Letchworth State Park New York: A Well Kept Secret

shows two people standing on a rock bridge in Letchworth State Park New York

Tucked away in the city of Castille, New York lies Letchworth State Park. Known as The Grand Canyon of the East, this park lives up to its name. While everyone heads to Niagara Falls up north, this hidden gem boasts of its own beautiful waterfalls and far less crowds. Here the Genesee River flows over three large waterfalls with some drops being 600 feet. The falls are surrounded by thick green forests and fields of wildflowers.

shows a field of wildflowers on the side of a mountain
Wildflowers on the side of the mountain

Letchworth State Park is open all year round. If you like hiking, trek among 66 miles of hiking trails. You can also go horse back riding or biking. For the more adventurous you can go kayaking, white water rafting or soar above the gorges in a hot air balloon. There is also a swimming pool to cool off after a hike. In the summer you can also go camping at one of the many campsites.

shows one of the waterfalls and the side of a gorge at Letchworth State Park New York
shows the old train brdge high above the falls at Letchworth State Park New York

During Autumn, watch the leaves change brilliant colors. Visit the Humphrey Nature Center and learn about geology, wildlife, and ecology of the park. Hunting is also permitted. The website contains applications for hunting permits.

During the winter Letchworth State Park offers additional activities. Try snow tubing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or snowmobiling. To get your winter gear check out these hand picked sponsored links:

Accommodations at Letchworth State Park New York

Glen Iris Inn

Accommodations are available within the park at the Glen Iris Inn. Most are available between the months of April and November. However, cottages such as The Chalet House, The Stone Cottage, and Caroline’s Cottage are available all year.

Located in the Inn, Caroline’s Dining Room serves 3 meals per day. For dinner start with an appetizer of Applewood Smoked Trout or New York Cheese Curds and Green Onions over French fries. Explore entrees such as Shrimp Genesee or Fillet Mignon with black Hawaiian Sea Salt. Caroline’s also offers a picnic menu.

Maplewood Lodge

Maplewood Lodge sleeps 8 and is located near the New York State snowmobile trail system. The lodge has a furnished kitchen, living room with fireplace, two bathrooms, three bedrooms and a full dining room.

Parker’s Hideaway

Parker’s Hideaway was recently added and sleeps 6. It also connects to the NYS snowmobile trail system. The lodge has a working gas fireplace, kitchen, living room, breakfast nook, two bedrooms, and two baths.

I chose these sponsored links to make preparing for a hike a bit easier:

History of Letchworth State Park

shows steps carved into the rock by the Civilian Conservation Corps at Letchworth State Park New York

NY State governor signed Letchworh into a state park in 1907. The land was a gift from a retired businessman William Pryor Letchworth. The Seneca called the area Valley of the 3 Falls. Millions of years of geology can be witnessed in the exposed rock formations. The park documents the history of the Seneca with displays, a restored council house and the grave of Mary Jemison, a white woman adopted and assimilated into Seneca culture.

During the Great Depression The Civilian Conservation Corp made improvements to the park including creating steps going down the steep inclines. President Roosevelt created the CCC on March 31st, 1933 as part of the Emergency Conservation Work Act. This program provided jobs for over 3.5 million people between 1933 and 1942. 3000 of these people worked at Letchworth State Park. They created the trails, picnic areas, cabins and roads that we use today.

For additional information check out this link:

Wyoming County

8 thoughts on “Letchworth State Park New York: A Well Kept Secret

  1. New York State is a great spot for short trips for us – when the border is open. So great to know there is a place referred to as Grand Canyon of the East. Having visited Niagara Falls many times, I would love to see the waterfalls in Letchworth State Park. It must be fun to do snow tubing in the winter too. One year we will again head south of the border!

  2. The stone bridge in Letchworth State Park is so impressive! I want to photograph it, as also waterfalls. I have no idea about this place, but I add it to my bucket list when I visit New York. It’s definitely worth visiting. It’s a great guide to this hidden park, with so many useful tips!

  3. I never knew about the park, New York seemed like a crowded place to me, but your article showcased a different view. The park looks amazing, a nature lover like me can easily spend the whole day here. The bridges, flora, fauna, waterfall, it all makes a dream come true.

  4. Such a well put together write up about what looks like a lovely place! I am an avid outdoors woman and its such a pleasure to see other parts of the world exhibiting the work of the Creator! Thankyou for posting this!

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