I brought my fiancée for the first few days of my stay in Rochester, both to introduce her to my former thesis advisor (who insisted I couldn’t get married until he approved of my choice) and to show her a few of my favorite ‘haunts’ from my graduate school days. On Saturday, we went to Letchworth State Park, a wonderful and spectacular stretch of wilderness which follows the Genesee River for some 17 miles. The park consists primarily of the estate of William Pryor Letchworth, and was bequeathed to the state in 1906.
The park contains wonderful views from the heights of the river gorge, lovely waterfalls, and even an excellent restaurant/inn. This is a great time of year to visit Letchworth, as the leaves are turning colors and the weather isn’t yet oppressively cold.
Below, I display some of my preliminary shots of Letchworth Park. When I get back home, I’ll also stitch together some panaramas that I took of the landscape.
First, a brief confession: my Nikon “Coolpix” camera is woefully inadequate in every way, shape, or form. Most of my pictures have lighting issues which are apparently inherent in the hardware. I’m replacing this damn piece of junk ASAP. *sigh*
Okay, Letchworth! It’s a long, thin park whose northern entrance is perhaps 20 miles south of Rochester — but it takes another 15 miles of driving within the park to reach the main attractions, namely the falls!
There are three sets of falls: Upper, Middle, and Lower. We started our trip by driving to the Middle Falls, which are the most magnificent:
Right alongside the middle falls is the historic estate home of Letchworth himself, the Glen Iris, which has now been converted into a wonderful restaurant and inn, the Glen Iris Inn:
The Middle Falls are not directly viewable from the Inn, but from the edge of the estate grounds one can get a peek of them:
The fiancée and I had a lovely lunch at the Glen Iris, then began the trek up to the Upper Falls. One can see the mist rising from the Upper Falls from the position of the Middle Falls:
The Upper Falls are straddled by the Erie Railroad Bridge, which has been in use since 1875, when the previous wooden bridge burned to its foundation. The bridge is officially off-limits to visitors, but one will often see people up there. The falls are smaller than their middle cousin, but still quite lovely:
From the Upper Falls, we headed back north on our way out of the park. We didn’t have time to see the Lower Falls (next time!), but opted to instead visit some of the magnificent overlooks in the park. We first reached the Great Bend Overlook, where the river swings around a massive hillside:
Finally, we stopped at the Tea Table Overlook, to get a nice look at the fall foliage:
I’d forgotten how much I liked visiting Letchworth while I was living in Rochester. I’ll have to pop back again on future visits.
There’s plenty of other great parks in upstate New York, but unfortunately the fiancée had to head back to work. I’ll have to drag her back another time to see the area around Ithaca.
Once I get home, I’ll see if I can make anything out of the panorama shots I attempted to take. The pictures above hardly do justice to the magnificence of the Letchworth area!