Our family is down for riding bikes, walking, easy hikes, and just taking in the views. I wouldn’t say we are the “most” outdoorsy people around, but we definitely enjoy nature. In a time where it’s very easy to be distracted by electronic things, I’m happy that our kids are engaged and enjoy exploration around parks and trails. Western NY is full of some of the best parks in the country including, Letchworth State Park.
A short 30 minute ride from Rochester, NY, Letchworth State Park has been voted one of the best attractions in New York State. Sometimes referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East” for the magnificent scenery, it was also in the past named the “Best State Park in the US”.
Out Visit to Letchworth
I can’t recall having ever been to Letchworth Park before this visit. I wanted to take the kids especially so they could get a glimpse at their first major waterfalls. The Genesee River runs through the gorges that host three major waterfalls and a bunch of smaller ones as well. In addition there are 66 hiking trails, a massive pool, a nature center, you can go kayaking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, ride a hot air ballon and in the winter skiing, and snowmobiling. You can even camp at the park in a cabin, RV or tent. The Glen Iris Inn is a restaurant and Inn located on property in the park. Not really what I would consider to be kid friendly, but a nice place for a date.
All about the water
We didn’t intend to do all of the wonderful things they have at the park, we just wanted to hike an easy trail and see the waterfalls. Luck would have it, we chose an extra hot day, so the mist from the waterfalls was a welcome reward when we got close enough.
We entered the park at the south entrance. Just driving through the 17 miles park can take about 20-30 minutes. If you stay on the main park road, it is easy to park and get out at the various overlooks, which is what we did. Getting in and out of the car also allowed for water breaks and AC.
After stopping at a few of the overlooks to check out the views, we made it to Middle Falls. Parking is easy near the Glen Iris Inn and a short walk down to the falls. It’s a pretty cool view to be able to take in how massive and powerful the Middle Falls are. Measuring in at 107 feet, it is the tallest of the falls in the park.
You can also park near Upper Falls and take a bit of a walk to get a closer look. We didn’t have a stroller and on the return trip up the stairs the three year old gave up on walking. So the husband ended up with an extra 30 lbs weight to carry (aka Camryn). Nonetheless, since it was our last stop for the day, it was a nice way to end things.
Throughout the park, bathrooms were easy to find. We brought snacks from home so we didn’t visit the concession stands.
Overall, it was a nice way to spend a few hours away from home and screens.