Nature October 14, 2016
The Unrivaled Canyon Hike In New York Everyone Should Take At Least Once
New York is filled with so many natural wonders that are well worth your attention, and there’s no better way to spend some time outdoors than to take a trip to one of our scenic state parks. The western half of our state is well known for being the place to be if you want to explore our historic and unbelievably beautiful gorges. But, there’s one location so stunning that it’s earned the title of being the “Grand Canyon of the East Coast”.
Ready to add just one more hike to your Empire State bucket list? Well glad to hear it, because this one canyon hike in our state is a trail that everyone should explore at least once.
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Seven miles long and well worth the distance and effort, the Gorge Trail at Letchworth State Park will give you jaw-dropping views of this East Coast canyon.
Carved out by the incredible Genesee River, this gorge attracts a considerable amount of visitors to Letchworth State Park every year. Found out in Livingston and Wyoming counties, the state park is just south of both Rochester and Buffalo.
With over 60 miles of trails to explore, it can often be a difficult to decision to pick where exactly in Letchworth you want to spend your time.
From the wildlife to the waterfalls, this is one of New York's state parks that looks phenomenal during our fall foliage. This year our leaf peeping adventures started later than we had originally expected, so now is a great time to visit Letchworth considering that many of the trees have still yet to turn.
The Gorge Trail leads you to some of the most breathtaking and popular scenic spots in the park.
While the majority of the trails that you'll find here range in size anywhere from half of a mile to two miles long, the Gorge Trail is a complete 7 miles long.
And that's only one way.
If you've never been given any advice for when it comes to exploring this trail, know that it's not the worst idea to bring two cars.
Depending on how far away you'll be traveling from, bringing two cars to explore the Gorge Trail will be something that you'll thank yourself for later. Unless you're up for enjoying a 14-mile long journey, you'll want to
click here for directions
on how to get from Point A to Point B. Depending on how you want to do this hike, you'll start at the Portageville parking lot and trailhead, walking 7 miles to the St. Helena Picnic Area where you'll finish your adventure and hop into the second car you've brought with you!
You may be asking yourself why on Earth would you want to take a 7-mile long hike when there are shorter trails available? I'll give you three good reasons.
Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls! Continuing on with the idea that you'll begin this hike at the Portageville entrance, the first waterfall you'll quickly be greeted by is Upper Falls. The falls are over 70 feet tall and can be found accompanied by the backdrop of a railroad trestle, looking like something straight out of a movie.
The second and most popular waterfall to visit in the park is Middle Falls.
The reasons visitors and residents alike are willing to hike along this 7-mile long trail is because it brings you to the park's most stunning attractions. Featuring the three major waterfalls in Letchworth following along the Western rim of the gorge, this magical trail is just one of the many reasons that Letchworth State Park was voted the best state park in the entire country by
Not to be forgotten, Lower Falls is the last major waterfall you'll see along the Gorge Trail.
Keep making your way through this hike while following the yellow trail markers and you'll soon discover another natural wonder. While this waterfall may seem small after visiting Upper and Middle Falls, what it lacks in heigh it makes up for in width. The wide set waterfall cascades down and creates a picture-perfect sight for your eyes.
So, who's ready to take a leaf peeping adventure this weekend to Letchworth State Park?
If you're feeling like you may not have the time or energy to explore the Gorge Trail, then
to view the official map of Letchworth State Park where you'll be able to view all of the available trails you can explore! Our suggestion for a shorter hike? Try out the Mary Jemison Trail that's only 2.5 miles long!
In love with how gorgeous Letchworth looks during our fall foliage? Then you won’t want to miss this unbelievable footage below, captured by
Hyzy on YouTube!
Up for taking more adventures before winter comes? Then try one of
these 12 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles That Everyone In New York Should Take!