Letchworth State Park, Castile

Nestled between the Allegany foothills and the Finger Lakes of New York State is one of the jewels of the New York State Parks system, Letchworth State Park, also known as “The Grand Canyon the of East”. Today this 14,000 plus acre park offers a wide variety of family activities; you can rent one of its 82 cabins or perhaps stay at one of its 270 campsites or experience the beautiful accommodations at the historic Glen Iris Inn. You may also swim at our Olympic size pool or perhaps hike on over 60 miles of trails. If adventure is what you seek, try hot air ballooning over one of 3 waterfalls, Upper Falls (70ft), Middle Falls ( 107 ft )or Lower Falls ( 70ft ), or go white water rafting though miles of scenic gorge with walls as high as 600ft on the Genesee River. All this with vistas and panoramic views that are unequaled anywhere in the eastern United States. A photographer’s heaven with locations such as Inspiration Point, Eagle Hill, Wolf Creek, Great Bend, Smokey Hollow, Hog’s Back and the Highbanks.Letchworth State Park is easily one of the premier parks in the Eastern United States. The scenery and recreational facilities are outstanding and it is a historical gold mine for the researcher, historian, or anyone seeking a connection with the past of the charming Genesee Valley.

The story of Letchworth State Park is a constant stream of Native Americans, pioneers, soldiers, engineers, famous men and women and workers, flowing together in a fascinating blend of tragedies, victories, hard work and delightful stories. Although some historical episodes stand out, all aspects promise to delight the interested individual who looks for the memories.

The park was the home of the famous “White Woman of the Genesee”, Mary Jemison and the great benefactor and social reformer William Pryor Letchworth. It was also the setting for the tragic Portage High Bridge, once the highest wooden bridge in the entire world, as well as the ill-fated Genesee Valley Canal whose engineering challenges were met with feats which dazzled the contemporary world. A Civil War camp and two pioneer “Ghost Towns” add to the enchantment of the memories of the park.

The visitor will be introduced to this heritage through the William Pryor Letchworth Museum with its displays, videos and interpretive staff. At the Council Grounds, where Mary Jemison is buried, stands the Seneca Council House and the Nancy Jemison Cabin. Many other historical sites in the park will help the visitor round out the story of Letchworth State Park. Whether one stays for a day or a week, they can learn and enjoy the historical episodes which have made Letchworth State Park what it is today.

The serious researcher and historian can also request arrangements to do research on Letchworth State Park and Genesee Valley history through the many historical holdings kept by the region at Letchworth State Park.

All in all, Letchworth State Park has much to offer for those who delight in history – just one more thing that will make any visit to Letchworth State Park rewarding and interesting.
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Letchworth State Park Reviews
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1,423 reviews
  • A really well maintained and visually spectacular state park. The gorge, the river and particularly the falls are all very easily viewed from numerous overlook stops on the road or from the many Cliff...  more »
  • Well maintained state park. You can drive through and stop at the lookout points, hike the trails, kayak the river, chill out camping (reservations needed), or attend one of the scheduled events (ther...  more »
  • The Letchworth state park is a gorge valley that is nestled into a thin slice of upstate New York. The valley has three prominent waterfalls called the upper middle and lower falls respectively that are spectacular. There are several visitor stations and a museum within the park. The camping facilities are very good and this is a common family camping ground. There is a camp store nearby that is fully stocked. Definitely recommended in the summer.
  • Gorgeous views! I’ve been going to Letchworth my whole life. Great place to explore. Great hiking trails. Wonderful place for picnics, picture, and fun. Definitely a place worth visiting.
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