"Grand Canyon of the East" -- Letchworth State Park

     Only about a two hour drive from Niagara Falls, Letchworth State Park in New York is a spot of natural beauty that was well worth the trip. For us, this was a stop in between visiting the Adirondacks and heading to Niagara. Since we camped at a New York state campground the previous night, we had a pass that was good for all New York state parks the day we went to Letchworth, so we didn't have to pay the entrance fee for the park.
First Impressions
     Upon entering Letchworth, we were a bit underwhelmed. Soon enough, we noticed that we just entered the park on the "boring" side. We began arriving at the lovely overlooks. Letchworth is kind of a big ol' canyon-- you peer down to see the Genesee River flowing through the park. There were numerous large birds soaring through the canyon. You can see this in action in my YouTube video.
     We moved on to the decent-sized waterfalls that Letchworth holds. The lower, middle, and upper falls all have good viewing areas with multiple perspectives possible. In one area, you can walk down some steps to a beautiful viewing bridge, with a lovely view of the waterfall on one side, and an inner-canyon view from the other side. The upper falls has a large railroad bridge high above it, which is pretty cool.

Into the Canyon
     One thing kept occurring to us as we spent the day in the park-- how can you get down to the river? We asked a man at the visitor center if there are any paths leading to the inside of the canyon. It turned out that there are a couple, but they are meant for fishing purposes. We were able to go down there, but the guy was sure to tell us that we can get in a lot of trouble for trying to swim in the river. Down at the bottom, we just wandered around a bit and enjoyed some scenery. Unfortunately, the paths leading to the bottom were not located in the most scenic parts of the canyon. Regardless, we got some good views. There were a lot of cute, tiny frogs. They might have been my favorite part!
Concluding the Day
     After returning to the rim, we found a nice picnic area to cook up some dinner. It was probably the most beautiful dinner spot that we had on the trip.
     Exploring most of the park only took us about a half a day, which was fine since we had such a busy schedule. Letchworth was definitely worth driving a little bit out of the way to visit. Don't forget that there is much more to New York state than NYC!


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