Letchworth State Park, renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests. Hikers can choose among 66 miles of hiking trails. Trails are also available for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning. Experiencing Letchworth by hot air balloon is unforgettable, as seen in this video clip.
Winter activities include snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. The historic, completely restored Glen Iris Inn offers overnight accommodations and is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Banquet and catering services are available for your special events.
In 2015, Letchworth won the USA TODAY Readers' Choice Award for Best State Park in the United States! Letchworth came out on top of the 19 other state parks nominated for the contest, chosen from more than 6,000 parks across the nation.
For professional and organizational retreats, educational and training needs can be met at the Conference Center. Located in a secluded area at the southwest portion of Letchworth State Park, the facility consists of a spacious country lodge room, bedrooms, bathrooms with showers and a kitchen. This unique historic structure is designed to accommodate the needs of low impact professional and organizational groups for education, training and retreat purposes. It can be rented for day and/or overnight use. It is the perfect place for your next business retreat. This facility is not designed for overnight family camping, although, some family type rentals may be permitted. Call the Park Office to be sure if this or another site will best suit your needs. For a family type vacation rental experience the Maplewood Lodge can be rented. It is located in the middle of Letchworth State Park at the entrance to the Highbanks Camping Area. For winter use, it is ideal for snowmobilers as it connects to the NYS snowmobile trail system. The facility sleeps up to eight people and consists of a furnished kitchen, living room with a working fireplace, TV and VCR, a formal dining room and a full size bath with a shower on the first floor. There are two bedrooms and a powder room upstairs and one small bedroom on the first floor. Linens are not provided.
Campers can take advantage of tent and trailer campsites as well as winterized cabins. Group camping facilities are also available.
Household pets only; caged or on a leash not more than 6 feet. Proof of rabies inoculation. Not allowed in bathing areas, buildings, cabins or camping loops 300, 400, 500, 600 and 800. For campers, if your site allows pets, there is a two-pet maximum.
Cabins: Available from April - mid-November. Some available year round.
*Please note within the camping season time frame, some loops/sites may open later or close earlier. For more details, please call the park or visit http://www.newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com
Room/Location Rentals: The Genesee Conference Center, Maplewood Lodge, Chalet and Stone House are available year-round. The Pinewood Lodge is available 3/25 - 11/27.
Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.
Your key to all season enjoyment of state parks is our season's pass. For $65, the Empire Passport provides you unlimited day use vehicle entry into most of our parks. Apply on-line or call your favorite park for more information.
*Out of state resident fee for camping, per night: $5
Firewood source maps show a 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. For more information see firewood restrictions.
Highlights of Letchworth State Park:
What will you see? Plan your visit today!
Look and listen for these birds at our Park:
Everyone is a Steward: Be a Letchworth State Park Hero!
For more information, please read our Trail Tips!
Ask a Naturalist!
Q: Does Letchworth State Park have any significance for birds?
A: Letchworth has been designated as a Bird Conservation Area. More than twenty species of wood warblers regularly nest in Letchworth State Park every year and twenty-five species have nested in the southern seven square miles of the park in a single year, perhaps the best concentration in the world.
Q: Does Letchworth State Park have any significance for trees?
A: Fifty species of trees have been located in a 25-acre virgin forest within the Portage Canyon below Inspiration Point, perhaps the most diverse forest of this size at this latitude in the entire world.
Did You Know?
- DID YOU KNOW? Black squirrels (like the ones seen at Letchworth) are gray squirrels that have an extra pigment gene called melanin, which causes their black coloration.
- DID YOU KNOW? Great Blue Herons nest in a community high up in the trees called a rookery.
- DID YOU KNOW? The no-mow zones throughout the middle of the park are not only a reduction in equipment and gas use, but also a conservation effort to promote vegetation growth and habitat.
The Letchworth BCA is located within Letchworth State Park. The 17 mile long park lies along the Genesee River. The river has carved a gorge though the middle of the park that is as deep as 550 feet in some places earning it the nickname, "Grand Canyon of the East". Evaluation of the BCA criteria for designation has shown that most of the Park qualifies as a BCA. Letchworth State Park is a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area.
Open water below the Mt. Morris dam may attract in excess of 2,000 Canada Geese in winter. There are several Great Blue Heron rookeries in the BCA with a total of over 100 nests. Of 75 species of Neotropical migratory songbirds, 64 are found in the BCA; of these 46 are confirmed breeders (plus 3 rare breeders). The BCA supports suites of birds associated with forest, rivers and shrub habitats. All of the forest, grassland and shrub/scrub species for which we have high regional responsibility are found here including breeding Sharp-shinned Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush, Cerulean Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Killdeer, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, American Woodcock, Willow Flycatcher, Brown Thrasher, Blue-winged warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee and Field Sparrow. More than 30 species of warblers have been recorded in the park with 25 confirmed breeders. There are an estimated 534 pairs of Hooded Warblers and 110 pairs of Mourning Warbler. This is one of the few sites in upstate New York with breeding Yellow-breasted Chats. Winter roosts of 15-20 Turkey Vultures have been confirmed. As many as 200 Turkey Vultures may be observed on a single day in the summer. State listed birds confirmed as breeders in the park include threatened Bald Eagle and Special Concern Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered hawk, Red-headed Woodpecker, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Vesper Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow. Species that exceeded the IBA species at risk threshold are American Woodcock, Willow Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat and Rusty Blackbird.
Key BCA Criteria:
- Waterfowl concentration site
- Wading bird concentration site
- Migratory concentration site
- Diverse species concentration site
- Individual species concentration site
- Species at risk site
Download a copy of the BCA map.
2016 Turkey Hunting Information & Applications:
Join us for the 15th annual Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally: Six massed flights from Archery Field, near the Castile Gate. Approximate launch times, Fri: 6:30pm, Sat & Sun: 6:00am and 6:30pm, Mon: 6:00am.
Event is Weather dependent. Spectators welcome.
Contact the park office w/ any questions 585-493-3600
(2 hours, 1 mile). Geology, history and nature lore are the subjects of a walk into the changing path of the Lower Falls. Lots of steps and muddy spots.
(1 hour, 1/4 mile). Follow short, paved, handicap-accessible walkways. Comprehensive introduction to Letchworth State Park as viewed from Inspiration Point which covers geology, glacial and human history plus plant and animal lore.
(2 hours,1 mile). A general history and nature walk. We will visit the historical memorial trees that have been planted on the Glen Iris Estate, and also view two State Champions!
Meet Wednesdays at 10:00am (4 hours, 2 miles). Letchworth State Park has over fifty miles of boundary line that traverses many scenic hills and dales. Ten miles in five sessions will be explored. Long pants, sturdy footwear (for mud, prickers, poison ivy and stream crossings) and packed lunch or snacks are all recommended. Car-pooling is required.