Scenic USA - New York

Genesee River Gorge

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Genesee River Gorge - Letchworth State Park, New York

Photos by Ben Prepelka

     The year 2006 marked the centennial celebration of Buffalo businessman William Letchworth's gift to the people of New York State, a gift of land that surrounds the Genesee River Gorge. One of New York’s most popular recreational areas, Letchworth State Park follows the 17 mile long gorge sliced out by New York's section of the Genesee River. Known as the Grand Canyon of the East, three major waterfalls Middle Falls of the Genesee - Letchworth State Park, NY only heighten the appeal of Portage Canyon, a 600 foot deep gorge. The winding canyon rim drive, graced with stacked stone walls, offers plenty of viewpoints and dramatic overlooks. Picnic sites, pavilions, and waterfall access pathways are nestled among a forest of evergreens, maples, beech and oaks. The paved rim drive represents a major portion of 14,000 acre park. Small hiking adventures follow 60 miles of trails and offer a variety of close up viewpoints of this spectacular canyon. Side canyons waterfalls and a handful of Genesee tributaries are found all along this 17 mile long gorge.
     Accommodations in the park range from the historic Glen Iris Inn (the original Letchworth home) to 82 rustic cabins and 270 campsites. Trails are also available for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiles and cross-country skiing. During spring and summer rainy periods, the roaring Genesee provides some of the best whitewater experiences in the area.

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