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Letchworth State Park, New York in 1 Day

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  • Woodstream Campsite
  • Upper Falls
  • Middle Falls
  • Inspiration Point
  • Lower Falls
  • Daryl’s Pizzeria

We drove from Cleveland (4 hours) and had booked a campsite at Woodstream. It’s about 10 minutes from the park. There are campsites available in the park but this was a last-minute trip and they didn’t have any availability. Worked out perfect for what we needed.

Set up camp and got to the park around 2. We entered through the Portageville entrance, which is the southernmost one and closest to the good stuff. It’s $10 per car to get in. We found a parking spot at the first available lot, which is just past the train bridge. The Gorge Trail is the best trail in the park and starts here. It’s 7 miles one-way, so you either have to be prepared for a 14 miler or have 2 cars. We took the trail past Upper Falls, Lower Falls, Inspiration Point, and Lower Falls then turned around and went back. That’s probably somewhere between 2 and 3 miles one-way and takes maybe 1-2 hours each way, depending on your pace and time for pictures.

Upper and Middle Falls are very close; Upper Falls is the one below the train bridge and Middle Falls is the biggest of the 3. Maybe a 5-minute walk between them. Inspiration Point is a bit past and above Middle Falls, and is a great spot looking down the gorge with the falls in view. Walking to Lower Falls wasn’t really worth it, but it wasn’t like it took forever to get there and there was a nice playground for the kids. The stone bridge (the only place in the park where you can cross from one side of the gorge to the other) was closed because they said they had a lot of rain and there was debris on that side (whatever). They should probably have a sign at the top of the side trail leading there before people take the time to go down (127 steps and a short trail to find out it’s closed – not too many happy people). There’s not much of a view anyways, so it was kind of a waste and Lower is the least-impressive of the 3.

There is a road that goes through the park and there are parking lots at each of the falls, plus at Inspiration Point, so you could drive to each one, get out and spend maybe 5-10 minutes at each if you’re in a hurry. They have lots of picnic tables, charcoal grills, and green space so there were lots of groups and families having dinner. The Glen Iris Inn is close to Middle Falls and has food, too.

We drove to Perry (15 mins) for dinner at Daryl’s pizzeria, and the chicken cordon bleu pizza was awesome.

We planned on seeing more of the lookouts along the gorge the following day, but we felt like we got to see the highlights and didn’t think the pictures we saw of the other lookouts were too impressive. The $10 fee we’d have to pay again was just enough to make the decision easy, so we had a leisurely morning and got on the road back home around 11.

Letchworth State Park is a very pretty place and the waterfalls are really nice. It’s only a little over an hour from the Finger Lakes in New York, so they can be combined in one trip. Hard to say if it’s worth it on its own, but it was good for a short one-night road trip (especially compared with what else is within a 4-hour radius from Ohio. Not much).

Traveled in August 2019

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