Located in eastern New York state, about 45 miles southwest of Rochester, Letchworth State Park is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Straddling the Genesee River for 17 miles the park encompasses more than 14,000 acres of deep river canyon and dense woodlands. The area was purchased in 1859 by William Pryor Letchworth, who recognized its natural and scenic value. He then granted it to the state in 1906 to be preserved as a public park. The park’s main attraction is the three dramatic waterfalls on the Genesee, which pour over escarpments up to 100 feet high. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the park also offers year-round outdoor recreation, from hiking, fishing and birdwatching to a variety of snow play.
The large campground in Letchworth State Park makes a good basecamp for exploring the area’s many sights and recreation opportunities. It contains 270 tent, trailer and RV sites in eight separate loops. All sites have electrical hookups, and there are water spigots, restrooms with showers, recycling stations and a dump station available. Additional accommodations in the park include camping cabins and the Glen Iris Inn. Visitors also have access to several picnic areas and playgrounds, a swimming pool, sports fields, trout pond, a museum, and nature center. Campsite rates range from $24–$26/night, plus additional fees; cabin and lodge rates vary; reservations recommended.
The best way to see many of the park’s sights is to get out and walk, hike or bike on any of the 66 miles of multiuse trails that wind through the park, and vary in distance and difficulty. The waterfalls are best viewed along the 7-mile Gorge Trail. One of the more unique and exciting ways to see the park is by hot air balloon. Other activities in the park include paddling on the river, nature programs, guided walks, and interpretive exhibits. The park also offers some of the best birdwatching in the state. In winter, many of the park’s trails become snowshoe and cross-country ski routes, and a few are even open to snowmobiles, so no matter what time of year you visit, there’s a way to play outdoors.
What a beautiful park. Go river rafting! Only drag is the mixed rv and tent sites.
I went to college right near Letchworth State Park so I spent many wonderful weekends there! There is a reason why they call it the Grand Canyon of the East. Not only can you check out the beautiful waterfalls, but there are also many awesome trails, rivers, and caves to check out. When I would camp, we would rent a camp site with our tent but, you could camp with your RV or even rent a cabin. Ive gone every month of the year, but these pictures were from my birthday in January. Letchworth is one of the best parks in New York state and a definite must see!
Letchworth is a huge park with many beautiful views of the river gorge. There’s plenty of hiking trails. We even managed to find a trail with a tiny waterfall and an area for the kids to splash around in the water. We were hoping that the huge pool would be open that is outside the far end of the park but it was closed due to Covid. So, we were pretty bummed over that. Instead we visited an overlook of the dam near by.
So Letchworth State Park is beautiful. It's also tremendous, 18 miles long covering the east and west side of the Geneseo River. There is over 100 miles of trails intersecting the park. The campground itself is made up of loops with only electrical hookups , no water or sewer connections , just water spiquets positioned throughout the loop and 1common bathroom in each loop. There is no wifi in any of the camping areas so if you are dependant on it for any reason this is not the place for you. Only at certain points in the park will you get a signal
My son and I have a new favorite campground. We absolutely fell in love with this park. I find it odd that even though I grew up only an hour away, we never camped there. Big mistake! There are many trails to hike on and beautiful views of the gorge and river. You have to drive to many of the places but it's worth it. There are many souvenir and snack stands as well as a pool (again, you have to drive to them). The camp store is small but well stocked with a laundry attached. Some loops allow pets and others don't. If you want to bring your pet, please check to make sure you reserve a pet-friendly loop. Unfortunately for us, it rained the entire time we were there so we never got to walk the trails or use the pool. Keep an eye out for other activities. There are balloon rides, craft shows, etc. that happen throughout the summer. With so much to do in the park, you don't really need to leave but nearby is the Arcade and Attica Railroad. It's a nice little ride through the countryside. There is also a small dam that you can visit (we missed out this last time). I highly recommend visiting.
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.
What an impressive, pristine, and maintained park and campground. A good trail system, plenty of overlooks, good facilities, restaurants and shops. It’s one of the better parks I’ve visited. Campground is standard but elevated by its context
Highly recommend going to the middle falls at night to see them lit up (when driving watch out for bears, deer, and raccoons). Many opportunities to hike as long or as little as you want, or just drive through and stop at the many viewpoints. The park has several spots to grab a bite to eat, and just outside the park is small town convenient for whatever you may need.
Wonderful park. The canyon was incredible, and lots of look out spots. The roads, and trails, and lookout points are all well constructed, and flow well. The scenery is remarkable, and there is a lot of informative boards, dedicated benches that provide a lot of interesting history and information. 10/10 would recommend.
We stayed in a cute cabin with running water, a stove, and a heater for cold nights! Outside we had a picnic table and a campfire pit. The park itself has amazing hiking with awesome views. Highly recommend!