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Posts Tagged ‘Letchworth State Park’

Liberty Balloon Co. has started offering hot air balloon flights at Fulkerson Winery.

Rides cost $285 per person for a minimum of two and a maximum of four people. A vehicle will pick people up after the balloon lands and return them to Fulkerson. The winery is at 5576 Route 14, Dundee, Yates County, on Seneca Lake.

To book a ride, call Liberty at (800) 777-2359 or by email at office@libertyballoon.com.

The company, based in Groveland, Livingston County, also books rides on other Finger Lakes and in the Letchworth State Park area. Prices start at $240 a person at some sites. For more information, go to libertyballoon.com.

source: D&C

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Portageville High Bridge in Letchworth State Park - soon to be history

Portageville High Bridge in Letchworth State Park – soon to be history

According to an article by Irene Szabo in the Finger Lakes Trail News, the days of the iconic railroad bridge over the Genesee River in Letchworth State Park are numbered. The current steel and iron trestle was built in 1875 to replace an all wooden structure that serviced the original Erie Railroad since the 1850’s. Now Norfolk Southern needs an updated bridge that doesn’t require frequent repairs, a 10 mph speed limit, and lightly loaded rail cars.

The plans call for a steel single arch trestle to be built 75 feet further south. They hope to being a 3-year construction project this summer.

Plan now to attend the FLTC Spring weekend on June 1st. It may be your last chance to walk beneath the 138 year old portage bridge.

Take Your Bike - Genesee Valley

Take Your Bike – Genesee Valley

It explore it on your own this spring pick up a copy of the guidebook “Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Finger Lakes and Genesee Valley Region” and refer to page 65 for the Genesee Valley Greenway -Portageville to Nunda chapter. Just do it soon. Once construction begins, the trail will be temporarily closed.

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The Buffalo News / Opinion by Mitch Flynn, link to original post

Joined by 75 other like-minded warriors from Planet Spandex (visualize helmets, wrap-around sunglasses, skin-tight shorts, colorful jerseys, fingerless gloves and hard-to-walk-in shoes) my friend Dave and I are prepared to conquer space, Western New York style, by riding our bicycles from West Seneca to Letchworth Park and back. In cycling parlance, it s a century ride  (100 miles in one day) and September, after a summer of biking, is the perfect time to do it.

In less than an hour, we re in the country – released from Buffalo s gravitational field – and we start to pass through places we never knew existed  – Waldo’s Corners, Hermitage, Gainesville and Lamont. Goldenrod floods the fields, and while the corn’s not as high as the proverbial pachyderm’s pupil, it’s still taller than I am, ears angling up off the stalks like pegs on a hat rack.

On the road, the going’s slow enough to pick out the orange stripes on woolly caterpillars inching across the pavement  – my wife says they’re harbingers of winter. And something that you can never do blurring by in a car at 55 mph  -actually read historical markers like the one that says the first president of Stanford University, David Starr Jordan, was born in Wyoming County. He went West as a young man.

We re heading east and are in our 50s. Downhill into Letchworth, we pause at Inspiration Point and wolf down the two tuna subs we bought back at the general store on Route 78. Yellow rafts down in the river gorge look like sunny side-up eggs. Fifty miles down, 50 to go.

The return is mental. Using my cyclometer, and counting how many times my legs move up and down in a minute, I do the math and figure my feet will have made about 30,000 revolutions by the time I’m done. (Respectable, but nothing next to the 100,000 times I read that my heart beats automatically every day.)

Dave tells me a joke about the cross-eyed cow. I respond with the one about the Junior Leaguer. At the top of some unnamed hill with 20 miles to go, we stop to toss back our water bottles and drink in the view  – blue hills in the distance, roads we don’t know winding up them, green fields quilting the countryside.

I ask Dave what he likes about riding a century. He says,  “the company, the scenery, the challenge and that it s not a traditional activity.”  I second all those, plus the fact that you can gobble junk food all day and still feel healthy. (Dave is partial to Twinkies.)

I also like the sense you get of the rhythm of country life – landscapes by a modern-day Bruegel  – everyday people out doing what everyday people do on a summer Sunday:  painting porches, mowing hay, shingling roofs, hanging wash.

And then there s the satisfaction of being self-propelled  – covering ground without gasoline, almost running out of breath climbing up one side of a hill at 6 mph, and coming down the other side so fast you forget to breathe.

Six hours and 57 minutes after departing, we coast into a half-full parking lot, 100.67 miles on my cyclometer, 101.24 on Dave’s (he must have turned around somewhere to get a snack).

The distance we’ve covered reminds me of the poet William Blake’s aphorism,  the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.  A century is a long way to bike, but awash with endorphins, a new appreciation of our local geography and satisfaction with our accomplishment, I’d say our excess was worth the effort.

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By Andy Thompson, The Evening Tribune, link to original post

What goes down must again come back up. That, in a nutshell, is much of what you must know in order to hike the 22-plus trails of Letchworth State Park.

An attraction that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, the Grand Canyon of the East offers scores of scenic vistas as the Genesee River cuts through the 17-mile long park. At its greatest height, the rock walls soar more than 600 feet above the river below, making for a nature lover’s dream.

Several trails hold to the edge of the gorge on the east and west sides, but many more cut into the hills on the west side, while the remainder offer ways to get to the flats on the east.

History is not far away, either. Founded a little more than a century ago by philanthropist William Pryor Letchworth — whose home, Glen Iris, remains open to visitors — the park today features remnants of the many farms once there. Also prominent on the east side are preserved segments of the Genesee Valley Canal, which once connected Rochester and Olean. Trail 7 especially offers a close view of the canal, and of the proximity of the passageway that so terrified horses pulling packet boats that their drivers were forced to put blinders on them.

The Pennsylvania Railroad took over much of the canal’s route, and ghosts of that branch remain as well.

For the novice hiker, Letchworth offers an excellent way to get acclimated to the pursuit. The west side is the part known to most visitors, with amenities such as restrooms, snack bars and well-worn paths that make most hikes family friendly. Trail 2, for example, begins behind the Council House grounds (where rest the remains of Mary Jemison, White Woman of the Genesee) and wanders through mighty groves of pine trees where farmers once worked the land. Look carefully, and you can still see evidence of homes and barns where apple trees now grow.

Trail 1, the Gorge Trail, is the park’s longest, at 7 miles, and begins at the famed Portage High Bridge where Norfolk Southern trains still run. The walk goes up and down hills, past Inspiration Point and then Wolf’s Creek to end at St. Helena, one of two ‘ghost’ villages in the park. That community, and one nearby named Gibsonville, were dissolved as the park expanded with the construction of Mt. Morris Dam.

The Highbanks area, across from the dam on the west side, is an excellent starting point for a southward trek. The trail is nearly 5 miles in length, and takes walkers through forests with views now and then of Gardeau Flats, a vast area once farmed by Jemison and her family.

200 Waterfalls in Central & Western NY

The east side of the park is where the hikes demand a little more effort. Trails, not always well marked, take you down steep hills through old growth forests. While none are very long, it is something to consider for those not in good physical shape. The Smokey Hollow and Bear Hollow trails (15 and 16) are only two miles each, but can give a good workout once you hit bottom and need to trek back up. The Big Bend Trail (10) is really a walk on a country road, but has the surprise of taking you to observation points high above the river that most park visitors do not realize exist.

When you reach them, wave to the tourists on the other side and enjoy the feeling of discovery.

Letchworth has 23 waterfalls. Go on a quest to find them all using the guidebook “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York – A Finders’ Guide.”

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New York State is not about the skyscrapers and smog of New York City instead it is an oasis of beautiful landscapes and plenty of outdoors to explore.  The perfect way to make the most of the great outdoors is by camping, by sleeping out in the elements you really get to experience the best of what the area has to offer. Here is a roundup of my top 5 campsites in New York State.

Heckscher State Park
Located in East Islip, New York, Heckscher State Park attracts more than a million visitors a year and has been voted one of the top 100 campsites in the USA.  At only 50 miles away from Manhattan the area is popular for New Yorkers wanting to get away.  The park boasts over 20 miles of trails that can be used by cyclists, hikers and even cross-country skiers in the winter, there is a swimming pool complex and a bay for boating and fishing. Within the park there are 69 individual camp sites to choose from so you can decide which of the amenities best suit your needs and pitch up close to them. Ideal for children, the park also has its own beach, nature trail and playing fields, sure to keep them entertained for the duration of your stay.

Wildwood State Park
If your idea of camping is based more upon being in the wilderness, Wildwood State Park is for you, comprising of 600 acres of undeveloped forest land. Here you can really be at one with nature and activities include swimming in the Long Island Sound, fishing and hiking not to mention enjoying the 2 miles of beach at the park. For the athletic types out there, there are basketball courts and baseball fields and after you have worked up an appetite there is firewood available for you to enjoy your own barbeque. Although the park is open all year round the camping season only runs from April to October and every October the park holds its own fall festival.

Hither Hills State Park
Hither Hills State Park is located 122 miles east from New York City on the eastern end of Long Island and offers its guests 2 miles of ocean front beach and a 40 acre freshwater lake. Organised activities for the guests at the campsite include family films, dancing lessons, children’s theatre, magic shows and other performances. Outdoor activities at the park include 10 acre picnic area complete with fires, horseshoe courts, volleyball areas, baseball fields and hiking trails. During the winter cross country skiing is also available and hunting is also permitted in the park during certain times of the year. It is important to note that the park does not allow pets however, so if you would like to take your furry friend with you Hither Hills is not for you, if you aren’t so keen on our four legged friends however this could be the perfect park for you.

Letchworth State Park
For awe inspiring landscapes head to Letchworth State Park, known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” it is one of the most dramatically scenic areas of the Eastern US. The Genesee River flows through the park and creates 3 spectacular waterfalls, as high as 600 feet at their peak and the lush forest provides the perfect back drop for hiking, horseback riding, biking and in the winter skiing and snowmobiling. The park also runs a series of educational programs covering performing arts, history, and nature along with activities such as guided walks, white-water rafting and swimming. Possibly the most unforgettable experience on offer at Letchworth is the chance to go hot air ballooning, viewing the park from this vantage point really does offer a unique and breathtaking experience.  In terms of accommodation if you choose not to camp under the stars there are some excellent inns in the park.

Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park, the largest park in New York State, is split into 2 well known areas, the Quaker area and the Red House area, both offer amenities such as sandy beaches, picnic areas, hiking trails, walking trails and museums. There are 424 campsites to choose from in the park including 375 cabins and three group camps available for visitors to rent. Those looking for something a bit more luxurious for their stay may want to stay in one of the 7 Fancher Cottages (located in the Quaker Area of the park) each of the cottages has a bathroom with shower, a refrigerator, a countertop range and a microwave. The cottages are fully furnished and provide all you could need for your stay as well as having full disabled access and a picnic table outside.

by Charlotte McCulloch

Charlotte writes for new travel site Simonseeks.com where you can find inspirational travel guides and expert advice on the best nightlife in Paris to the cheapest hotels in London.

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Join Rochester Area hikers for healthy outdoor fun

For many other places to hike in the Greater Rochester area, pick up a copy of the guidebooks “Take A Hike – Family Walks in the Rochester Area” and “Take A Hike – family Walks  in NY’s Finger Lakes Region.”

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Click here to see some beautiful photos of waterfalls in Letchworth State Park in the rain. If you go, be sure to 200waterfallsSmalltake along a copy of “200 Waterfalls in Central & Western New York – A Finders’ Guide” so you can locate all 23 waterfalls in Letchworth State Park.

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