Tuesday through Thursday, June 10 – June 12, 2008
We have not had any access to the Internet so here is a catch up blog for our days at Letchworth State Park in NY
Arrived here Tuesday, late afternoon. We left Uncle Richie (Rich Bryer) at Guilford Lake. The drive, about 285 miles, was an uneventful but pretty drive through farming country in Ohio, Pa., and NY. We also left behind the high 90-degree temperatures. A cold front and rainstorm cleared out the high temperatures. Tonight should be in the mid 50’s and tomorrow the mid 70’s.
Letchworth is a beautiful 14,350-acre park on the Genesee River about 35 miles south of Rochester, NY. The Genesee Gorge with walls approaching 600 feet renders some dramatic water falls, the tallest being 107 feet. The park has been nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the east. Over the next couple of days we will explore the park and do some hiking on the many trails. There are approximately 34 miles of trail. We will also visit the Glen Iris Inn, which is the centerpiece of the park. Mr. Letchworth purchased the building and surrounding 1000 acres in 1859 and deeded the estate to the state in 1907. The Inn interior has been restored and the exterior repainted in the colors of the 1890’s. Today overnight accommodations are available as well as fine dining in Caroline’s Dining Room.
Wednesday we hiked several areas, including the lower falls and the middle falls.
This park is really gorgeous and we have taken advantage of it. The temperature today was mid 80’s and should drop to the mid 60’s tonight.
Our first hike was along the rim and then out to the Wolf Creek Falls and a view of the gorge.
Kathy on Trail to Wolf Creek Falls. If you look to her left you can see the falls.
The Wolf Creek enters the Genesee River with a small fall.
River Gorge and the Gennesse River. The river flows to Rochester and into Lake Ontario.
This is a canyon or as they call it a gorge, but believe me it is no Grand Canyon. The precipitous walls with the river winding below, and the plunge and spray of dramatic waterfalls and the surrounding lush forest all contribute to make the park one of the most notable examples of waterfall and gorge scenery in the eastern US. It is truly gorge-ous.
Next, we hiked to the lower falls. There is a footbridge across the Genesee River and the lower falls can be viewed from this point. It is 127 steps down and the same 127 steps back up. The views were worth every step.
This is a view of the Lower Falls.
Lower Falls as viewed from the footbridge across the Genesee River.
We visited some other sites in the park including a museum and the Glen Iris Inn and Restaurant. From the Glen Iris Inn you can view the Middle Falls. It is the most dramatic of the falls in the park with a 107-foot drop. One thing to note is that tomorrow we will return to the Glen Iris Inn for lunch. They have pot roast on the menu and I will sample it to see if it will take place of the one I missed at the Spread Eagle Tavern.
Middle Falls with its 107-foot drop. This fall is a very dramatic waterfall.
A rainbow can be seen in the mist of Middle Falls at Letchworth State Park.
The last stop for the day was Inspiration Point an awe-inspiring view. Inspiration Point is a very short walk from the parking area and offers a view of the Upper and Middle Falls.
The view from Inspiration Point. These are the Middle and Upper Falls.
Thursday was another great day. No rain, low about 60 in the am, and it warmed up to high 70’s and no humidity! We decided to locate the Upper Falls and then return to the Middle Falls area.
The hike was short and easy and we found out that the Upper Falls is only about ½ mile from the Middle Falls.
This is a view of the Upper Falls from the trail leading to the falls.
Along the path a small side stream entered the falls area with a footbridge over the side stream.
This is the footbridge over the side stream.
This is a close up of the Upper Falls. It is very impressive but the drop is not as far as the Middle Falls.
We then drove to the area of the Middle Falls and the Glen Iris Inn, which is located on a bluff above the Middle Falls. The area was so quiet except for the sound of the falls with a gentle breeze blowing. So we decided to set up our chairs on a grassy knoll overlooking the upstream side of the Middle Falls.
This is the view from our chairs as we sat and read our books and listened to the roar of the Middle Falls.
Here Kathy is reading and relaxing on the grassy knoll above the Middle Falls.
At lunchtime we hiked to the top of the bluff and the Glen Iris Inn for “the pot roast”. As I mentioned yesterday we discovered that they served pot roast and I have wanted some since my disappointment at the Spread Eagle Tavern.
This is the Glen Iris Inn. This is the front porch, which overlooks the Middle Falls.
The Inn is a fine dining restaurant and we were seated in the garden room. Large plate glass windows overlooked beds of summer flowers. The service was excellent and the food was very good. However, I still think the pot roast at the Spread Eagle is better.
This is a view of the Middle Falls from the front yard of the Glen Iris Inn.
It is hard to believe that in the late 1800’s one man owned this inn and 1,000 acres, which included all three major waterfalls. Mr. Letchworth was quite an individual with a long history of community involvement. We are so lucky that he donated this property to the state to be preserved as a park for generations to come.
Tomorrow we travel to the vicinity of Utica, NY, to get reacquainted with 4 of my cousins and my Uncle. I have not seen them for over 35 years. We had lost touch and last year through the Internet I was able to locate them. This is one of the main reasons for the trip into NY. The drive tomorrow is only 160 miles.