Chasing Waterfalls in Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park in United States
September 08, 2019 Travel

This past summer, over the July long weekend in Canada, I went "camping" with my family at Letchworth State Park, which is in New York State. Okay, it wasn't really camping since we actually had a small cabin booked inside the park. I was just here for the long weekend, but my parents stayed for a week to chill and enjoy the nature, since you have to book those cabins for a week at a time. Apparently, Letchworth State Park is the "Grand Canyon of the East", at least that's what the campsite website says! The park is pretty big, and there are many hikes you can do, but there was no swimming unfortunately.

The first full day we were here, we decided to do a portion of the popular Gorge Trail hike, so that we could see the popular falls along the Genesee River. The hike itself isn't difficult at all, it's like a walk on a well-defined dirt trail, and there isn't too much of a steep incline or anything. The big falls along the Genesee River in this park are called the Lower Falls, Middle Falls, and Upper Falls (very creative names haha), and the views along the gorge are really nice! We hiked around 3 miles one way from our cabin to the Upper Falls, and then turned back because it was hot and we were tired. It took us around 3-4 hours round trip, with some stops for ice cream and to take tons of pictures!

The nice thing about big parks is that there isn't much light pollution and you can see the stars so clearly! I was able to use my camera to take some nice pictures of the Milky Way, which I definitely can't do in Toronto. It was my first time attempting to take pictures of the night sky, and I'm really happy with how it turned out! I had brought my tripod with me, and shot these pictures with my Fujifilm XT-20 and my Rokinon 12mm lens.

The following day, I had to leave to drive back home, so in the morning we briefly walked the opposite direction of the Gorge Trail that we had done. This portion of the trail is on higher ground so there are some lookout points with a beautiful view of the canyon and gorge down below!

I didn't get a chance to explore all of Letchworth State Park, but the parts I saw were really cool, and I can see why it's called the "Grand Canyon of the East" - the gorge is beautiful, and so are the waterfalls! I really recommend coming here if you have a chance, even from the Toronto, the drive is around 4 hours with the border crossing, which is not too bad. I bet it would be even more gorgeous here in the autumn, with the changing colours.