If you are looking for someplace to visit for a day away from the lake, Letchworth State Park http://nysparks.com/parks/79/details.aspx is a great place to go especially if you are visiting Conesus Lake or Hemlock, Canadice or Honeoye Lake as it is not too terribly far from any of these lakes. The closest Finger Lake to it is Conesus Lake. The park is located about 35 miles southwest of Rochester Castile, New York. It has been voted Best in the Nation in 2015 and is often referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the East”. This canyon is created by the Genesee River that cuts down through the park. It is a very popular destination for wedding, engagement, family, and senior photos as it does have some very neat views and provides great backdrops for photographs. It is especially popular in the fall as leaves begin to change and colors really start to pop against the gray rock, blue sky, and rushing waterfalls.
There are many picnic areas and pavilions throughout the park. Some pavilions have real fireplaces with picnic tables to host parties, events, or just a day out with friends or family. Many of the picnic tables outside the pavilions throughout the park are actually made of stone which is something that I found to be very cool.
Believe it or not, I live a little over an hour from Letchworth but had never been there until just recently. I was home for a long weekend and fall break from college and decided to take a trip over to Letchworth with my mom on a Saturday afternoon. As we got on the road we realized we didn’t have anything for lunch and should probably stop to get something. As we drove through Mount Morris we decided to stop for some lunch. We ended up going to a little pub right on Main Street called Charred. It was much better than anticipated and provided us with fuel before a long day of hiking and adventuring.
We came into the park at the park entrance and drove down Park Road stopping at different vistas and lookout points. The park does charge an admittance fee of $10, but it is well worth the views. I will tell you that you do usually have to pull off to the side or in one of the parking lots to actually be able to see the Gorge. I had been to the Grand Canyon just 10 months earlier and I am not sure if they should have told me it was like the Grand Canyon of the East. I do see their similarities but I would recommend going to the Letchworth before going to the Grand Canyon as the Grand Canyon is just that much bigger. Letchworth is much greener than the Grand Canyon and being that we visited in the fall, much more colorful as well as the leaves started changing. There is a bit of a hike down about 100 or so stairs to see the smaller waterfall, but the main waterfall does not require much walking and is very accessible to anyone. I was able to get some good photographs even though leaves weren’t quite at peak for the area. I do definitely recommend going in the fall as the leaves do make it that much more beautiful.