Letchworth State Park (New York) Day 2

Matty and I spent Saturday exploring the northwest and east sides of Letchworth State Park.

In the morning we visited overlooks and short trails north of the Visitor Center, followed by a Ranger-led tour of the Mt. Morris Dam.

After lunch, we explored the east side of the park, hiking the 1/2 mile (one way) Footbridge Trail down to the Lower Falls Stone Arch Bridge.  
Matty had to return to RIT in the afternoon, so I finished up the day with a solo hike on the Seneca Trail.  It's hard to generalize from one experience, but there is a sharp contrast between the manicured lawns and well maintained trails on the touristy west side of the park, and the undeveloped and overgrown trails that I observed on the east side.  Many of the open areas on the west side of the park are mowed and look like a lawn.  In fact, in the few places where the park is letting grass grow long, there are signs explaining why the park is not mowing.

Several of the east side trails off of the dirt River Road appeared grown over.  I selected the Seneca trail since it looked like it might provide an opportunity to get down to river level to view the canyon walls.  The Seneca Trail was overgrown from the start but wasn't bad initially.  In around 1/4 mile, I passed the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), which runs from north to south the length of the park.  As the Seneca Trail descended to the river, it became increasingly overgrown, but at that point I felt invested and motivated to see the river.  During the final stretch I was pushing my way through chest high vegetation.  When I finally saw the river, it was downstream from where the canyons ended.  

On my way back I elected to go off-trail rather than wade through tall vegetation,  I knew as long as I headed east, I would come across the FLT.   This worked out well, as the forest area was for the most part open and clear.  I was able to see a waterfall that I wouldn't have otherwise seen and enjoyed exploring the woods.  I found the FLT and used it to get back to the Seneca Trail.  (The FLT was well maintained and well worn, at least in the short section I hiked.)


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