Waterfalls at Letchworth State Park

My sister and I decide to squeeze in a road trip, which is sadly my first for the year, before she headed back out West.

There are a lot of different things you can do at Letchworth State Park but I'm going to focus mainly on the waterfalls and the gorge.

There are a few smaller waterfalls here and there but what I came for are the 3 sections of the main falls on the Genesee River.

How do you get here?

First and foremost, I want to make sure that you know how to get here so that you can see it yourself.

There are 6 different locations that I'm going to show you, so I'll give you directions to the different parking lots.

Gardeau Overlook
Gardeau Overlook

We first went to the Gardeau Overlook to check out a nice view.

So, click THIS LINK to open a map to the parking loop near the Gardeau Overlook.

You won't see the gorge or any waterfalls just yet, but it's a decent view that probably looks beautiful in the fall.

This will show you exactly where you want to go and you can even enter your address to get directions to the state park from your house.

See the Falls in Action!

Now you can chose to read the text below and look at the pictures first or you can "hike" the trails through the video to the right.

You'll be parking right on the loop to view the Gardeau Overlook. Once we absorbed the scenery there we headed to the Tea Table Overlook.

Click THIS LINK to open a map to the exact location of the Tea Table Overlook. There is a parking lot on the other side of the road here. This will show you exactly where you want to go.

Tea Table Overlook
Tea Table Overlook

Once you cross the road you'll start to see a bunch of "tea tables" made out of stone, hence the name, as you approach a stone wall surrounding the gorge below.

This will give you your first taste of the gorge that the Genesee River carved out of rock.

This gorge is actually called the "Grand Canyon of the East" and as you view more and more of it you may start to see why they call it that.

Big Bend Overlook
Big Bend Overlook

After soaking up the view we decided to head to the Big Bend Overlook.

Click THIS LINK to open a map to the exact location of the Big Bend Overlook. There is a parking lot right near the overlook. This will show you exactly where you want to go.

I love how green the gorge is here and the bend of the river makes for a really nice view.

An alternate overlook over the "Big Bend"
An alternate overlook over the "Big Bend"

We then drove to another overlook, not even a mile away, to get a different view of the bend.

Click THIS LINK to open a map to the exact location of this overlook. There is a parking lot right near the overlook. This will show you exactly where you want to go.

I liked this view a bit more because you got to see the changes from rock to trees and you got to see the complete "bend" of the river.

Start of Lower Falls Trail
Start of Lower Falls Trail

Then we headed toward a trailhead to start our hike toward the Lower Letchworth Falls.

Click THIS LINK to open a map to the exact location of the start of the Lower Falls Trail. There is a big parking lot right near the trailhead. This will show you exactly where you want to go.

There's a gift shop, bathrooms and all that before you get to the trailhead.  Then you can either head down some stairs to get up close and personal with the waterfall or you can opt for an easier overlook of the falls.

We opted to go down and get close to the falls.  I'm not sure, but I think that if you take the trail to the overlook then it'll eventually connect you to the other sections of the falls.

Lower Letchworth Falls (55 feet high)
Lower Letchworth Falls (55 feet high)

When you get to the Lower Letchworth Falls there's a short path off to the left that will take you to a rock ledge right in front of the falls.

I was very impressed with the size and the amount of water crashing down the rocks at this 55 foot tall waterfall.

It was a little windy when we were there so we got a quick shower in the waterfall mist!

Inspiration Point
Inspiration Point

The trail seemed to end at the falls so we headed back to the parking lot and drove to the parking lot at Inspiration Point.

Click THIS LINK to open a map to the exact location of Inspiration Point. There is a big parking lot right near the overlook. This will show you exactly where you want to go.

I have to tell you this overlook was accurately named! The combination of the pool of water reflecting the bright blue sky, the flock of birds flying in circles in the gorge and the view of the Middle and Upper Letchworth Falls in the distance really made things quite inspirational.

From here we stuck to the #1 trail and headed toward Middle Letchworth Falls.

Middle Letchworth Falls (107 feet high)
Middle Letchworth Falls (107 feet high)
A rainbow in the mist of Middle Letchworth Falls
A rainbow in the mist of Middle Letchworth Falls

The walkway leading up to the falls is actually pretty nice. This seems to be the favorite falls of the park, probably because it's the highest in the park (107 feet).

There are a few smaller falls around Middle Letchworth Falls and they actually light this section up at night.

The wind didn't spare us from getting another shower in the mist here either!

But the mist brought something else along with it as we walked toward the crest of the falls and looked back... a rainbow!

It was actually a double rainbow but the second rainbow was a bit more faint. 

I love how the mist from the falls has made it possible for so much vegetation to grow on the rock walls of the gorge.  It really makes for a beautiful view!

Upper Letchworth Falls (71 feet high)
Upper Letchworth Falls (71 feet high)

Continuing on the trail we came to the last section of the falls.

Upper Letchworth Falls is probably the most picturesque when you couple it's 71 foot height, with the bridge behind it and a blue sky in the background.

You couldn't get that close to this section of the falls but it's definitely worth seeing.

Been here before?

What's your favorite waterfall?

  • Upper Falls
  • Middle Falls
  • Lower Falls
See results without voting

What else is there to do at Letchworth State Park?

If you don't want to come here for the waterfalls, believe me you don't have to! There is so much that you can do here.

At the Tea Table Overlook we saw people rafting down in the Genesee River and we passed many playgrounds.

There are some of the best campgrounds in the nation, horse-riding trails, picnic areas, cabins and an inn you can stay at overnight or stop in for a bite to eat.

There's a trout pond and they even have a swimming pool down near the Lower Falls.

So you can see that, even if you're not into waterfalls, you're not going to be bored at this state park. There's so much to do!

Take a trip here as soon as you can and grab a quick shower in some waterfall mist!

More by this Author


What's YOUR Favorite Part of Letchworth State Park? 11 comments

annmeadows profile image

annmeadows 6 years ago from Mobile, Al.

Beautiful place. Thanks for sharing with us.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

It was fun going there, annmeadows... thanks for reading!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you fro showing us this beautiful place. I enjoyed reading your well written hub.


Wendy Krick profile image

Wendy Krick 6 years ago from Maryland

It look beautiful! Thanks for sharing.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

Thanks for reading Hello, hello, and Wendy! I love sharing my travels; lets people know what's out there


vicki simms profile image

vicki simms 5 years ago from northamptonshire

What a gorgeous place to go, I loved reading this hub and the pictures are stunning :)


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

It really is quite surprising when you get there...

Thanks for reading, vicki!


waxsoft profile image

waxsoft 5 years ago from East Liverpool, Ohio

Great article! Wish I'd read it before I visited there.

Read my hub: Where can you find a hero these days?

It's about W. P. Letchworth.


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

It really is a beautiful place, waxsoft! I love that picture you have up top... it'd be amazing to see it from the sky like that.

Thanks for reading!


h greider 5 years ago

The whole place was just so beautiful, it was breath taking!!!!!


Bendo13 profile image

Bendo13 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado Author

It really is beautiful, h greider! The waterfall mist helps you cool off, you always see a rainbow and if you stay late you can see it all lit up at night.

Definitely a spot worth checking out.

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