Have you ever heard of Letchworth State Park? Neither had we. When my friend mentioned it being a great daytrip from Rochester, I was excited, but wasn’t expecting anything crazy. After all, if the park were so great, SURELY I would have heard of it before. Upon arrival, gigantic waterfalls and the massive gorges that surrounded them took my breath away. I couldn’t believe this incredible park had been right under my nose this whole time. With each new excursion or trail, my appreciation for the incredible beauty of nature grew by leaps and bounds.
Called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park encompasses over 14,000 acres of land along the Genesee River. It is located about 30 miles southwest of Rochester, NY and 60 miles southeast of Buffalo, NY. With over 60 miles of trails, three massive waterfalls, museums, and 600-foot cliffs, there is a lot to see and do.
The park is a chameleon to the changing seasons, and during the colder months, Letchworth welcomes a bevy of winter warriors looking to go snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or tubing. In the summer, the park draws include white-water rafting, kayaking and hot air ballooning (yes, really). However, there is nothing quite like fall in western New York, and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the colorful foliage than at Letchworth. Sweeping red, orange and yellow leaves highlight the deep cliffs and offer an exposed view of the vista of trees that engulf the park. It’s magical.