Letchworth State Park

IMG_5550Google said it would take 1 hour and 55 minutes to drive to Letchworth from my house.  I knew we’d need a stretch break, so I figured 2 hours and 15 minutes, tops.  Google didn’t know about the detour on Route 39 causing our trip to be 2 hours and 40 minutes.  It all worked out, since friends we intended to meet were running a tad late.  And I can say with all sincerity, it was worth the drive.  I can’t believe I’ve never spent time in this park!

The description at www.letchworthpark.com says this:

Letchworth State Park, with some of the most magnificent scenery in the United States, comprises 14,350 acres along the Genesee River. Within the park, the river roars over three major waterfalls, one of which is 107 feet high. The cliffs, created by the river’s path over thousands of years, approach 600 feet.

It was a gray, misty day. Some might call it “dreary.” Not I. It was a good day. Just warm-cool enough that a rain jacket over a teeshirt was comfortable while hiking. And honestly, gray days often make for better photos.  (And I took over 200.  Yikes!)


The park was one the property of William Pryor Letchworth who lived in the very lovely “Glen Iris” estate house – now an inn and restaurant.


Mr. Letchworth began the work of restoring the area around his estate from the ravages of civilization (timbering mostly). Upon his death, the property was given to the people of New York State. Over the years it has grown into a park of over 14,000 acres that draws over a million visitors a year.

There is plenty of evidence of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corp throughout the park: rock walls and staircases.


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I took plenty of shots of the falls themselves, but surprise surprise, I found plenty of “stuff” that caught my eye.

The Tuliptrees were in bloom… and many were dropping their blossoms.


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As we looked over the rock walls toward the falls we saw all kinds of interesting flowers. Above left is the native Columbine. On the right is a flower I can’t remember ever seeing before. I don’t know what it is! Do you?

I took several photos of the plants on the edges of the cliffs with the waterfalls as a backdrop:

Oxeye Daises and Grass



Tucked into the rock walls or popping out of the layers of slate that make up the cliff were plants that were new to me:

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I don’t know the species names of either of these. Do you?

I would also love to go back to learn what blossom will emerge from this lovely foliage:


I could go on and on. Instead, enjoy this slideshow of my Flickr Letchworth set:

14 thoughts on “Letchworth State Park

  1. This place has been on my list to visit for years. Let’s see…… if it took you 2-1/2 hours – I’d probably be in for 3-1/2 or 4. Uh….. maybe next year. We’ll see. Thanks for your lovely pictures !!

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed Letchworth State Park. My great great grandfather was Letchworth Pryor Davis and I am so proud of the legacy he left. To have lived there always amazes me with the beauty to wake up and see that everyday. Your pictures were beautiful. That place always brings tears to my eyes knowing my heritage. It’s a shame about the Glen Iris Inn, though. Prior to 9/11, you could just go upstairs and see all the rooms, including his bedroom. Now, for security reasons, they don’t allow that anymore unless you are staying in one of the rooms. It’s a shame. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

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