneca Indian council House and the grave of Mary Jemison. She had been abducted by Seneca Indians as a child and raised as a Seneca with the name of Dehweganus. She lived out her life as a Seneca. Her grave was moved here after her burial ground was threatened with development and her grandchildren...

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  • PORTAGE BRIDGE

    Standing high above the Genesee River just upstream of the Upper Falls is the Potage Bridge. The present trestle replaced an earlier wooden structure which when built in 1852 was the World’s tallest wooden structure. The current bridge is actively used by the Norfolk & Southern Railroad.

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  • UPPER FALLS

    Roughly a half mile further upstream from the Middle Falls, the 70 foot high horseshoe-shaped Upper Falls starts out the cascading fun along the Genesee River. Trails lead to nice vantage points of the falls and the towering rail bridge high above.

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  • MIDDLE FALLS

    This is the main waterfall of the Park. Conveniently located directly opposite the Glen Iris Hotel, trails take you right to the rim of the falls letting you watch as waters leap out over the brink, some 107 feet above the next stop. There is a large parking lot from which you can set out to both the Middle and Upper Falls as well as table where...

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  • INSPIRATION POINT

    Being the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’, Letchworth has its own Inspiration Point, just like the real Grand Canyon. The view from here reminds me more of the view from Inspiration Point in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. You do have a superb view from here over the highlights of the Park - Middle and Upper Falls as well as the high rail trestle...

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  • BIG BEND

    The canyon deepens south from the Lower Falls and narrows. Overlooks allow the car-bound to get out and gaze at the vertical wall of Big Bend, a horseshoe turn of the Genesee River.

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  • LOWER FALLS

    Proceeding south along Park Road from Letchworth Dam, Lower falls is the first of the three main falls found along the Genesee River. There is every evidence that the Lower Falls area is a big center of visitor activity before Labor Day in early September - large swimming pool, campgrounds, restaurant, gift shop. A trail leads to an overlook of the...

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  • MOUNT MORRIS DAM

    The State Park extends for about ten miles north from the Portage Gorge - waterfall center for the Park. A trail extends above the east rim of the canyon - composing of a section of the 562 mile long Finger Lake Trail - while on the west rim, motorists roll along the Park Road. Here and there, trails take off from the road, but he main highlight of...

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  • A magic park

    This park was a special find, and at the hight of the summer season, we seemed to be almost the only ones who had found it! It combined a mini- royal gorge, grand canyon, with a private mini Niagara falls- not one falls, but 3! Make sure to take the full "tour" and see all three falls, as well as to stop at Inspiration Point, the dam, and even to...

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  • Hot Air Balloon Rides

    Letchworth offers Hot Air Balloon rides!!! The ride is actually very intimate, taking only about 4-6 people at a time, Your up for about an hour, and they take you over all the beautiful acres of the park. They offer this only from about May- September. If your there, you should defintely check it out.

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  • Scenic Paths

    When you get to the Park, Make sure you ask for a Trail Map. The best trails for beginners is trail number 1. It is the most scenic and takes you right around the gorge. Best to start at the upper falls, walk the wooded bridge and work your way down to the white water rafting! The best time of the year to go is in the fall. With the leaves...

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  • Gentle Grand Canyon of the East

    Walk/hike the many trails and paths through the park. It is not hard to find great views of the Genesee River and the Canyon it has carved into the earth as you roam about the park..

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  • Named(2004), one of the Top 100...

    Letchworth State Park, renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests. The historic, completely restored Glen Iris Inn offers overnight...

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  • Railroad trestle - Letchworth State park

    A view of the railroad trestle which spans the Genesee gorge close to the Upper Falls. The bridge is no longer in use and you can cross it. The views from up there are quite amazing. The picture in the intro is taken from the top of the railroad trestle.

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  • Letchworth Park scenery

    I took this picture close to the Upper Falls. I like it because the vegetation and the mist remind me of sceneries one might find in some South East Asian countries.

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  • Letchworth Park Falls

    The highest waterfall over which the Genesee river flows is over 100 feet high. The waterfall is located in the Portage Canyon, at the southern end of the park.

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  • Letchworth State Park view

    A view of the Genesee gorge. Genesee is an Indian name meaning "Great and Beautiful River". The river is mild-mannered an is almost one city block wide when it enters the park at its south end (info from www.gorp.away.com).

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Letchworth State Park Local Customs

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    by mtncorg Written Oct 1, 2008

    Middle Falls is pretty impressive in the day, but powerful spotlights increase the drama of the roaring nights at night. One more reason to check into the Glen Iris for at least one overnight.

    Lights!  Camera!  Action! Does the water still go if the lights are out? Ghostly streams drop in darkness of the night Waters rolling over the rim of the falls Onlooker viewing the veils of Middle Falls
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Water Sports
    • National/State Park

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Letchworth State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Keep a sharp eye out for the wildlife. I nearly stepped on this snake here. And, as in all parks, do NOT feed, touch, or chase the animals. After all, this is their home. Let the wild things stay wild.

    Don't tread on me!
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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