Letchworth State Park’s First Day Hikes

Letchworth State Park will be offering free hikes on the first day of the New Year, Jan. 1, 2023.

Due to the possibility of temporary road closures for winter weather, participants should use the Mount Morris entrance for north end hikes and the Castile entrance for south end hikes.

The hikes offered on the first day of 2023 include: 

• First Sunrise Hike, 7-8:30 a.m.: Witness the first sunrise of 2023 from Archery Field Overlook, the breathtaking “Grand Canyon of the East” view at Letchworth State Park. This easy hike on mostly-level ground offers wonderful views and great photo opportunities. It is 1 mile. Meet at the Humphrey Nature Center in the south end of the park, 1 mile south of the Castile entrance.

• First Day Hike Around Trout Pond, 10-11:30 a.m.: Hike a loop around Trout Pond, the human-enhanced wildlife habitat, fishing pond, and water source for the fountain at the Glen Iris Inn. This moderate hike covers mostly flat ground but follows a complete loop around Trout Pond. Experience the hushed, densely fern-covered pine woods in their winter slumber beside the beautiful pond. The hike will take one and a half hours, and it’s 1 mile. Meet at the Humphrey Nature Center.

• First Day Waterfalls Hike, 10:30 a.m.-noon: Join for a hike to Middle Falls and Upper Falls. This easy hike over mostly flat surfaces offers incredible views, plus the Glen Iris fountain, known to some as the “Ice Volcano” in the winter. The hike is 1 mile. Meet at the Humphrey Nature Center. 

• First Day Waterfalls Hike, 1-3 p.m.: Join in for a hike to Inspiration Point, the Glen Iris Fountain, and Middle Falls. This more moderate hike offers incredible views and explores exotic trees, as well as state and national champion trees. This hike is 2 miles. Meet at the Humphrey Nature Center. 

• First Day Hike to Hogsback Overlook, 10-11:30 a.m.: Enjoy a guided hike along the Highbanks Trail with great views of the Mt. Morris Canyon. The Hogsback Overlook provides great views of a unique geological feature of the gorge within Letchworth State Park. – 1½ miles. Meet at the North Highbanks Shelter, in the north end of the park, near the swimming pool.

• First Day Hike to Mt. Morris Dam, 1-2:30 p.m.: See the Mount Morris Dam as only a winter hiker can, with hard-to-find views exposed by bare trees. Hear stories of the creation of the Mount Morris Dam and its importance to communities on the Genesee River, including some of the most productive farmland in New York and the City of Rochester. This hike is 1½ miles. Meet at the North Highbanks Shelter.