An appropriate moniker for Letchworth State Park in New York. The canyon itself is 650 deep with slate/sandstone walls. The Genesee River flows through the bottom – kind of a frosty, minty green color when we arrived Thursday, and a swirling brown madness all day today after big rains last night. The change in color was amazing, although you can’t really pick it up in the photos.
As a Michigan flatlander, it’s been an impressive trip through the State Parks of New York – such diversity we just don’t see, although Michigan has its own spectacular shoreline beauty, and northern woodsy remoteness. Fall colors here are definitely waning, although some of the yellow birches are defiantly hanging tough. Letchworth SP is huge – probably 20 miles from end to end, along the canyon. Many of the trees are identified with their planting date back to the 1860s. The park is beautifully maintained and clean. Most of the NY parks have a carry in/carry out policy, which means there are no trash barrels to be found. Amazingly enough, the policy seems to work here, as litter is scarce. We found ourselves carrying Jezzy’s little poop-loaded bags for miles! Many of the trails, bridges, stairways and picnic areas were built by 3000 CCC corps workers each year between 1933 and 1941. Hiking today, we climbed probably 1500 of these steps. Slate walls, some with mortar, and some stacked up in that particular New England-y kind of way line many of the paths, leading to the waterfalls. Did I mention enormous waterfalls? We hiked from the lower falls past the huge middle falls to the upper falls today. A railway bridge, built in 1875 towers over the upper falls.
On and on – this park has it all. Stone picnic tables scattered around areas with log shelters, complete with fireplaces. Bubbling creeks falling over rocks to join the Genesee at the bottom of the canyon. We hiked only three of the two dozen or so trails here, and just got a taste of the variety of terrain. But, we are hooked.
Locations like this make me wish I were a better, more patient photographer. Or, at least one with better editing skills. But, if you get a chance….visit this park. Take a hike.
We’re making the long haul home tomorrow – a very long day for us of about 450 miles. Hoping the Canadian border folks keep their mitts off Jezzy’s food.
Roadtrip. Has. Ended.