2016 Summer Retreat - Evading the heat? travel blog

Sunday morning skillet breakfast

Fort Niagara Lighthouse

Sailboats moored in the mouth of the Niagara River at Youngstown

Sunset on the Niagara

Looking toward Lake Ontario

Monday's route to Letchworth

We crossed the Erie Canal at Lockport along the way

I used to stop at Garlock's for a prime rib sandwich back...

Car parts man

"Vidler on the Roof" - Mr. Vidler sits on the roof of...

Driving into the Geneseo River valley

I nearly hit 2 fawns in the Fit when they tried to...

Winnie at Letchworth State Park

Black squirrels at Letchworth

"Hogbacks" along the Geneseo River

Mt. Morris dry dam on the Geneseo

Big chair on the cliff at the dam

Genes River below the dam at twilight

Low head dam at Mt. Morris


I'm trying to catch up with our posts as the State Parks do not have WiFi and AT&T cell coverage in the "boonies" is spotty at best. We left Fourmile Creek State Park on Monday and headed inland to Letchworth State Park - home of the "Grand Canyon of the East". We are here for 4 days and it is purely a photographic stop. The park is roughly 17 miles long, and follows the course of the Genesee River as it flows north through a deep gorge and over several large waterfalls as it flows toward Lake Ontario. The rock walls of the gorge rise up to 550 feet in places which prompted the name as the "Grand Canyon of the East". In 1856, industrialist William Pryor Letchworth bought 1,000 acres of land, and constructed Glen Iris Estate, now a restaurant in the park. In 1906 he bequeathed the estate to New York. The estate became the core of Letchworth State Park. The Corps of Engineers built a flood control dam at the lower end of the gorge in the early 50's to protect the farmland and towns of the lower Geneses River valley. The Mount Morris Dam is a dry dam, no water behind it except during periods of high flow. The dam is the largest flood control device of its kind east of the Mississippi River and is over 200 ft tall.

We always have a good travel story, and Monday was no exception. Our route today took us along US20A. I researched it before we left and saw there was a steep hill going into Warsaw, NY, but looking at it with Google Maps I thought we would be able to make it down. When we actually got there, there was a big warning sign saying that vehicles greater than 9 tons GVW should seek an alternate route and directed us into a turn-off that would allow a U-turn. Since Winnie weighs more than 9 tons we decided to make the U-turn and travel about 50 miles to avoid the downhill grade and put us back on US20A. We finally arrived at the campground late in the afternoon.

The State Park is advertised as "The Best State Park in the US". We're not sure how they were selected because it's not nearly as nice as the Fourmile Creek. Assuming I can reliably get a 4G signal at the campground I'll be posting more pictures of the "Grand Canyon". Stay tuned.

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