SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Letchworth State Park

By Lauren I.

SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Letchworth State Park

Picture the Genesee River cutting through dramatic cliffs and rolling green hills, throw in some scenic waterfalls, and you’ve got Letchworth State Park. This lush canyon, located on the western edge of the Finger Lakes region, has inspired awe for hundreds of years—it’s even earned the nickname, “Grand Canyon of the East.” A trip to Letchworth affords ample opportunity for hiking, photography, camping, horseback riding, and a lot more. Here are the best things to do in and around the park! 

1. Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

One of the most magnificent places in the eastern United States, Letchworth State Park is a sight to behold all year-round. With tumbling cliffs, some as high as 600 feet, 66 miles of hiking trails, and opportunity for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing, the activities are endless. 

2. Gorge Trail

Follow the popular Gorge Trail, which traces the Genesee throughout seven miles of the park. The hiking trail passes picturesque waterfalls and vistas like Inspiration Point, as well as several picnic areas.

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3. Inspiration Point

Pause for a moment to get a bird’s eye view of the Genesee meandering through the gorge, complete with a hilly landscape on either side, a cascading waterfall, and a towering bridge above it all.

4. Camping

Letchworth State Park has over 250 campsites throughout the park with access to bathrooms, showers, firewood, and recreation like a swimming pool and volleyball courts. These sites are open from May to October. For the winter explorers, check out the cabin rentals. Visit the Reserve America website for more information about booking your charming rustic cabin. 

5. William Pryor Letchworth Museum, Castile, NY

Wealthy businessman William Pryor Letchworth fell in love with the land in the 19th century and bought it to establish an estate. Later in life, he donated a thousand acres of the land to the state for use as a natural preserve. The William Pryor Letchworth Museum contains a detailed history of the park as well as Native American artifacts from the industrialist’s personal collection.

6. Hole in the Wall, Perry, NY

The mouthwatering menu at Hole in the Wall will surely sate your appetite after some time spent working hard outdoors. This restaurant serves everything from home-style chicken and biscuits to an impressive beef on weck. Whatever you feel like, you’ll find something hearty and delicious at Hole in the Wall. 

7. Amber Lantern Brewing, Warsaw, NY

Now your belly is full and you’re ready to really unwind. Head to Amber Lantern Brewing in Warsaw, New York, for a delicious cold one. The extensive beer list features everything from “A Porter Has No Name,” described as a “velvety and rich,” “chocolate and coffee” porter, to the Saint Bernard, described as a “winter warmer,” “deeply malty and warming” made with orange peel and cinnamon. Delicious! 

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