Letchworth State Park is one of the largest parks in New York, offering plenty of things to do for visitors.
Located above the high canyons of the Genesee River on the eastern side of Western New York, this versatile park is accessible from any part of the state.
Is Letchworth State Park open all year?
Letchworth State Park is open all year round. You can determine the best time to visit by your desired experience and the activities you want to participate in.
For instance, the winter months offer opportunities for activities like snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Keep reading if you have a visit to Letchworth State Park in your vacation plans. I’ll discuss what you need to know before visiting and the summer and winter activities you can add to your itinerary.
What you need to know before visiting Letchworth State Park
Planning a trip to Letchworth State Park is relatively easy, but there are a few things you need to know before visiting. Let’s take a look so you know what to expect to make your trip easier.
How much time is needed at Letchworth State Park?
The time a visitor spends at this park depends on the experience you want and the time you have.
While one day is enough for you to drive on the main road and see the most popular and exciting points, I recommend you allocate more time to the park.
For instance, hikers will need a couple of days to exhaust the over 60 trails in this park.
How to get around the Letchworth State Park
There are six entrances to Letchworth State Park, but you have to choose wisely since you can’t cross the Genesee River by car once inside the park.
Here is a brief discussion of the three main entrances to the park.
1. Parade Grounds Entrance
This entrance is located on the east side of the park near Portageville. It remains closed during winter, but you can use it to access most eastern cabins the rest of the year.
This is the best entrance to experience the falls and gorge views. Visitors are not charged to use the entrance.
2. Castile, NY
The Castile entrance is on the southernmost side of the park and is open primarily during winter. You will pay an entrance fee of $10 if entering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The payment is either in cash or credit card.
Some of the entrance’s best nearby attractions include Glen Iris Inn, Wolf Creek, the main visitor center, and the Autism Nature Trail.
3. Mount Morris Dam Entrance
This entrance is most visitors’ favorite, and you can access it from New York State via Route 408.
It’s the main entrance to the Mount Morris Dam, where you enjoy the dam’s gorgeous overlook and learn about the area’s history at the visitor’s center.
Are there accommodations at Letchworth State Park?
Letchworth State Park has many accommodation options. Most are cabins, hotels, and lodges, which are perfect for those who adore the great outdoors.
The best part about accommodations in Letchworth State Park is they offer something unique at different times of the year, so you can be sure to have amazing experiences.
Summer activities at Letchworth State Park
Summer comes with a window of opportunity to explore Letchworth State Park. There are many activities to enjoy in this park and make lasting memories whether you visit the park for a few hours or days.
Here is a top list of summer activities at Letchworth State Park.
1. Grave of Mary Jemison
If you love history, the Grave of Mary Jemison is a must-visit place in Letchworth State Park. Mary was born on a ship en route to the US in 1743. She was later taken captive and adopted by an American family in New York.
Later on, she married a Delamere warrior and bore a daughter. They moved to Genesee, where she built a cottage for her daughter. That’s where her remains are buried.
Her grave and statue are major historical attractions in Letchworth State Park. Visiting this place will add some historical insights that will make your vacation memorable.
The sun at Letchworth State Park is scorching during the summer. The best way to cool yourself down is by swimming at the Highbanks Recreation Area.
The pool is open from 11 a.m to 5 p.m on weekdays. Lifeguards are on duty, so safety should not be a worry. Nevertheless, the place is crowded on weekends, so plan to arrive early.
Letchworth State Park has awesome pavilions with picnic tables and amazing fireplaces. Bring packed lunch and drinks to enjoy a perfect summer hangout. Remember to carry fuel for the fireplaces if you intend to cook since they aren’t provided.
Winter activities at Letchworth State Park
I mentioned that you could visit Letchworth State Park any time of the year. While winter may not seem like the best time to head to the park, I disagree! This park is a true winter paradise.
Here is a list of winter activities to explore.
1. Seeing the waterfalls
Letchworth State Park boasts a beautiful landscape with easily accessible viewpoints. You don’t have to hike to see them. Park your car at any viewpoint and enjoy the spectacular waterfall views a few steps away.
If you visit the park on a milder winter day, you’ll be lucky to see the best waterfall views in Letchworth State Park.
Alternatively, I recommend you use the Inspiration Point, a significant viewpoint in Letchworth since it offers a beautiful view of the upper and middle waterfalls.
2. Glen Iris Inn’s Ice Volcano
The Ice Volcano near the Glen Iris Inn is on full display during winter, thanks to the cold temperatures. When it’s freezing, this volcano rises to 50 feet, forming an eye-catching view that attracts massive gatherings, especially on weekends.
If you want to access the fountain, use the Castile entrance. Visitors are not allowed to get close to the ice formation for safety.
3. Snow tubing
There is a fantastic snow tubing hill in Letchworth State Park near the Humphrey Nature Center. This is the perfect place for kids and kids at heart to enjoy endless winter fun.
Rentals are unavailable, so bring your inflatable tube. Once done with snow tubing, head to the warm-up space at the lodge and beat the cold around a cozy fire.
Try snowshoeing to see some of the park’s less-visited corners. You can easily navigate the park and cover more solitary places if you have proper snowshoeing shoes.
You must bring your snowshoeing gear since the park has no rentals.
Letchworth State Park is open year-round, with many activities to participate in. Whether you visit during summer or winter, you will always enjoy your trip and make lasting memories!