Monday, August 20, 2018

Letchworth State Park - Middle and Upper Falls

Genesee River Gorge,
Wyoming Co.,
New York

Hiking Trails:
Gorge Trail: Yellow blaze

Total Time: 1:30 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.5 Miles

Pros: Amazing Waterfall and Gorge Scenery
Cons: Lots of people and area developed
Level of Difficulty: Easy

I had travelled on a camping trip with my family to Letchworth State Park. A yearly tradition in the summer, we spend a week in the wilderness, sleeping in a tent and having a barbecue and bonfire every night. This year, our trip was to Letchworth State Park, in the Western edge of the Finger Lakes Region of New York. Letchworth has a nice campground and many ameties as a park, including great scenery, a nature center, museum, pool, and recreational facilities. The park has many miles of hiking trails around a large gorge formed by the Genesee River, with some spectacular canyon walls and raging waterfalls.

There are three main waterfalls along the Genesee River in the gorge, known as the Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Lower Falls. The Middle Falls is the most impressive, with a large drop of approximately 107 feet. In my opinion this is the most spectacular waterfall in New York State outside Niagara Falls. There had been much rain in the previous weeks, which added to the spectacular nature of this waterfall.

We parked at the parking area by the Glen Iris Inn, and went to the overlook above the falls. We then took the Gorge Trail behind Glen Iris Inn, down the steps, along the side of the gorge and the falls. We continued along the edge of the falls, past the drop, and then to the Upper Falls. The Upper Falls are less impressive, through feature a very unique horseshoe with a large arc of dropping water. We took the steps up along the Gorge Trail at the Upper Falls until they ended where the trail was closed for the rail bridge construction. We went back down the steps, then walked through the field. I then walked back up and around and back to the car.

Map of the Route

Middle Falls from the Upper Promenade behind Glen Iris Inn

View of the Falls from the Gorge Trail View

View Behind the Gorge Trails at the Drop

View Approaching the Upper Falls, with the new Trail Bridge Above

Upper Falls on the Genesee River Gorge

Upper Falls and the Rail Bridge

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