Pros: Incredible scenery and fine creature comforts.
Cons: Too far for a short couple of day stay from NYC and Long Island area.
On our trip to Niagara Falls we decided to do a few overnights on our way up from Long Island. Though we have grown out of long term camping we still do like to camp while still staying close to creature comforts. Two particularly notable places we went to were Watkin's Glenn and Letchworth State Park. I was amazed at the beauty of both. I was just looking through our pictures and it showed me again what I loved about those sites.
Letchworth State Park has more to offer than most NY state parks of which I've reviewed nearly twenty. It is noted as "A jewel in the NYS Park System".
Camping and Pools
As stated we wanted creature and comforts and Letchworth State Park offers those needs. They also have trailer sites and a dumping station. Though I never saw them they have cottages too.
The campgrounds are large, well maintained, have a table and offer a bit of room between sites. They are in a well wooded area of the park away from the main house and have running water and hot showers. When we camp we do not bring our stoves and cooking utensils any longer. We simply sleep in the tent, spend our days discovering the area and eat out. This park offered a few options. I should note this park was named one of the top 100 campgrounds in the nation in 2004.
We spent a fine afternoon at one of the two pools that was olympic sized and was very quiet even on a hot afternoon. There was no problem getting lounge chairs. If I had any complaint it would be that the pool area was just too sparse in looks having no character. Even so we relaxed, sunned, played and had something to eat at the snack bar. We also made reservations to eat at a fine restaurant in the park
Glen Iris Inn
All the property of this state park was once the country estate of William Pryor Letchworth. His home was made into an inn, the Glen Iris Inn, and has entertained guests since 1914. What makes this inn especially attractive is the fact that it's built next to one of the three magnificent waterfalls that are a huge attraction to this park. In the inn is a restaurant, reservations needed, that has fine dining, "another review another day". This is a very romantic restaurant and setting especially at night when the falls are lighted. We never stayed at the inn but from what I saw, it's a place I would book if passing this area ever again. I can recommend the restaurant.
Hiking and the Views
We did a few hikes in the two days we were there. Though I don't remember the particular names of these moderate trails one took us above the huge chasm that did indeed look like a part of the Grand Canyon that my wife and I have visited a couple of times. This park is known as "The Grand Canyon of the East". The gorge is incredible to see and that's just part of 14,350 acres park to be visited and viewed. The park is 17 miles long and much is host to the Genesee river with over twenty waterfalls. There are three prominent ones that are a must see and easy to get too. The middle falls is where the inn is. There are trails and very safe walks that go right over some of the falls. Bring your camera for both day and night time views I loved it there.
The park also offers horseback riding and biking. During the winter snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and ice skating is offered. One thing we constantly saw were hot air balloons floating over the park. They were beautiful to watch and very colourful in photos. Tours of the Inn and grounds are available.
I can see that even though we camped at this park as a stopover to Niagara Falls, it is a destination in itself that I can highly recommend.
This is part of Tom's, Sleeper54, Lean-n-mean IV W/O
More reviews by popsrocks
New York State