The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘Letchworth State Park’

Lunch and Leaf Peeping at Letchworth State Park

We enjoyed a daycation on Friday, October 7th.  We drove to Wellsville NY (an approximate 2-hour drive) to go to lunch with Cynthia and Larry, Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law.  Wellsville is the approximate halfway point from our house and where they are vacationing at Cayuga Lake NY.  We arrived at our agreed-upon meeting place — the Beef Haus — about 30 minutes before Cynthia and Larry did, which allowed us time to drive by one point of interest — the Pink House.  The Pink House is a pink Victorian mansion nestled on the corner of West State Street and Brooklyn Avenue in Wellsville.

The Pink House

According to a Wellsville Sun article, “Edwin Bradford Hall had this home built in 1866–it was finished in 1868 and has remained in his family ever since. E.B. Hall was a well known, highly successful pharmacist in Wellsville, had eclectic tastes and it is believed this grand residence was modeled after one that Hall took a liking to in Lake Como, Italy. He liked the color pink, had the paint mixed in his pharmacy and it has remained that way for generations.” 

From the Pink House we returned to the Beef Haus and found metered parking in front of the restaurant.  We inserted four quarters in the meter for 2 hours of parking.  We would need to insert a couple more quarters in the meter before our time in Wellsville was over. 

Bob and I went inside the Beef Haus and obtained seating for the four of us.  Cynthia and Larry arrived a few minutes later.  Everyone except me ordered a beef dish.  I ordered a Beef Haus Club with Ham, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, American Cheese on Wheat Bread.  Bob ordered a Bleu Bayou Burger (Cajun Spiced, topped with Crumbled Bleu Cheese, Side of Buffalo Ranch dressing).  Both of our meals included chips and a pickle.  Larry ordered French Onion Soup, a salad and Beef on Weck sandwich.  Cynthia ordered Bay and Beef (Hand Carved Beef with Lemon Butter Broiled Scallops) accompanied by a salad and red skin mashed potatoes.  Cynthia and I ordered dessert, Peanut Butter Pie, which we shared with our husbands.  By the way I ate only one quarter of my Beef Haus Club and chips and three bites of the Peanut butter pie.  Since I started taking Trulicity for diabetes, I don’t have the appetite I used to have (which is a good thing). I boxed the leftover club sandwich; Bob finished the pie.  Our lunches were delicious,  and the service was very good.

After an enjoyable lunch, we walked a couple blocks down North Main Street.  We went window shopping, going inside the Wellsville Creative Arts Center.  We admired some of the pottery items, two unique ukuleles and a beautiful but very expensive tile inlaid coffee table ($4,800.00).  

At the end of North Main Street, we crossed over West Fassett Street and checked out the Fassett GreenSpace.   According to an article in the Olean Times Herald, the “Fassett GreenSpace consists of a 74-foot diameter meditation labyrinth, more than 1,500 square feet of raised flower and vegetable gardens. A bronze fountain is in the middle while metal musical instruments are on the side. The public is invited to harvest the garden and play the instruments.

We enjoyed playing the musical instruments.
The sound of the musical instruments is beautiful. Bob played a small clip from an actual song. Do you recognize the song?

We walked back the way we came, on the opposite side of North Main Street.  We parted ways in Wellsville.  Cynthia and Larry headed east to their vacation home at Cayuga Lake.  Bob and I headed north to Mount Morris NY (another 1 hour drive).  

En route Mount Morris we drove through Belmont.  Bob saw a waterfall, as we crossed over the Belmont Bridge.  He pulled off on the other side of the bridge, and we walked to the bridge to check out the waterfall.  We saw the waterfall from the bridge, as well as from underneath the bridge.

Belmont Waterfall
Belmont Waterfall from under the bridge
This storefront was in Mount Morris.

The reason that we drove to Mount Morris was to enter Letchworth State Park from the north and to drive south through the park. 

Letchworth State Park Dam Overlook
Letchworth State Park Wolf Creek Falls

We sat at a picnic table at Wolf Creek and finished my leftover club sandwich from our earlier lunch.

Letchworth State Park Great Bend Overlook
Letchworth State Park Inspiration Point
Bob took this picture of me at
Letchworth State Park Upper Falls
Letchworth State Park Upper Falls
with Train on Railroad
Letchworth State Park Middle Falls

Although it was overcast, we enjoyed looking at the beauty of the fall colors throughout the park.  

It took another 2-hour drive to go home, after leaving the park.   We were gone from home at least 10 hours. It was a very enjoyable day.

DeRuyter Lake Getaway: DeRuyter NY to Warren PA

We returned home from DeRuyter Lake on July 1.  We made three stops on our way home.  

Our first stop was at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, where we drove on Wildlife Drive. We saw several Great Blue Herons and a Great Egret.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Crazy Hair Day
Great Blue Heron at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Our second stop was for breakfast at Magee Country Diner in Waterloo NY.  We ate here in May, on our way home from our week-long vacation in the Auburn NY area. It was on our route home again, so we stopped for breakfast.

Our third stop was at Letchworth State Park.  Our Empire Pass provided free admission into the park. We entered via the Mt Morris entrance and exited via the Portageville entrance, stopping for photo opportunities.

Great Bend Overlook at Letchworth State Park
Inspiration Point

As we crossed the stone bridge, we saw a couple people bent down peering over the edge.

These two frogs caught their (and our) attention.
Inspiration Point
Upper Falls at Letchworth State Park
Middle Falls at Letchworth State Park

This concludes details of our DeRuyter Lake vacation.

Letchworth State Park Day Trip

We took advantage of the sunny day on Sunday, February 21st by going for a drive.

We drove to Letchworth State Park, which is located 35 miles south of Rochester, NY.  The park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, is a spectacular place.  The park’s magnificent scenery includes waterfalls and a gorge.  We have visited Letchworth State Park many times over the years.   We enjoy our visit each time we go.

If you visit Letchworth State Park in the winter, it is important to note that the Portageville Gate is closed for the season.  In addition Park Road closes seasonally between the Perry and Castile gates.

We entered Letchworth State Park, around noon, via the Castile Gate and turned right onto Park Road.  Our first stop was opposite Archery Field.

Archery Field Overlook of Genesee River and Gorge

I see a shadow of a person holding a basket on his head, where the frozen water has thawed.  Do you?

Our second stop was at Inspiration Point.

At Inspiration Point visitors are blessed with a spectacular vista that overlooks the Genesee River and Gorge. Upstream you see two waterfalls – the Middle Falls and the Upper Falls.  A train trestle spans above the Upper Falls.

Inspiration Point – Middle Falls

Inspiration Point – Upper Falls

Our next stop was at the Glen Iris Inn, where we enjoyed another view of the Middle Falls.  We got to see the Glen Iris fountain as an ice tower as well.

Middle Falls as seen from Glen Iris Inn grounds


Bob took this video of the Glen Iris Fountain with our GoPro camera.

Bob took this picture of the two of us as well.

Bob and I with Glen Iris Fountain in the background

I found a video on Facebook that explains how the Glen Iris fountain works and why it freezes into a beautiful ice tower during cold winters.  Please click here to view that video.

Our next (and last) stops were at the Upper and Middle Falls.

The Upper Falls had some water flow, but the falls were mostly frozen.

Likewise, the Middle Falls had some water fall but were mostly frozen.

The ice along the cliff at Middle Falls was particularly beautiful.

In total we spent about 1 1/2 hours at Letchworth State Park.  We couldn’t ask for a better winter day for our visit to the park.  It was a picture perfect day!

Day Trip to Letchworth State Park

On Saturday, October 5, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day by going for a drive.  We hoped to see some pretty Autumn colors.  Our original plan was to go to Allegany State Park, near Salamanca NY.  This park is about a 45-minute drive from our house.  We were about half way to Allegany State Park, when I asked Bob how far it was from our location to Letchworth State Park.  “Hey Google.  How far is it from my location to Letchworth State Park?”, Bob asked.  Well, we didn’t have a signal, so that question had to be repeated a short while later.  Instead of turning right onto Interstate 86, we went straight ahead, and that is how we ended up at Letchworth State Park instead of Allegany State Park.

Letchworth State Park is located 35 miles south of Rochester, NY. The park, often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, is a spectacular place. The park’s magnificent scenery includes waterfalls (three major ones on the Genesee River) and a gorge. We have visited Letchworth State Park many times over the years. We enjoy our visit each time we go.

We arrived at the park a little after noon, entering via the south (the Portageville entrance).  We have the New York Empire Pass, which provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to New York State Parks.  We made stops at the Upper and Middle Falls between the Portageville entrance and the Archery Field exit.  

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Rainbow at Middle Falls

We ate lunch at the Charcoal Grill in Perry, NY.  This is a great place to eat, if you are in the area.  There are three food places — the grill, a pizzeria and an ice cream stand.  We have stopped at the Charcoal Grill a few times, while in the area.  So far we have eaten at each food place, except for the pizzeria.  The pizza smells really good, though … maybe next time.  I ordered broasted chicken with coleslaw and french fries.  Bob ordered beef on weck and onion rings.  As always, the food was delicious. 

After lunch we drove farther north and reentered Letchworth State Park via the Mt. Morris entrance.  We drove south, making a few stops to take pictures of the gorge, before exiting the park via the Portageville exit.

Hogsback Overlook

The photographs (and video) that follow were taken in the Great Bend area of the park.

We watched several rafters go down the Genesee River.

Not much color yet

This was the most color that we saw, while at Letchworth State Park.

Many people took advantage of the nice day, as we did.  The park was full of people!

We had a wonderful day.  We returned home around 6:00 pm.

Mt. Morris NY to Warren PA, via Letchworth State Park

We spent 3 days and 2 nights in the East Syracuse, NY area the weekend of July 1 through July 3.  In my earlier blog post I wrote about the first part of our trip back home on Monday, July 3.  This blog post is about rest of our trip back home.

After lunch we drove through Letchworth State Park.   Earlier this year we purchased an annual New York State Park Empire Pass that provides unlimited day use vehicle entry to most state parks and recreation facilities. Letchworth State Park was one of three New York State parks at which we used our Empire Pass during our weekend getaway.   I wrote about visits at the other two state parks in previous blog posts.  At Letchworth we stopped at Inspiration Point and Middle Falls.

Both the Upper and Middle Falls are visible from Inspiration Point.
Rainbow at Middle Falls
Middle Falls

We passed up Lower Falls. Perhaps someday we will make the hike down that trail again. Neither of us felt like making that hike today. The Portageville exit is still closed, as construction continues on a new steel arch railroad bridge across the Genesee River Gorge. You can see the bridge in the photograph displayed above, as well as in the photograph of Inspiration Point.  We were surprised to find the trail to Upper Falls fenced off. The trail is closed for reconstruction through the remainder of 2017.

There is much more to see and do at Letchworth State Park.  We have visited this park several times over the past 15+ years, as the park is located only a couple hours drive from our home.  I expect we will make a return trip in the fall.

We departed Letchworth State Park via the Castile exit at 3:30 pm.

We stopped for ice cream at Peaches and Cream in Randolph NY. I ordered a banana split, which was made with one scoop each of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream with appropriate toppings and a sliced banana. The banana split was easily twice the size as the one I get at Dairy Queen and cost about the same. I didn’t need or want dinner that evening!

We returned home shortly before 6:00 pm. Checking the odometer, we traveled 641 miles during our weekend getaway. We said hello to our kitty and unpacked the car. While I unpacked our travel bag and put away everything else, Bob mowed the yard.

My new U.S. Passport arrived in the mail, while we were away. Hooray! We can plan a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada now! When I mailed in my passport renewal application on June 14, the processing time indicated was 4-6 weeks. The processing time was quicker than that!

I hope that you have enjoyed the blog posts about our East Syracuse NY weekend getaway!

Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally at Letchworth State Park

We planned to go to BJ’s Wholesale Club yesterday afternoon. I had other thoughts, though, after receiving a NY State Park newsletter via email. On the front page of the newsletter was information about the 15th annual Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally at Letchworth State Park. The first balloon launch was planned for 6:00 pm.

Bob came home from work at noon. I told him about the balloon rally at Letchworth State Park. I asked if he wanted to go to BJ’s, as planned, or BJ’s and Letchworth State Park, or just Letchworth State Park. By 12:30 pm we were on our way to Letchworth State Park.

Shortly before 2:00 pm we stopped for lunch at Subway in Franklinville, NY.  We arrived at Letchworth State Park, via the Castile entrance, around 3:00 pm. There was no fee to enter the park. According to the park’s website, a daily vehicle entrance fee of $10.00 began today. The entrance fee will be collected between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm and will be collected through October 16, 2017.  We passed by Archery Field, the location for the balloon launch. We visited Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Inspiration Point.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls
view from Glen Iris Inn grounds

Inspiration Point
view of Upper and Middle Falls

We returned to Archery Field at 4:00 pm.  There was ample parking alongside Archery Field, owing to the fact that we arrived early.  We had a 2-hour wait until launch time.

We didn’t think through our spur-of-the-moment drive to Letchworth State Park.  We didn’t bring water; we didn’t bring chairs (although we did claim a picnic table at Archery Field); and we didn’t bring reading material.  We DID have AT&T LTE service, so Internet WAS available.  I discovered that there is supposed to be a concession stand at Archery Field, during the balloon launch. Two men, park personnel I believe, had the concession tent in their truck. At 5:15 pm they were still waiting for the concessions and the individuals who would be manning the concession stand. The concession stand did not materialize during yesterday evening’s balloon launch.

At 6:00 pm there was no activity visible that a balloon launch was imminent.  At 6:30 pm hot air balloons began to be pulled out; burners were tested; and balloons began to be filled with air.  At 7:00 pm the first hot air balloon was launched, followed by many more balloons. I photographed the balloons from Archery Field, as well as from the Archery Field gorge overlook.

We departed Letchworth StatePark around 8:00 pm, after the last balloon had left Archery Field. We returned home around 10:45 pm.

This was the first time Bob and I attended the Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally.  I am so happy that we drove to Letchworth State Park to attend the rally.  The hot air balloon launch was a spectacular event!

Labor Day Weekend 2015: Horseheads NY to Warren PA

**Republished August 3, 2021**

This is Day 4, the last day of our Labor Day weekend vacation.


We checked out of Rodeway Inn Marshall Manor in Horseheads, NY shortly before 7:45 am and left en route Letchworth State Park, where we plan to meet up with some motorcycling friends from our 2 Scoop CycleTherapy group.

En route Letchworth State Park, we stopped at Stony Brook State Park.  The NY Empire Passport provided free day use vehicle entry into the park.  We went for a walk on the gorge trail, where we saw several small waterfalls along the creek bed and one bigger one.

Stony Brook Pool Falls

Stony Brook Pool

Stony Brook Bridge


The gorge trail was fairly easy to walk, even given the steps. While at the larger waterfall, our friend Mark telephoned and said the 2 Scoop CycleTherapy group was in Portville and their ETA was about 1 ½ hours. I told Mark that we would meet the group at the parking lot near the Railroad High Bridge, located a short way from the Portageville entrance to Letchworth State Park.  Shortly before Bob and I reached the park I telephoned Mark from the 7-Eleven store in Nunda, where we stopped for gas and picnic lunch fixings. I expected to leave a message of our ETA. Mark answered the phone. Our friends were still in Portville. One of our friends could ride no longer, as she was experiencing severe back pain. They wouldn’t leave her until they knew she had a ride home. The new ETA for our friends became 12:30-1:00 pm.

Bob and I arrived at Letchworth State Park around 11:30 am, which was the time we had expected to meet our friends.  The Empire Passport provided free day use vehicle entry into the park.  We parked at the parking lot near the Railroad High Bridge.

Railroad High Bridge
our planned meeting place

While awaiting our friends’ arrival, we were pleasantly surprised by a chance encounter with a friend and her son whom we hadn’t seen in several years! Lisa S., her boyfriend Darcy, and Lisa’s son Michael emerged at the top of the gorge trail, where Bob and I were sitting. The three of them had hiked the trail from the William Pryor Letchworth Museum, near the Glen Iris Inn. What a nice surprise to see Lisa and her son after so many years. It was nice to meet Darcy as well.

We were so busy catching up that I didn’t think to take a picture of Lisa, Darcy and Michael while we were talking.  I did, however, take a picture as they left to hike back to their car.

Our 2 Scoop CycleTherapy group friends arrived around 12:40 pm.

Our friends at the Portageville entrance

From the Portageville entrance we rode to the parking lot between Middle Falls and Upper Falls.  We ate a picnic lunch together near Upper Falls.

Picnic Lunch

After lunch, we saw Upper Falls and Middle Falls.

Mark and Faye
and John and Carol at Upper Falls

It was a hot day and a hot ride!
John and Renate
and George and Trudy
relax before heading over to Middle Falls.


Middle Falls

We parted ways, after seeing the falls. Our friends continued their ride in the park, and we left for home leaving by way of the Portageville entrance. We returned home around 5:30 pm.

The weekend weather, although hot and humid, was beautiful. We drove 689 miles during the weekend. It was great to get away for the weekend and to be able to meet up with our friends at Letchworth.

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