How to Camp in Letchworth State Park and Discover the Grand Canyon of the East
You think New York is one big concrete jungle that makes you mad with the hurly-burly of the city life. But the Big Apple has something huge to offer – camping to one of the greatest escapes you’ll ever have: Letchworth State Park.
Don’t be surprised. Fourteen percent of New York is compromised of greens and the parklands. So, in case either you worked hard all week, or you just missed being with your friends and family, a camping escape to the parklands is the best option to unwind and enjoy being with friends and family.
And there’s no better place than famed Letchworth State Park which is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” and considered by many as having one of the most incredible scenery in the eastern states.
Campers would be delighted to know that they can gaze along the Genesee River gorge viewing three waterfalls standing 600 feet tall! There are tons of activities for families and seasoned trekkers from horseback riding to hiking, kayaking and whitewater rafting. Who knows, you might even end up experiencing your Letchworth camping with a hot air balloon ride.
Getting ready for your camping adventure
If you ask me, it’s best to reserve your camping spot months before your scheduled camp visit. The one thing you have to check out often is the weather. Though camping gets you to be in a new environment where you can appreciate nature and a change of scenery, one thing is very changeable, the weather. In any season you will want to plan for changes of temperature and weather conditions.
Here are some tips before going to Letchworth State Park:
- Make a list of all the things you’re going to take.
- Ask yourself if you want to go camping with tents, in RVs, or trailer. Letchworth is open to all three options.
- When do you want to go? Summer or winter? Each season has its activities at the campsite.
- Prepare for inclement weather. If the set date is going to trickle with rain, better pick the appropriate tent for rain or snow.
- Bring medicines and safety kits. It’s rather important to have our own.
- Pack your food. You can have them frozen then heated at the campsite.
- Have pets? Letchworth says you can bring two. Call the park to determine which sites they are only allowed to stay in.
- Check if your gear and equipment to be sure they are ready to go. If there are issues, know how to deal with them like fix a hole in an air mattress.
- Know that only a maximum of six people is allowed on a site at the park.
- Never, ever, swim in the Genesee River.
Where to stay
There are over 300 spots where you can stay. Campers can opt for a tent or trailer campsite as well as cabins good for the winter season. There are eight loops of campgrounds with 270 electricity spots among the Highbanks tent and trailer camping area. It’s perfect for people who would want to camp with convenience. But, in case you want to go stark basic camping, you can book a primitive tent camping area as well.
Activities to expect during summer time
For summertime visits to the park
You can select from among 66 miles of worthy hiking trails. If you want to go easy, a more convenient route of hiking is available for you if you get to stay at the Highbanks Camping Center. For a total of six miles worth of trekking, you get to see different streams, bends, and dams. If you want to dare yourself to trek the longest track, try the Finger Lakes Trail. Of course, there will be an array of scenery you’ll be bumping into.
Other activities available are biking, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking among many else. Letchworth also offers educational and entertainment guided walks, tours, and summer lecture series about nature, history, and its performing arts programs.
For wintertime visits
Some summer activities are available, but there will also be snowmobiling and cross-country skiing events. Oh, please don’t forget to ride in the hot air balloon. It’s worth the experience.
Must see spots in Letchworth State Park
Trust me, in every nook and turn, there’s always something dramatic to see.
Waterfalls and rock formations. Other than the three massive waterfalls located in Portage Canyon mentioned earlier, you can see as many as 50 waterfalls around the park. Rock formations along the gorges are something to see as well. Some are made of limestone and sandstone and hold a lot of fossils.
Glen Iris Inn. American businessman and philanthropist William Pryor Letchworth lived here. It overlooks the highest waterfall in the park. It accepts overnight accommodations or people can just have their meals here.
There are a lot of vistas and panoramas we might have missed along the way. We hope though that you’ll find the place as breathtaking as we have found it. You might never want to leave.
About The Author: Warren Kuhn is an outdoor and camping enthusiast, always out to seek for the thrill and adrenaline that only nature gives. He even took up survival training to prepare him for the worst-case scenarios while outdoors. With his background, you can learn a lot from him so you can get the most out of your camping trip at TheCampingTrips.