Friends of Letchworth State Park

Friends of Letchworth State Park is non-profit 501(c)(3) incorporated in June 2000 by the State of New York with a mission to support the preservation, conservation and careful development of Letchworth State Park by:

  • Offering services and activities reflective of and consistent with the history and nature of the park
  • Supporting and assisting in offering educational and recreational programs
  • Raising funds for equipment, supplies and projects to support the park
  • Promoting and supporting Letchworth State Park for the benefit of the park, the public and posterity

Board of Trustees

  • Carol Rathbun – President
  • Mike LaBella – Vice President
  • Gail Rogers – Secretary
  • Jan Vrooman – Treasurer
  • Nancy Braaten
  • Linda Bergholtz
  • Victoria Campbell
  • Thomas Cook
  • Alan Gregg
  • Judi Laird Gusmann
  • Paul Gusmann
  • Diane Hainsworth
  • Toni Hoy
  • John Kantrowski
  • David Mapes
  • Ellen Mapes
  • Pat Muscarella
  • Carolisa Ray
  • Paul Zielinski

Letchworth State Park

William Pryor Letchworth and His Gift

On December 1, 1910, William Pryor Letchworth passed quietly into eternal rest at his Wyoming County home, Glen Iris. This set in motion processes that would bring great changes to his property and the surrounding countryside. Born in 1823 in Brownsville, NY, Letchworth was the fourth child of eight in a tight-knit Quaker family. He grew up valuing honesty, piety, modesty, hard work, education and service to others. Apprenticed as a clerk in a saddalry and hardware business in nearby Auburn, he quickly became so well known for industry and business sense that he was offered a partnership in a new metal working business being established in Buffalo, New York when he was only 25. The Pratt & Letchworth firm prospered, thanks to William’s hard work and organizational skills.

The Park

Nestled between the Allegany foothills and the Finger Lakes of New York State is one of the crown jewels of the New York State Parks system, Letchworth State Park, also known as “The Grand Canyon the of East”. Today this 14,350 acre park offers a wide variety of family activities; you can rent one of its 82 cabins or perhaps stay at one of its 270 campsites or experience the beautiful accommodations at the historic Glen Iris Inn. You may also swim at the Olympic size pool located at the north end in the Highbanks Recreation Area of the park or perhaps hike on over 66 miles of trails. If adventure is what you seek, try hot air ballooning over one of 3 waterfalls, 70 ft. Upper Falls, 107 ft. Middle Falls or 70 ft. Lower Falls, or go white water rafting though miles of the scenic gorge with walls as high as 600 ft. on the Genesee River. All this with spectacular vistas and breathtaking panoramic views that are unequaled anywhere in the eastern United States. Letchworth State Park is a photographer’s dream with locations such as Inspiration Point, Eagle Hill, Wolf Creek, Great Bend, Smokey Hollow and the Hog’s Back. Fishing, canoeing and kayaking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are but a few of the popular park activities. Dozens of picnic areas and ten shelters are available throughout the park. Be sure to visit the William Pryor Letchworth Museum featuring a large collection of Native American artifacts, as well as park related items.