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Letchworth State Park – The Best Time of the Year to Visit

A trip to Upstate New York isn’t complete without visiting Letchworth State Park. The park has numerous hiking trails, stunning waterfalls, picturesque winding roads, and brilliant fall foliage.

However, you might wonder, what time is best for you to visit the park?

The best time to visit Letchworth State Park is during summer or fall. Although the park is accessible year-round, its highest peak is during autumn. The park offers many activities to enrich your experience during these two seasons.

Keep reading to learn more about visiting Letchworth State Park during autumn and summer!

Visiting Letchworth State Park in the Autumn

One of the best times to visit Letchworth State Park is during the fall. Trees peak during this time of the year, and the park becomes an oasis of colors, including pinks, browns, yellows, oranges, and reds.

What else is there to do in the park during the fall season?

1. View waterfalls

The park’s three magnificent waterfalls are the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls. You can see them from a seven-mile trail that follows the canyon’s rim.

Let’s look at each waterfall and how you can view them.

Upper Falls

The Upper Falls is in the southern part of Letchworth on the Genesee River, and it’s the second tallest of the three falls. It has a horseshoe shape, and its height is approximately 70 feet.

You can hike to the brink of this fall and get a closer view.

In the vicinity, you’ll find an active rail bridge 200 feet above the Genesee River. You will have gorgeous scenic views from there.

Middle Falls

You will find the Middle Falls a few hundred yards downstream from the Upper Falls. It is the tallest waterfall in the state park, approximately 107 feet tall.

It’s also the busiest spot in the park during the fall season and offers scenic views from the overlook.

Numerous excellent viewing opportunities are available from the concrete path next to the falls, including a view directly over the peak of the falls.

Lower Falls

The Lower Falls is the most challenging to access out of the three main waterfalls in Letchworth State Park. This is because it has the longest trail to reach the view of the three main waterfalls in the park.

However, it’s less crowded.

The Lower Falls boasts a rugged gorge backdrop that dominates the area during autumn thanks to the colorful foliage.

You can access most of these viewpoints from parking lots or get there by hiking. Due to the mist and lack of a barrier, you should always be careful with your kids.

Check the park’s website to see if access points are shut down for regular maintenance or weather-related reasons.

2. Art and crafts show

Another exciting thing to do at Letchworth State Park during the fall is to attend its annual arts and crafts show.

You can do some shopping and enjoy live demonstrations and displays from the best artisans in the region.

3. Visit the Humphrey Nature Center

Here you can learn about the area’s geologic and natural history, as well as more about the local flora and fauna.

There are plenty of hands-on exhibits for kids, and fascinating facts to learn for the whole family.

Visiting Letchworth State Park in the Summer

Summer is an excellent season for visiting Letchworth State Park if you love hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding. Moreover, during this time, the weather is hot and ideal for swimming.

Here is a list of summer activities in Letchworth State Park.

1. Rafting

The Genesee River will give you an excellent opportunity for rafting during the summer. Paddle along the river from the South Pool House at the park.

However, there are times when the water levels are too low for rafting; in that case, you can get an inflatable kayak for paddling.

2. Hiking

Letchworth State Park boasts many easy trails, so don’t worry if you’re a beginner or visiting with your kids. You can still have a blast hiking on a cooler summer day.

Below are some of the trails to try out.

Gorge Trail

This is the most popular trail in the park. The seven-mile trail is located on the Genesee River’s western side and takes you past the waterfalls.

The Gorge Trail is always busy because it’s easy and accessible. Be ready to share the trail with lots of fellow visitors, as it’s always bustling. But there’s always plenty of space to see the stunning views.

Highbanks Trail

Look for this trail if you want a nice view of Mount Morris Dam and Crapsy Clay Falls.

The trail is 8.5 miles long and passes through the northwestern side of the park. It’s a smooth trail without any gain in elevation, so beginners and kids will have an easy time.

3. Wildlife viewing and bird watching

During the summer, there are lots of active animals out and about. This is the best time to go for a game drive as you learn more about wildlife.

Black and gray squirrels, deer, beaver, bald eagles, pine warblers, great blue herons, and raccoons are some birds and animals to watch out for in Letchworth State Park.

The park has a designated area for birds and wildlife.

Tips for planning a trip to Letchworth State Park

  • Check for weather conditions before planning a trip. Some trails are not accessible at certain times of the year due to snow.
  • Carry snacks and water since the food sold there is expensive.
  • Choose a suitable trail depending on how fit you are or how much time you have. The park has a lot of them.
  • If you are coming with a vehicle, you must pay for parking.
  • Since cell service is spotty in parks, be prepared to unplug. By activating flight mode, you can use your mobile phone as a camera without worrying about battery life.

You can’t go wrong planning a trip to Letchworth State Park. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is fall and summer.

Plan to get there early in the morning, stay all day, and depart the park after dark if you only have one day to spend.

Read More >> How to Rent a Cabin at Letchworth State Park