Grand Canyon of the East

20131018_113748An 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. 20131017_162514 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.20131017_15042720131017_161920 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 1941.20131018_11523520131018_111251 Hiking today, we climbed probably 1500 of these steps.  20131018_115905Slate 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?  20131017_151423We 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.20131017_152634

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.20131018_142641  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.

sigh

11 thoughts on “Grand Canyon of the East

  1. Fabulous travelogue of NY state parks. Next time we head west we will take our time through New York State. Guess there are more than highways and pit stops! We are happy that your trip went well considering the bends in the plans – hope you can return to Vermont – we’ll be here with a big welcome to show you our beautiful state.

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  2. Really enjoyed following your trip….these pics are breathtaking…brings back memories of our time in New England…how blessed you are to be able to do this!

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  3. I’m sorry that your road trip is ending, I’ve really enjoyed your posts about the places you’ve been. There are so many beautiful places in the country, but it’s still hard to believe that a place like this park is a bit of a secret to most of us, at least to me.

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  4. Your pictures are gorgeous. Where are you crossing into Canada? By the Niagara Falls? I had no idea there were such gorgeous canyons in New York. I hope to see them some day in person. Your pictures have definitely tempted me into traveling there.
    Have a safe trip home. We’ve missed you.

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    • new York was a big surprise to us. Camped in four different state parks – each very different from the other. Looking forward to coming back here again. Not looking forward to all the work awaiting me at home, or the two dentist appointments I have on Tuesday.

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