Letchworth State Park Things to Do
Renowned as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park among New York State’s finest gems. There are many things to do here.
Near the Visitors’ Center is a small museum. It’s about the size of a modest house, but has an impressive collection of historical memorabilia from the area. It’s an excellent way to learn about the park and the man who set this land aside for future generations.
You can also visit the grave of Mary Jemison. Mary was abducted during the French and Indian War, sold to the Seneca tribe when she was a teenager, and was raised with the name of Dehweganus. She married into the tribe. Her grave was moved to Letchworth after her burial ground was threatened with development and William Letchworth allowed her grandchildren to bring her remains to the park.
See Nature’s Handiwork
Hikers can choose from 66 miles of hiking trails. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs and surrounded by lush forests. When you get to the park, make sure you ask for a trail map. The best trail for beginners is trail number one. It is the most scenic and takes you right around the gorge.
Letchworth has its own Inspiration Point, just like the real Grand Canyon. You have a superb view of the highlights of the park from here.
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.
This is the main waterfall of the park. Trails take you right to the rim of the falls, letting you watch as waters leap out over the brink.
A trail leads to an overlook of the canyon with eroded hoodoos jutting out of the river just above the small falls. Overlooks allow the car-bound to get out and gaze at the vertical wall of Big Bend, a horseshoe turn of the Genesee River.
In addition to Inspiration Point and the three waterfalls, there is the Lower Falls Trail, Wolf Creek, and the Mount Morris Dam at the northern end of the park.
Adventure & Fun
Letchworth also offers performing arts programs, guided walks and tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting and kayaking, and seasonal hot balloon rides. The ride is actually very intimate, taking only four to six people at a time. Trails are also available for horseback riding and biking. Winter activities include ice skating, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Letchworth State Park in New York State.