Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Letchworth State Park

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Be advised, to encourage social distancing and help stop the spread of COVID-19, many parks have reduced parking by 50% and roads may have closures in effect. Many popular parks will fill to capacity by noon and close early to incoming visitors and traffic. Closures will be posted here and on our homepage. Letchworth State Park is experiencing extensive congestion on good-weather days are subject to intermittent closures in certain areas as parking lots reach capacity. Capacity has been reduced to manage visitor density and improve social distancing. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities: DO NOT park on lawn areas or roadway shoulders. Alternative destinations can be searched at

Please note: Cabin Area A will be closed after Labor Day 2020 through Spring 2021 due to a cabin rehab project. Cabin Area B will be open until November 29, 2020 and reopen May 7, 2021

Access to the Visitor Center is limited to patrons registering for existing cabin reservations, Empire Passport sales, and river access permit registrations only. Social Distancing protocols apply upon entering the building and mask usage is mandatory. Other questions regarding park activities, please call (585) 493-3600.

Please contact the park office during regular business hours for further information. (585) 493-3600.

Leaf Season viewing tips for visiting Letchworth

- Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts and Craft show has been cancelled for 2020

-Park hours are 6am to 11pm daily. Attendance is highest between 12pm and 4 pm. Please plan your visit outside of these hours or plan your visit during the week.

-The Upper/Middle Falls area is the most popular area of the park and fills to capacity quickly. At peak times this area will close periodically to incoming visitors and traffic detoured to other areas of the park.

-Photographers: Drone operation is not allowed without a permit issued from the park office 10 days in advance. Contact the Park Office for more information at 585-493-3600.


Trail Closures:

  • Trail 7 from Middle Falls to the Genesee Arch Bridge (permanent closure)
1 Letchworth State Park
Castile, NY 14427
Latitude 42.570148
Longitude -78.051170

Letchworth State Park, renowned as the "Grand Canyon of the East," is one of the most scenically magnificent areas in the eastern U.S. The Genesee River roars through the gorge over three major waterfalls between cliffs--as high as 600 feet in some places--surrounded by lush forests. Hikers can choose among 66 miles of hiking trails. Trails are also available for horseback riding, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Letchworth offers nature, history and performing arts programs, guided walks, tours, a summer lecture series, whitewater rafting, kayaking, a pool for swimming and hot air ballooning. Experiencing Letchworth by hot air balloon is unforgettable, as seen in this video clip.

Winter activities include snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. The historic completely restored Glen Iris Inn offers overnight accommodations and is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Banquet and catering services are available for your special events.

The Humphrey Nature Center offers year-round environmental education opportunities for school groups, scouts, youth organizations, and the general public. Programming and interactive exhibits highlight the geology, wildlife, and ecology of the park.

In 2015, Letchworth won the USA TODAY Readers' Choice Award for Best State Park in the United States! Letchworth came out on top of the 19 other state parks nominated for the contest, chosen from more than 6,000 parks across the nation.

For professional and organizational retreats, educational and training needs can be met at the Conference Center. Located in a secluded area at the southwest portion of Letchworth State Park, the facility consists of a spacious country lodge room, bedrooms, bathrooms with showers and a kitchen. This unique historic structure is designed to accommodate the needs of low impact professional and organizational groups for education, training and retreat purposes. It can be rented for the day and/or overnight use. It is the perfect place for your next business retreat. This facility is not designed for overnight family camping, although, some family type rentals may be permitted. Call the Park Office to be sure if this or another site will best suit your needs. For family type vacation rental experiences, the Maplewood Lodge and Parker's Hideaway can be rented. Maplewood Lodge is located in the middle of Letchworth State Park at the entrance to the Highbanks Camping Area. For winter use, it is ideal for snowmobilers as it connects to the NYS snowmobile trail system. The facility sleeps up to eight people and consists of a furnished kitchen, living room with a working fireplace, TV and DVD/BluRay player, a formal dining room and a full-size bath with a shower on the first floor. There are two bedrooms and a powder room upstairs and one small bedroom on the first floor. Linens are not provided.

Parker's Hideaway is a new rental to the park and sleeps six people. The former Civilian Conservation Corps built building located just North of the "C" Cabin Area, on the North end of the park. It has been newly renovated to include new furniture and kitchen amenities. It is also perfect for snowmobilers as it also connects to the NYS Snowmobile trail system. It has a working gas fired fireplace, televisions in the living room and master bed room, and a breakfast nook. Linens are not provided. This two bedroom and two bath facility is the perfect place to get away from it all.

Campers can take advantage of tent and trailer campsites as well as winterized cabins. Group camping facilities are also available.

Tent/Trailer Campsite 2020: Information and Rules

Pavilion Information
Letchworth has ten pavilions. Prices range from $50 to $100 and can accommodate 80 to 184 people. Check availability at

Pet Policy: A maximum of two pets are allowed in campsites 100, 200 and 700, Cabin Area C and day use areas unless prohibited by sign or directive (not allowed in cabins A, B, D and E or camping loops 300, 400, 500, 600 and 800). Pets are to be supervised at all times and either be crated or on a leash not more than 6-feet in length. Proof of rabies inoculation shall be produced if requested by staff. Pets are not permitted in playgrounds, buildings, golf courses, boardwalks, pools and spray-grounds or guarded beaches (this does not apply to service animals).

Hours of Operation

  • Daily hours are from dawn to dusk.
  • 2020 Camping Season: 5/1 - 10/18 (30 and 50 amp sites)
    Please call the park office directly for information on group camp availability.

    *Please note: Park Entrance Fees are applicable on the 2nd vehicle for the first night of your camping stay.
  • Cabins: Available from April - mid-November. Some available year round.

    *Please note within the camping season time frame, some loops/sites may open later or close earlier. For more details, please call the park or visit

  • 2020 Swimming Season:
    7/3 - 9/7, 11:00 am to 5:45 pm Mon-Fri; 11:00 am to 6:45 pm weekend/holidays
  • Humphrey Nature Center: The building is open 10:00AM - 5:00PM Friday-Tuesday
    Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays
    Thanksgiving Day--CLOSED
  • Room/Location Rentals: The Genesee Conference Center, Maplewood Lodge, Chalet and Stone House are available year-round. The Pinewood Lodge is available 3/30 - 11/28.

  • Museum: 3/30-4/29 - Saturday and Sundays 10 am - 5 pm , 5/5 - 10/28. 10 am - 5 pm, daily.
  • 2020 Operating Season for Glen Iris Inn: 4/10- 10/28 
  • Pavilion Information
    Letchworth has ten pavilions. Prices range from $50 to $100 and can accommodate 80 to 184 people. Check availability at

Fees & Rates

Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.

The easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80- and your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee
  • Cash or Check Only
    $10 per vehicle
    Non-Profit Buses $35
    Commercial Buses $75

    5/6 - 5/20: 9 am - 5 pm, weekends only
    5/25 - 10/28: 9 am - 5 pm, daily
  • Camping
  • Campsites:

    *Out of state resident fee for camping, per night: $5

    Per night: daily rate is 1/4 the weekly charge
    Per week: $132-$512

    *Out of state resident fee for camping, per night: $7

  • Glen Iris Inn
  • Please see: 
  • Maplewood Lodge
  • $150/night - 2 night minimum
    $450/Holiday Weekend - 3 night minimum

    Peak season: $700 per week - 5 night minimum stay from Friday to Wednesday.
    Access Passes are not valid for this facility
  • Parker’s Hideaway
  • Peak - $1000/5-day week Friday – Wednesday
    Non Peak - $1000/5-day week Friday-Wednesday; $300/night.

    Access Passes are not valid for this facility.

  • Museum
  • Donation
    $1 Adult
    $.50 Child
    $3 Family
  • Wood Permits
  • $25/day


Digital Maps

New! Download this park's digital map to your iOS Apple and Android device.

Firewood source maps show a 50-mile radius from which untreated firewood may be moved to this campground. For more information see firewood restrictions.

Highlights of Letchworth State Park:

  • Considered the "Grand Canyon of the East," the gorge formed by Genesee River has rock walls that tower at 550 feet in some places. There are three large waterfalls within the park, and as many as fifty more waterfalls on the tributaries that flow into it. The three major waterfalls are referred to as Upper, Middle and Lower Falls - the Seneca believed that the Middle Falls were so wondrous that it made the sun stop at midday.
  • The exposed bedrock in the gorge is made of Devonian shales, limestone and sandstone. Many marine fossils can be found here, as the rock was laid down in an ancient inland sea.
  • Large stands of hemlocks are found throughout Letchworth State Park. Hemlocks are conifers that are usually found on north and east facing slopes and in gorges where there is higher humidity and it stays relatively cool. They prefer moist soil, but are adaptable to a variety of soils. A number of wildlife species benefit from hemlock stands. They are important cover species for ruffed grouse, turkey and rabbit, and provide suitable forage and cover for deer, particularly in the winter. Birds of prey, such as Barred Owls and Red-shouldered and Cooper's Hawks have been regularly seen in several hemlock stands here at Letchworth.
  • Riparian wetlands, formed by the Genesee River carving its way through the gorge, serves a great purpose in ecological biodiversity. These wetlands provide habitat for multiple species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and juvenile fish. They are also interfaces between the land and the river and act as natural biofilters, protecting water quality from excessive sedimentation and pollutant runoff. They can best be viewed from partaking in a raft trip down the river from the sanctioned river access points at Lee's Landing and St. Helena.
  • Many vernal pools can be found at Letchworth; these are temporary pools of water, absent of fish, but teeming with life when not dry. They are a distinct type of wetland that provide habitat for species of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and insects, where they may be unable to withstand competition or predation elsewhere.
  • The Genesee River flows north about 140 miles before it reaches Lake Ontario near Rochester, New York. The water quality in the Genesee River Watershed is generally satisfactory, but urban and industrial water sources in the north and agricultural water sources elsewhere in the watershed can cause concerns. The major water quality concerns for the watershed are urban stormwater and industrial runoff in the Rochester area, protection of municipal water supply in the Hemlock Lake watershed, and agricultural and other nonpoint sources of nutrients and various other pollutants.

What will you see? Plan your visit today!

Look and listen for these birds at our Park:

Everyone is a Steward: Be a Letchworth State Park Hero!

  • Know the rules and concerns for the area you'll be visiting.
  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises. Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
  • Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
  • Use extra caution when using headphones. You may not be able to hear warnings.
  • Don't litter.
  • Hike and camp on established, durable trails and campsites.
  • Be careful with your fire.

For more information, please read our Trail Tips!

Ask a Naturalist!

Q: Does Letchworth State Park have any significance for birds?

A: Letchworth has been designated as a Bird Conservation Area. More than twenty species of wood warblers regularly nest in Letchworth State Park every year and twenty-five species have nested in the southern seven square miles of the park in a single year, perhaps the best concentration in the world.

Q: Does Letchworth State Park have any significance for trees?

A: Fifty species of trees have been located in a 25-acre virgin forest within the Portage Canyon below Inspiration Point, perhaps the most diverse forest of this size at this latitude in the entire world.

Did You Know?

- DID YOU KNOW? Black squirrels (like the ones seen at Letchworth) are gray squirrels that have an extra pigment gene called melanin, which causes their black coloration.

- DID YOU KNOW? Great Blue Herons nest in a community high up in the trees called a rookery.

- DID YOU KNOW? The no-mow zones throughout the middle of the park are not only a reduction in equipment and gas use, but also a conservation effort to promote vegetation growth and habitat.


The Letchworth BCA is located within Letchworth State Park. The 17 mile long park lies along the Genesee River. The river has carved a gorge though the middle of the park that is as deep as 550 feet in some places earning it the nickname, "Grand Canyon of the East". Evaluation of the BCA criteria for designation has shown that most of the Park qualifies as a BCA. Letchworth State Park is a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area.

Open water below the Mt. Morris dam may attract in excess of 2,000 Canada Geese in winter. There are several Great Blue Heron rookeries in the BCA with a total of over 100 nests. Of 75 species of Neotropical migratory songbirds, 64 are found in the BCA; of these 46 are confirmed breeders (plus 3 rare breeders). The BCA supports suites of birds associated with forest, rivers and shrub habitats. All of the forest, grassland and shrub/scrub species for which we have high regional responsibility are found here including breeding Sharp-shinned Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Thrush, Cerulean Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Killdeer, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, American Woodcock, Willow Flycatcher, Brown Thrasher, Blue-winged warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Eastern Towhee and Field Sparrow. More than 30 species of warblers have been recorded in the park with 25 confirmed breeders. There are an estimated 534 pairs of Hooded Warblers and 110 pairs of Mourning Warbler. This is one of the few sites in upstate New York with breeding Yellow-breasted Chats. Winter roosts of 15-20 Turkey Vultures have been confirmed. As many as 200 Turkey Vultures may be observed on a single day in the summer. State listed birds confirmed as breeders in the park include threatened Bald Eagle and Special Concern Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Red-shouldered hawk, Red-headed Woodpecker, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Vesper Sparrow and Grasshopper Sparrow. Species that exceeded the IBA species at risk threshold are American Woodcock, Willow Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Blue-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat and Rusty Blackbird.

Key BCA Criteria:

- Waterfowl concentration site

- Wading bird concentration site

- Migratory concentration site

- Diverse species concentration site

- Individual species concentration site

- Species at risk site

Download a copy of the BCA map.

Tue 27 Oct
A Walk on the Wild Side – Dishmill Creek Area
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 10:00 AM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3682

Meet at Parade Grounds parking lot. Deer paths only. Brush and poison ivy. Will caravan. Bring a lunch. (3 hours, 2 miles, Intermediate Hike)

Pre-registration is required for each program by contacting the Humphrey Nature Center, 585-493-3682. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines. Face coverings are always required in the HNC and the WPL Museum.
Registration: Required
Wed 28 Oct
Weekday Nature Walk – Lee’s Landing
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 10:00 AM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3682

Meet at Lower Falls Restaurant Parking Lot. Bring a lunch. (3 hours, 1 mile)

Pre-registration is required for each program by contacting the Humphrey Nature Center, 585-493-3682. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines. Face coverings are always required in the HNC and the WPL Museum.
Registration: Required
Thu 29 Oct
Thursday Tromp with Park Naturalist Douglas Bassett
Thursday, October 29, 2020 10:00 AM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3682

All ages and abilities are welcome. Each program will be different based on the interests expressed by the participants. Bring a lunch, your curiosity of nature, and show and tell items. (2-3 hours, nearby)

Pre-registration is required for each program by contacting the Humphrey Nature Center, 585-493-3682. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines. Face coverings are always required in the HNC and the WPL Museum.
Registration: Required
Mon 02 Nov
Knee High Naturalists
Monday, November 2, 2020 10:30 AM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3680

Humphrey Nature Center (1 hour, on site)

The Knee-High Naturalists program is designed to allow children ages 3 - 6 (must be accompanied by an adult) to explore the natural world. Themes change with each program, and activities may include storybook reading, crafts, or a short nature walk.

Registration is required by calling (585) 493-3680.

Pre-registration is required for each program. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines. Face coverings are always required in the HNC and the WPL Museum.

Registration: Required
Wed 04 Nov
Weekday Nature Walk – St. Helena: Ghost Town of the Genesee
Wednesday, November 4, 2020 10:00 AM
Letchworth State Park
(585) 493-3682

Meet at lowest St. Helena parking lot. (2 hours, 1 mile)

Pre-registration is required for each program by contacting the Humphrey Nature Center, 585-493-3682. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, all programs will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines. Face coverings are always required in the HNC and the WPL Museum.

Registration: Required

Get Directions

Did You Know? 25 species of warblers have been recorded in the southern end of the park. Bring Binoculars!

Amenities Information