William Pryor Letchworth gifted 1,000 acres to New York State in 1907. These acres represent some of the most picturesque in the US. Coined the "Grand Canyon of the East"
, todays Letchworth State Park
features a deep gorge cut by the Genesee River, three waterfalls, and miles of hiking trails on 14,350 acres. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) back in the 1930's built stone walls, stairs and bridges giving people access to each of the Genesee River waterfalls and are still in use today. The original Glen Iris Inn, where Mr. Letchworth hosted US presidents and other influential dignitaries, is now a restaurant and popular inn for guests of the park. The park is about 35 miles south of Rochester, New York.
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Upper Falls is a horseshoe shapped waterfall. Think of it as a mini version of Niagara's Horseshoe Falls as it's only 70 feet in height. You can see the footings of the railroad trestle (see below) in the upper right of this photo.
Middle Falls is the highest of the three Genesee River falls at 107 feet. This was taken from Inspiration Point which is fully handicap accessible.
Lower Falls is a 70 foot tall waterfall and flows all year round.
50th anniversary rededication plaque in front of the Glen Iris Inn overlooking Middle Falls.
For more on the history of the park, visit the Letchworth Park History website
Tourists getting photographed with the Middle Falls behind them in the overlook you saw in the last picture.
A train slowly goes over the Train Trestle which spans 800 feet and 234 feet high above the Upper Falls. I bet the engineers of the train had a breathtaking view of the gorge.
: The History of High Bridge
This stone footbridge was built in 1935 below the Lower Falls giving views of those falls and the gorge area. The previous photo of the Lower Falls was taken from here.
The bridge spans 46 feet and is 35 feet above the Genesee River. It is the only pedestrian crossing of the river in Letchworth State Park.
Bring waterproof footwear with you if you hike down from the Parade Grounds
. The platform above, stairs to get to here and bridge are muddy and extremely slippery.
Overlooking the gorge from Trail No. 7. That's Middle Falls below. This gives you the scale of the gorge as the Genesee River has carved it over millennia.
This is the less developed side of the park which is opposite the Glen Iris Inn. Lots of trails lead to and along the gorge.
Careful there! There's no railings!
Fall color explosion can be seen on the hills surrounding the gorge. The fall colors took their time in 2007 and, in what seemed like overnight, burst out in late October. This picture was taken on October 20.
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