Genesee, New York, US
Letchworth Gorge (Lee's Landing to St. Helena)
||II-III (for normal flows)
Letchworth GorgePhoto by Harry A. , Marinakis, M.D.
Letchworth State Park
boasts a spectacular, meandering 550-foot deep river gorge lined with slate cliffs. It is called
the "Grand Canyon of the East."
Within the gorge, the Genesee River is class II run at low levels (9.0 feet) but becomes a
respectable class III river with great surfing opportunities at higher water (stage 10.5 feet). The
Genesee River is consistently at its highest during March and April. The river periodically floods
between October and June. The highest recorded flood peak was 90,000 cfs on June 23, 1979. The
river is closed to kayakers at stage 14.0 feet and higher. Every October, the draining of Rushford
Lake augments river flow through Letchworth Gorge by about 1.0 foot.
(adapted from Hoppy's post on the FLOW Massage
Sign the release and get a Waiver # at the Admin center near the South end of park.
Get a map at the gate when you pay your $6 park Entry Fee so you can find everything.
Put in is at Lee's Landing, a 1/2-mile carry downhill from the parking lot east of the swimming
pool/Letchworth Outfitters (Raft Co.) Look for a gate across the grassy area north of parking lot
near the CCC statue. Follow the dirt road to the bottom of the hill. Right to Lee's Landing, Left
at the bottom, then Right in 300 yards to Red Ball.
If you run the Loop, no shuttle is necessary. The carry back uphill is about 1/2 mile from either
Red Ball (airplane/helicopter warnings on power lines) or Lunch Rocks (the next rapid below Red
If you pass Lunch Rocks you are committed to about 5 miles of Canyon to St. Helena's. This is the
last takeout before the dam. Go with somebody that knows how to find it. In early Spring, there may
be a lake backed up above there from the dam--not likely to be a worthwhile trip. Stick to the Loop
in those conditions.
REPORT THAT YOU ARE OFF THE RIVER IN PERSON OR BY PHONE USING YOUR WAIVER # TO ADMIN CENTER.
INSTRUCTIONS ARE ON YOUR WAIVER. DON'T FORGET UNLESS YOU WANT THE PARK POLICE SEARCHING FOR
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Last Updated: 2010-09-30 15:11:54