After a day of rain during which we basically, rested, on Wednesday, we rose early yesterday and were greeted with a cold (not quite 40 degrees!), damp and gray morning. We picked up McDonalds breakfast again and drove west and then south toward Letchworth State Park. We entered the north end of the park after about an hour, but Letchworth is gigantic, so it was another twenty minutes before we arrived at the Visitor Center! We took a map and some very good guidance and headed for Trail #1 near where it begins, north of the Lower Falls.
Once on the Trail, it was not long before we realized this was a special place. As we hiked south along the cliffs that border the western banks of the Genesee River, we were thoroughly impressed with the majestic scenery. These cliffs are, at times nearly six hundred feet above the River, which travels north through the “Grand Canyon of the East”! The Trail lead us through beautiful pine forests and over challenging terrain. We observed many species of birds, and spotted a few black squirrels and chipmunks. While the forest trails and the wildlife were impressive, it was the River and the Canyon that made for the most awe inspiring scenes. And of the many spectacular scenes, the three major falls, are the showstoppers! The first of them is the Lower Falls, which requires some grueling hiking (I apologize for not having a photo, I am experiencing some technical difficulty). There is a long distance before you reach the Middle Falls. By then we were no longer cold and enjoying mostly sunny skies, making the scenery, that much more breathtaking.
The Upper Falls is not far from Middle Falls, but the hike is steep, though definitely worth the effort. It is also, the southern end of Trail #1, so after a short rest and a Protein Bar, we began the return trip.
As is often the case, the return hike seemed easier and quicker. It did not diminsh the wonders of our surroundings, in fact the different perspectives and light of the afternoon, only enhanced our experience. The highlight of this portion of the day, was Debi pointing out three Deer darting through the woods above the Trail. We were able to see them clearly, though only for a few seconds before they disappeared!
We covered about six miles in a bit more than four hours, before getting back to the car. We were both pretty overwhelmed with the beauty we experienced throughout the day. We left the park full of great appreciation, with hopes of returning some day. We headed north toward Rochester. We made our daily provisions run to Wegmans before arriving at our home for the next couple of days.