More water falls in New York State

17 Sep

Finding little gems is one of the pleasures we have in being able to travel at our leisure. Letchworth State park is probably not that well know outside of New York State and overshadowed by its big neighbour Niagara.

We arrived in the park Friday night via the Perry entrance, soon got settled into a nice site surrounded by trees and began to browse the information and decide how to visit the falls.

Saturday morning was bright and sunny if a little chilly, a good excuse to get out my new winter woolly.  Our first stop was an unintentional one as a 5K run/walk for charity had closed the route to Glen Iris Inn where we intended to park. We strolled across to the viewing area to get our first view of what is called the Grand Canyon of the east. The rock is grey so maybe not so pretty but the canyon is at this point 550 ft deep so quite impressive.


Once the run was over we were allowed to continue along to the Inn and parked up. This is a fairly central location for viewing the upper and middle falls.


It was pleasant and easy walk alongside the river and once again I was reminded how  each waterfall has its own character dependant on its geology.


The upper falls has a trestle bridge spanning its width which carries a train track. We stood looking at the falls when we heard the unmistakable hoot of a train approaching. It was great to stand and view its progress across what looks like a flimsy bridge. The bridge has carried trains since 1875 and one of its passengers was William Letchworth who was on the look out for a place to build a weekend retreat. He saw the land below the bridge and eventually built Glen Iris (now an Inn, hotel and restaurant) as a place for him to spend time with friends and get away from the city.

The museum near to the Inn is full of interesting artefacts and information which William Letchworth collected and about his life. We were interested to see that on one of his visits to Europe and while in England he visited both the City of Birmingham and Kenilworth Castle, not too far from our roots, not so small a world!

Sunday was very wet and dreary but we drove to the dam which serves as a flood protector for the nearby city of Rochester. before it was built major floods occurred around every seven years with great damage and loss of life. To see the river at its present level it is hard to realise that the gorge has filled to such a depth that the dam was four feet from spilling over the top, and spread 17 miles upstream.. We took a tour with the ranger into the dam, travelling down in the lift to a platform almost at river level many feet below the top.


The rest of our week has been taken up with travelling across the state, through the Adirondack region where fall colours are already apparent. The nights have been very chilly with a mixture of  sunshine and rainy days, typical early autumn weather I suppose.


Pumpkins and corn beside the road.

We found another nice waterside location at Eighth Lake State Park.


Our view through the window and out to the lake on Wednesday evening.

Fishpond Creek State Park was to be our mid point destination in the Adirondack region. We arrived around lunchtime and intended to get in an afternoon walk, as we finished lunch it began to pour with rain… won’t be much….. around 2am on Friday morning the rain eventually stopped. No walk!

Friday found us once more on the road, again a dreary morning after the rain. We had hoped to see some of the mountains around Lake Placid and enjoy the scenery but the summits were well covered in cloud. The sun did appear by the time we arrived at Au Sable Chasm however, we crossed the bridge to view the rocky chasm below and walked the other side where we could see the falls above the chasm. The rain had obviously topped up the water levels giving us a spectacular view of the water cascading to the chasm below.


We are now poised to cross into Vermont, the fall colour forecast says that the leaves are turning in both Vermont and New England but Maine is not yet changing too much. This  gives us time to get into the best position to follow the colour as it progresses south with the cooler weather. We are hoping for some sunny days… watch this space and see!


3 Responses to “More water falls in New York State”

  1. Susan September 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Vermont is beautiful…..if you pass by Cabot Creamery, stop in… they offer a nice tour and all you can eat samples…yum!

    • elainethehill September 18, 2010 at 6:34 am #

      Ohhh! We will, sounds like our kinda place!

  2. christopher September 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    That last photo is great, so pretty!

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