Portageville is right at the entrance to the state park. As long as you are there, you might as well take the 10mile drive through the park ($5 entrance fee) and see the nicely landscaped area and the view of the Genesee River and take a look at the Mt. Morris Dam.
There are open fields to lay out a blanket; or trails where you can take a quiet walk. The park has handicap accessible restrooms and a snack bar at each end of the Park Road. Often there are events to enjoy in the park like arts and crafts or re-enactments of battles or 10k foot races. (see the website below for seasonal activities).
Portageville ranks in the "below average" category for crime risk. It is safer than an average town in New York State. There are no sex offenders registered to the area.
To feel safe in Portageville, you should remember to lock your car doors and don't roam into unfamiliar places alone and late at night. You should behave as you would at home.
We were there in the day time and it was pleasant enough. I have no personal experience on what the town is like at night, but the area is pretty rural so I cannot imagine there can be much of a problem if you act properly.
Imagine being able to take pictures of the Genesee River gorge and the Mt. Morris Dam from over the top of them. The beauty of the fall foliage as it passes beneath you. The view of the Letchworth waterfalls from a completely new angle.
If this sounds good to you, then just write a check for $200 and visit the website below to register for your balloon ride. Make this the high point of your vacation.
The balloon captain has been doing this for customers since 1993. They are reknowned in the area and have been featured on local and western NY radio and television. Safety and a great experience is what they offer.
to get there:
6773 Halvorsen Road
from the Rochester area.... Take route I-390 south to exit 7 (Mt. Morris), go south on route 408 to Nunda, go west on route 436, through Portageville, then go north onto route 19A and the park entrance is on your right. Enter the park and make your first right.