Finger Lakes Road Trip, Part 2 – Letchworth State Park, NY
August 20, 2017
Letchworth State Park
This park is called The Grand Canyons of the east. And it does somewhat look like a smaller, simplified version of Grand Canyons. The Genesee River flows through the gorge and creates 3 major beautiful waterfalls. There are many hiking trails in the park which are very scenic and enjoyable. There are also many other activities in and around the park including horseback riding, kayaking, guided walks and tours and balloon rides over the waterfalls. Park entrance fee is $10 per car per day.
It took us about 30 minutes from Botavia to reach Letchworth Park. Park itself is quite big and there are several lookouts to enjoy the view. There are 3 waterfalls in the park: The Lower Falls, The Middle Falls and The Upper Falls. I found The Lower Falls to be nothing exciting and I would easily skip visiting the Lower Falls without any regret.
The Middle Falls are, however, stunning. I did not see any signs pointing to Middle Falls; we made an unplanned stop by Glenn Iris Inn as we decided to have a quick bite. So if you drive to see the falls and you see Glen Iris Inn, then you reached Middle Falls. Middle Falls have a very nice path along the river and a look out right next to the falls. It is an amazing spot to admire the view and take beautiful pictures.
The Upper Falls are within walking distance from Middle Falls. I remember that 8 years ago people were able to climb the hill and walk across the rail road over the gorge. The view was breathtaking. However, it was impossible to do that nowadays as the path is fenced and closed. Also there was construction going on and look out to Upper Falls was closed which was quite disappointing as I really wanted to see this part of the Falls.
As I mentioned earlier, there is Glen Iris Inn located next to Middle Falls. This Inn is quit old and has that unique antique character which I personally love. I loved exploring gift shop and read the story about the park, falls and the Inn. You can have a meal at Inn’s restaurant; I do not know if there is any dress code for dinner, but during lunch you can go as casual as you want. The restaurant has kids menu available for children under 10 years old, however, my 11 year old son was served kids menu no problem. Restaurant staff is very friendly and helpful; the place is clean, beautiful and very welcoming. Food was very well prepared, although it took long time to be served, it was really worth it.
There are also camp sites at the park; you can stay in your tent or rent a cabin close to the falls. I camped at the park 8 years ago and absolutely loved it.
We returned to Botavia in the evening and decided to visit Applebee restaurant for dinner. I was a bit skeptical about the restaurant as I tried it before in Canada and was not impressed with the menu and the quality of food. However, the place had very good reviews on tripadvisor and online menu choices look appealing and it was so close to the hotel, we decided to try it. I was pleasantly surprised with variety of food items available on the menu; there was a lot of healthy choices as well as traditional burger/fries selection. Kids menu is quite satisfactory and will make any picky eater happy. So if you are in the area, consider visiting the place.
Read first part of my 6 day trip to Finger lakes here
Continue reading about my next 3 day stop during my Finger lakes trip – camping and visiting Watkin’s Glen State Park