Letchworth State park is expansive! The road from Start to finish is about 20 miles long with offshoots, overlooks, waterfalls, playgrounds, and hiking along the way.
There are 4 main Entrances:
Mount Morris: Dam Overlook, Harvey Swimming pool, playground
Perry: Halfway point of the park
Castile: Lower Falls, Visitor Center, Humphrey Nature Center, Wolf Creek
Portageville: Upper & Middle Falls
There is so much to see here, you probably won’t get it all in with one visit. Consider camping over or visit again and again! The following information outlines a visit using the Castile Entrance
Please note, there is a seasonal car entrance fee to enter the park. Plan ahead and check out the Empire State Park Pass from the Monroe County Library System to get into the park for free!
6787 Co Rd 38, Castile, NY 14427
Take Me There
Lower Falls Recreation Area
The Castile Entrance offers the closest access to visit the lower falls area and playgrounds. This is a little over an hour from Rochester. Upon entering, turn right and drive until you see a sign for Lower Falls Rd. You will pass Lower Fall Restaurant and Gifts and park in the large parking lot there.
When you first park, you will see an older playground with swings. The kids had a great time here, but don’t stay too long, there is much more to see!
Head towards the newly built recreation center and you will find a second playground. This one has a rubber surface, rope spider web and accessible fitness equipment! There is a fun canoe for the kids to sit in placed perfectly on the faux river shown on the rubber surface. The recreation center also offers a variety of outdoor games and bathrooms.
To hike to the lower falls from the Lower Falls Recreation Area, head to the back of the parking lot, toward the river and bathroom shelter at the corner. You will find the trail that takes you to the scenic views in this southern corner of the parking lot. The trail is not wheel friendly as there are lots of stairs but overall it’s a quick and simple hike.
If you have kids with you, you will want to take a pit stop and play at the Octagon playground along the way! This is a wooden Bears Playground and is a bit of a hidden gem within the park! There are different play areas for varying age groups as well as adaptive and typical swings. This playground can be nicely shaded. There is a lot of space to play here as well as picnic tables and a bathroom shelter nearby so be sure to plan time into the schedule for this stop.
There is a parking lot closer to this playground if you want to start here. To get there, head past the Lower Falls Recreation area and toward the B Cabins. (Take Me there!)
Continue on the hike and eventually you will get to a set of descending stairs and very soon after a sharp left turn. Take that for the wide open views, bridges and lower falls view. From here you can turn around or carry on! This area is probably the most scenic of all the spots in the park. It is a popular hike and common photo op!
Humphrey Nature Center
Humphrey Nature Center can be worth the trip in itself. Click the link for more details!