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aerial photograph of Letchworth State Park

Expansive Letchworth State Park, often referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of the East,’ is located within New York’s Wyoming County and Livingston County about 40 miles south of Rochester. Vast wilderness, scenic cliffs and 3 majestic waterfalls (the Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and the Lower Falls) lie along the Genesee River.

Once voted #1 State Park in America by USA Today, this 14,427 acre park features camping, cabins, whitewater rafting, scenic picnic areas, hot air balloon rides, and more than 60 miles of trails. Guests to this picturesque area enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, whitewater kayaking, bird watching, and so much more.

Activities

Letchworth State Park is a fun place to visit for a day or a week! The park’s day use areas include a Visitor Center, Gift Shop, Nature Center with year round educational programs, the William Pryor Letchworth Museum, picnic areas, playgrounds and the historic Glen Iris Inn. This privately owned Inn was the former home of William Pryor Letchworth. Today it features a restaurant and overnight accommodations.

This New York state park also offers winter activities such as cross-country skiing, tubing, and snowmobiling.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Letchworth State Park:

Boating at Letchworth State Park

The swift current along the Genesee River makes it ideal for Class I and II whitewater rafting and kayaking. The park’s concessionaire, Adventure Calls Outfitters, offers canoeing, kayaking, and rafting excursions along the park’s 3 scenic waterfalls.

park bench overlooking Letchworth State Park

Swimming at Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park has a swimming pool for guests visiting during the summer months. Harvey Pool, located at the north end of the park, is open from late June through Labor Day each year.

Due to unsafe conditions, swimming is not allowed in the Genesee River.

Hiking at Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park features 66 miles of trails that wind through the surrounding wilderness of lush forest, shrubby grasslands, waterfalls, and limestone cliffs as high as 600 feet. While most of the trail system is dedicated to hikers there are a few trails that allow horseback riding and mountain biking.

Here are a couple of the trails at Letchworth State Park:

  • Mary Jemison Trail – This easy 2.3 mile loop begins near the William Pryor Letchworth Museum and winds through the surrounding woodlands.
  • The Gorge Trail – Moderate 7 mile trail that follows the western edge of the Genesee River as it passes by the Middle and Lower Falls.
  • The Autism Nature Trail – This easy mile long trail, also referred to as A.N.T., is a safe accessible area with 8 sensory stations.

the river at Letchworth State Park bending around land

Fishing at Letchworth State Park

With the appropriate angling gear and a New York fishing license, you may catch a variety of trout and salmon during your visit to Letchworth State Park. You may fish from shore along the Genesee River or the small trout pond inside the park.

Birding at Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park is a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. A variety of bird species may be seen here within the thick forest, shrubs, patches of hemlock, grasslands, and along the Genesee River and falls.

For a closer look be sure to bring binoculars. You may observe a Bald Eagle, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Black-capped Chickadee, Pine Warbler, Cooper’s Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Wood Thrush, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Barred Owl, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Meadowlark, American Woodcock, Willow Flycatcher, Brown Thrasher, Blue-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, or a Red-headed Woodpecker.

Nature and Wildlife at Letchworth State Park

Lush forest surrounds towering cliffs, waterfalls, and the Genesee River inside serene Letchworth State Park. This riparian area provides a protective habitat for many species, including deer, eagles, hawks, rabbits, beavers, raccoons, river otters, frogs, toads, and salamanders.

Pets

Pets are allowed at Letchworth State Park but must be supervised and leashed. Pets are not allowed inside park buildings (except for select pet friendly cabins) or in the beach area. Guests should be prepared to show proof of rabies inoculation.

Lower Falls waterfall at Letchworth State Park

Camping

Spend a few peaceful nights inside picturesque Letchworth State Park. The park’s overnight accommodations include 270 electric campsites, group camping areas, rustic cabins, 2 lodges, and the privately owned Glen Iris Inn.

Scattered throughout the park, each campsite and cabin has a picnic table and grill and is within walking distance to bathhouses with restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities.

All of the park’s cabins have a small stove, oven, refrigerator, (select cabins also have microwaves), twin sized bunks, table and chairs. The larger cabins also have a bathroom and shower, and an additional full sized bed. Pets are allowed in the C Cabin area only.

Available May through November, Maplewood Lodge and Parker’s Hideaway, offers guests some of the comforts of home. Maplewood Lodge has 3 bedrooms (sleeps up to 8), bathroom with shower, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, and a living room area with a fireplace and TV with dvd player.

Parker’s Hideaway, located along the north end of the park, was built during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Recently renovated, it now features new furniture and an updated kitchen in addition to its 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and cozy breakfast nook. This historic structure sleeps 6 and also has air conditioning and 2 TVs. No linens are provided for either Parker’s Hideaway or Maplewood Lodge.

For professional organizations, the historic Conference Center building also provides overnight accommodations. This charming building features bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and a large rustic lodge room.

Park Location

Letchworth State Park
1 Letchworth State Park
Castile, NY 14427
Phone: 585.493.3600

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Letchworth State Park: