Welcome to my travel guide on the beautiful Letchworth State Park in New York State, United States. My name is Carly and I am originally from Buffalo, New York. I have been fascinated with travel for as long as I can remember.
Seeing the world and sharing my experiences is a huge passion of mine and it’s what makes me feel alive! I moved to New York City in my early 20s and as much as I adore NYC, I realized the 9-5 lifestyle was not for me.
I eventually decided to leave the United States to make the rest of the world my home and since then I have lived in Vietnam, England and Australia. I have also been lucky to travel to countless other countries.
Exploring my own Backyard of Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is roughly an hour away from my hometown of Buffalo. Since the pandemic, I have been keeping my adventures closer to home. So I spent this summer exploring my own backyard. Letchworth is a special part of New York State and I’m grateful that it’s close to home.
I visited Letchworth this year for a day of adventure. Being so close to home, it’s an easy day trip. However, the park has so much to offer and it could be turned into a long weekend for anyone visiting from farther away.
We arrived at the park in the early afternoon and stayed until roughly 4pm. It was a perfect day of being in nature, taking in the gorgeous views and marveling at the waterfalls of Letchworth State Park – a truly beautiful spot!
My favorite area in Letchworth was the Upper Falls. There is a lookout point from a distance which is worth visiting – and the closer you get, the better! The views of the Upper Falls are breathtaking in every direction and there are beautiful walking trails to take in the surrounding areas.
5 Best Things To Do at Letchworth State Park
1. Visit all three of the Waterfalls in the Park
All three of the main waterfalls within Letchworth have their own beauty and are worth exploring. These waterfalls are named the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. The state park straddles the banks of the Genesee River along a canyon where the waterfalls majestically flow.
2. Walk one of the many Trails of Letchworth
There are over 20 walking trails in Letchworth State Park and they range from easy to intermediate. Two of the most popular trails are the Gorge Trail and Highbanks Trail. Then there is the hidden gem called the Letchworth Trail which offers visitors 20+ miles of trail on the eastern side.
3. Have Lunch at the Famous Glen Iris Inn
The Glen Iris Inn was the former home of William P. Letchworth who acquired the property after looking for his new country retreat where he could spend time with family and friends. The main drawcard for Mr. Letchworth was the view that the house offered toward waterfalls.
4. Spend a Night Camping out in the Park
The natural beauty of Letchworth is undeniable but what is even more amazing are the camping options within the park. All of the campsites, cabins, lodges and cottages can be booked in advance and many come equipped with toilets, showers, hookups for RVs and much more!
5. Wander Aimlessly around Letchworth State Park
Letchworth is one of those places where you don’t need much of a plan. You can go with the flow, wander around, get lost a little bit and enjoy every minute of being in nature. Take on a few of the walking trails, hunt out the three main waterfalls and see what hidden gems you find.
My favorite memory from my trip to Letchworth was just being in nature. Spending a day out of the city surrounded by mother nature’s beauty was very memorable. It was also a family outing as I made the trip with my dad. So it was really nice having the quality time in such a peaceful place.
Accommodation Options in Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park has its own amazing camping grounds. The camping areas are named alphabetically and certain ones are pet-friendly which is great. You can reserve a cabin up to nine months in advance and during the high season at Letchworth camping grounds fill up quickly!
Most of the cabins on-site house up to six people, have two bedrooms, come equipped with an electricity hookup and have parking. Another great option for accommodation at Letchworth State Park is the gorgeous Glen Iris Inn which is the former residence of William Pryor Letchworth.
Glen Iris Inn overlooks the stunning Middle Falls and has a total of 16 guestrooms. Rooms have either one double room or two twin beds, a full private bathroom, dressing table, telephone service and air-conditioning.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
Letchworth State Park is a carry-in, carry out park. Garbage cans became a problem a few years ago as they would get overfilled and would spill over. Animals had a habit of overrunning them and it became a problem.
With the carry-in, carry out policy people take whatever trash they have when they leave the park and this has kept the grounds clean, while keeping expenses down. This practice also makes visitors aware of the waste they generate. Visitors are allowed to bring their pets to the park too.
Domestic pets must have all current vaccinations and must be kept on a leash with a maximum of six feet. However, there are certain cabins and camping loops where pets are not allowed. Important to keep that in mind.
Canoeing and kayaking are allowed when you secure a permit. More information can be found at the park visitor center. Fishing and hunting are also allowed by permit and during regulated hunting seasons.
Lastly, there is an official hot air balloon company called Balloons Over Letchworth which provides rides at dawn and dusk, weather permitting. What a fun experience! If heights aren’t really your thing, there is also an official rafting company at Letchworth called Adventure Calls Outfitters.
That’s it from me. Thanks for reading and enjoy your time at Letchworth!