I’ve never been to the actual Grand Canyon so why not take a trip to the “Grand Canyon of New York State,” Letchworth State Park?
Though the whole park is beautiful and a great space to camp, spend the day, cook or more, it’s really known for its beautiful waterfalls. Depending on how much time and activity you’re looking to put into this excursion, you can either walk to the three waterfalls via a path or drive if you’re short on time.
It’s not too tough to drive through the space to see the waterfalls because it’s pretty much just one road the whole way (see map). Because of where we were headed, we entered the top of the park and drove to the exit at the end. Just because you’re there to see the waterfalls, keep an eye out for other pullovers because each has a beautiful view of this park (we even spotted hawks a few times).
The main points of interest are the Upper Falls, the Middle Falls and the Lower Falls. The Lower Falls we had a hard time getting to. We tried to follow the map, ended up at a camping ground and walked down to a path where we kind of saw it. Luckily, from what we read, that’s the least impressive of the falls.
The Middle and Upper Falls are right next to each other and there’s a parking lot right there. Also, if you luck out as we did, you’ll get to see a hot air balloon above the two falls (we started to see photographers setting up to catch the sunset who were also surprised by the hot air balloon too). By the Upper Falls, you can walk up the staircase and path to get above the falls and go even further to get to the train tracks (from what I heard). It was a great view with great spots for photos and with the sunset, you may even spot a few rainbows!
If you happen to be in the area and have the time, definitely stop by the Upper and Middle Falls at the very least. You can even bring some food and have a picnic. The terrain isn’t rough but it is slightly muddy and wet so be careful and don’t wear flip-flops.