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Ranger Review: Men’s Rebel Stretch Shell Jacket at Letchworth State Park
I’ve visited Letchworth State Park, known as the Grand Canyon of the East, in the winter and the summer, but this is the first time in autumn and the first time camping. Although this very large state park is starkly beautiful, the campground is not as nice as other New York state parks we have recently been to. We were in the 600 loop, the farthest from the camp office and closest to the Genesee River (although we could not see it from our site). The sites on the outside of the 600 loop were larger and more private; most of them were pie-shaped and had many trees that provided ample separation. The sites on the inside of the loop were much smaller and less private. The bathrooms were reasonable but dated. The showers did not look very inviting and although I did not use them, I overheard someone comment they were the worst showers they had ever experienced!
I highly recommend the free tour of the Mt. Morris Dam on the other side of the river from the campground. The tour is interesting and lasts approximately one hour. Offered at 2 pm in the offseason and twice per day during the summer.
It rained almost the entire time we were there, so we didn’t take any long hikes. We did a short hike to the Lower Falls. The footbridge was closed for repairs when we were there. The Middle Falls and Upper Falls can be seen with very short walks. There is also a restaurant in the park which was ok but not fantastic
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, we tested the Men’s Rebel Stretch Shell Jacket by Red Ledge. The price of this jacket is much less than many other available brands, so we were interested in checking it out and ordered one for my husband.
- Affordable price
- Workmanship appears to be solid and of good quality.
- Seams are all sealed. Feels comfortable, although the material has a slightly rubbery feel
- Water beads up very well
- The waist is adjustable.
- The hood adjustment is a bit awkward
- There are no zippered air vents at the armpits
- The front Rapid entry zip pockets are designed to protect your cell phone from rain, but it makes it slightly awkward for slipping your hands in.
- Ordered size large because the sleeve length on the XL would have been too long, but this did not leave a lot of room for layering.
Although it is well made and a good value for the price, it is not as functional as my husband would have liked.
I think I could have had a better experience here if I didn’t get the last spot available. We were literally camping in a field (no trees) right next to the playground… so you can imagine. There are spots near the water that looked much nicer. We went to see the sunset and it was a beautiful view. You can walk right up to Lake Ontario, which was really nice!
Site Details: We stayed on site#79, which was an electric site with a nice lake view. Our row of sites was separated from Lake Ontario by a large, open field. The sunset views over the lake each evening were spectacular. Our site actually had a gravel driveway and pad, as did several others, but I noticed that the majority of sites were grass only. There was a nice row of small shade trees and bushes that separated our row of sites from each other, but the general feel of the campground was more open field rather than forest. I really liked our site overall, but it was a bit of a walk to the bath house and water spigot.
Facilities/Overall Park: This is a very large and popular campground, and to my surprise it didn’t empty out much during the week. The setting is beautiful, the rangers were friendly, and the playgrounds are very nice. The camping loop roads were nicely paved and great for bike-riding. The lake was simply beautiful, and you can even see the Toronto skyline on a clear day. With that said, some of the facilities could use some TLC. There are several bath houses with laundry located throughout the CG, and some are a bit more updated than others. The closest bath house to our site was unfortunately the most dated and dirty of them. The showers were pretty gross, and the bathroom stalls were so-so, but there was constantly TP all over the floor, overflowing trash cans, and only one working soap dispenser(which was empty most of the time). We usually see camp hosts at state parks who take care of bathroom cleaning, but I didn’t notice any hosts or host sites this trip, which I thought was odd. I also noticed that the park in general was sparsely staffed, which seemed odd given the amount of campers.
Surrounding Area/Attractions: The convenient location of this campground can’t be beat. Fort Niagara is about 5 minutes away, the falls are 15-20 minutes away, and there are many farm stands and cute little towns nearby. Another neat town to visit is Lockport, about 30 minutes away(Lake Effect Ice Cream is a must!). This is a very rural area, so the fresh produce stands are plentiful during the summer season. Our favorite was Tom Tower; his peaches and corn were incredible. The fresh cookies from nearby Sanger Farm were delicious as well. Overall, this is a lovely park in a great location. While the facilities within the park were lacking, it is a beautiful and affordable base camp from which to explore all the nearby towns and attractions. We would camp here again!
We had a great experience here at Beaver Meadow. The terrain was hilly and fun to navigate, the store was well stocked, the fish in the pond were hungry and active. The golf cart rental was pretty steep compared to all other campgrounds.