If you’re thrilled by scenic photo opportunities, the Archery Field Overlook at Letchworth State Park is beloved for its magnificent scenic views.
You can enjoy wildlife and bird-watching here.
Keep reading for activities at this overlook to plan your stop-off at this location on your fun-filled day with your family at Letchworth State Park.
Activities at the Archery Field
Letchworth State Park is a designated Bird Conservation Area (BCA), and the Archery Field Overlook offers a perfect location for viewing many types of birds.
The lush forest that covers the environs is home to various bird species such as the black-billed cuckoo, Baltimore oriole, the eastern wood pewee, the eastern meadowlark, northern goshawk, sharp-shinned hawk, blue-winged warbler, red-headed woodpecker, northern harrier, and the willow flycatcher.
Photographers and visitors who have previously been to the field recommend going early in the morning for the best bird views.
2. Wildlife watching
Do you prefer spotting other types of animals? The Archery Field at Letchworth State Park is home to many animal inhabitants.
Visitors who routinely tour the field enjoy the sights of animals such as chipmunks and squirrels. Additionally, this place is home to some reptiles and mammals, such as red foxes, woodchucks, beavers, white-tailed deer, coyotes, rabbits, and rattlesnakes.
3. Winter activities
The Archery Field is bustling a winter location with activities such as sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snow tubing.
Additionally, you will come across smaller crowds during winter, which is quite a bonus.
Remember to bring your winter activity gear since there are no rentals available!
4. Scenic views at the Archery Field Overlook
The scenic views at Archery Field Overlook are not to be missed.
Here, you get a spectacular view of the Great Bend, a stunning horseshoe-shaped bend in the canyon of the Genesee River. You can see hawks and vultures below you as you look down into the steep, expansive gorge below.
Letchworth State Park has been popularly known as the Grand Canyon of the East due to its stunning landscapes that can be viewed from the field. The Genesee River creates canyon walls over 600 feet above the river level.
The Archery Field Overlook is also one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of sunset at the park.
If you’re lucky, you may capture views of people water rafting, kayaking, and canoeing in the river.
5. See the fall foliage
The canyon is especially gorgeous during autumn due to the changing color of the leaves.
As the summer ends and the country starts to experience longer and cool nights, many tourists get into gear for a jaunt to Letchworth State Park. Why? Because it’s the fall foliage season!
You won’t want to miss the explosion of colors as trees in the canyon and across the hills change from lush green to a mix of oranges, reds, and golds.
6. Watch the annual Balloon Festival
The huge Archery Field, practically empty most of the year, is the featured location of the annual Memorial Day Weekend Red, White, and Blue Balloon Festival at Letchworth State Park.
If you happen to be in the area near Memorial Day Weekend, make sure to add Letchworth and the Archery Field to your list of places to visit. The Balloon Festival is a spectacular way to experience the park and its beauty in a new way.
Reasons why you should put the Archery Field Overlook on your bucket list
Still not totally convinced you need to stop here while at Letchworth? Here’s why you should prioritize seeing the Archery Field Overlook at least once in your lifetime!
1. Minimum effort is required to access the views
The Archery Field Overlook at Letchworth State Park has a paved road to several turnoffs for breathtaking gorge views.
The scenic views of one of the most iconic views in Letchworth and the entire northeast, the Great Bend, can be captured by simply pulling your car into the roadside pull-off area.
2. You can tack it on as one of many stops on a day trip to Letchworth
If you’ve only got a short time to experience all that Letchworth has to offer, a quick stop at the Archery Field for a view of the scenic overlook, or a short hike around the field won’t take up much of your precious time.
It’s right on the way as you enter or exit from the Castile Entrance, so you might as well take 10 minutes to half an hour to stop and see what all the fuss is about.
2. You get to experience that coveted national park feeling
Letchworth State Park can be ranked in the same group as most national parks due to its magnificent size and exceptional beauty, and the Archery Field Overlook offers one of the best views in the park.
The field is home to various species of animals and birds. It also experiences sufficient rainfall, ensuring that scenic green nature is protected all year round.
As a result, this becomes a perfect hideout for anyone who wants to spend time in the beauty and serenity of nature.
What to pack for your trip to Letchworth
Here are some things that you should not miss in your bag when spending a day in Letchworth State Park.
- Waterproof shoes: During the rainy fall and spring seasons, the trails in Letchworth can become extremely muddy.
- Camera lens cloth: If photography is part of your adventure, don’t forget to bring a lens cloth for your camera. The falls areas kick up some degree of mist, which will linger on your camera lens as you try to catch a glimpse of the waterfalls. You will need a cloth to wipe the mist off your camera.
- Snacks and drinks: Once you step into Letchworth State Park, you may be carried away by the breathtaking views and activities. Carry some snacks and drinks to keep up your energy levels.
- Park map: Before you head out, download the NYS Parks Explorer App. This will come in handy if you want to know where you are in Letchworth State Park. Maps are also handed out (old-fashioned paper versions!) when you pay your entrance fees at the gate.