New York, Where We've Been

Letchworth State Park

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Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park is near the Finger Lakes area of New York and was actually voted the number one state park in the U.S.

I can see why it would rank up near the top, but since we have been to a lot of state parks in the last year, I can think of a few that would out rank it. 

Still, it was beautiful and it is unique in that it’s the first state park I’ve seen where you can take a hot air balloon ride over the park.

There’s also a dam on the north side of the park that works to control flooding down steam. Most of the time it is a dry dam with no water stored behind it. When it rains and the water begins to back up behind the dam, they slowly let it out so that it can gently flow out. Otherwise the land down stream would be  both unpredictable and unlivable.

Letchworth consists of three main waterfalls and a number of overlook points. Lots of families spend their time here camping and grilling and enjoying the views. There were a number of people walking on the trails and a painter off to the side finishing up a painting he had made of the railroad bridge and waterfall.

From a higher vantage point, two of the waterfalls can be seen. The upper falls is the one furthest away by the railroad bridge and the middle falls are the closer ones below. 

There is a similar view in Yellowstone, though that one has less trees and higher falls, but this view reminded me of that.

The water is very shallow here, but the steep drop off makes for several impressive falls.

Each of these awesome waterfall places that we go to, Jaden wishes we could be allowed to go in and wade in the water. It’s one thing to see it, it’s another to play in it, but no water play is allowed so he has to settle for just watching it. 

The Amish and Mennonite Community

There are a lot of Amish and Mennonites in the area where we camped. As I was driving around, I noticed a group of young farmers hard at work in the 90 degree humid heat, gathering the hay into their wagon. I asked if I could take their picture and the woman waved her hand for approval. Each row they gathered filled the wagon and an empty one was at the ready to begin the next row. 

The same woman would jump off the full wagon onto the empty one and continue where she left off. The full wagon would be led by one of the two men on top to the barn to empty it and the cycled continued until they had finished their gathering.

Just a mile down the road, we found a produce and baked goods stand run by one of the Amish families. Delicious! I don’t believe I have ever had a cucumber with so much flavor. The ones we have in the west are ok, mostly watery, but they’re just ok. I’ve tried everything from conventional, organic, farm stand, farmer’s market, fresh picked, I’ve tried them all.

This one had real flavor and it wasn’t just the cucumber. The cherries, blueberries, and tomatoes were all amazing. It must have something to do with the rich New York soil. ??

We also met another woman from the church we went to on Sunday. She had a farm herself and grew a lot of produce, but she also had some of the best milk Ben and the kids have ever tasted. According to her website, she calls it VAT-pasteurized. It is a low temperature pasteurization that just kills off the bacteria, but retains all the good parts. In its finished form, the cream separates and sits on the top.

The prices were pretty good too… certainly cheaper than we can get in Colorado. An entire loaf of zucchini bread was only $3. Bell peppers were $0.75 each. A large container of cherries was $4 and an overflowing box of peaches was $4.50.



The Ridge Campground

This campground was a treat for the kids. They had a playground, jump pad, swimming pool, and sweets and ice cream in the store. Out of all the campgrounds we’ve been to, they said this one was their favorite.

We were parked by the office near the front of the campground. There was plenty of space for our rig and truck. It was easy in and out. We had full hookups. Our site sloped slightly to the front, but no problem leveling. Water pressure was only low the last day so may have been a one time deal.

We had a clear view of the sky. Starlink gave us 13 down and 10 up. Verizon was decent at 2 bars on the phone and 5 bars with our cell antenna. AT&T was also at 5 bars with the cell antenna.