Parks in in the Genesee Valley/Letchworth area
Nature Preserves & Gardens)
Beaver Meadow Nature
Center, North Java, Wyoming County
Beavers, once nearly extinct in Western
New York, are thriving at Beaver Meadow Nature Center in Wyoming County. The sanctuary's
dominant feature-amid its 324 acres of forest, field and wetland-is the beaver
pond. Visitors are invited to walk Beaver Pond Trail and view the chiseled stumps
of saplings and girdled bases of larger trees. Lucky trekkers might even see the
aquatic mammals cruising the lake, with only their heads showing above the pond's
Bergen Swamp, Byron, Genesee County
the most unique and primeval locale in the region is the Bergen Swamp, a National
Natural History Landmark that has attracted naturalists for over 100 years. What
makes it unique? 1,900 acres of rare and endangered species. Visits to the Bergen
Swamp must be prearranged. 585-548-7304.
Cumming Nature Center,
South Bristol, Ontario County
A 900-acre living museum, the Cumming Nature
Center in Ontario County offers 6 miles of walking trails, a beaver pond and an
army of tall marching pines said to have been planted in formation by a disgruntled
potato farmer. A Visitor Center features exhibits, seasonal displays and theater
Finger Lakes Trail, Regional
miles of hiking trail from Allegany State Park to the Catskills. The
Finger Lakes Trail goes through Finger Lakes National Forest: New York state's
only national forest. 585-658-9320.
Letchworth State Park,
Castile, Wyoming County
A 17-mile stretch of grey-green canyon, Letchworth
State Park is emerald in springtime, crimson in autumn. This "Vale of
the Three Falls" is aptly called The Grand Canyon of the East. A million
people visit the 14,340-acre park annually. Most come to view the scenic splendor
of 600-foot cliffs, or to picnic, hike or camp. Others are drawn by the history,
the romance and the legends of the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls, 585-493-3600.
Darien Lake State Park: Genesee County. 1,846 acres of hilly,
wooded terrain. 12-acre lake. Fishing, swimming. 19 miles of multi-use trails.
Camping. 585-547-9242 (summer); 585-547-9481 (winter).
Park & Forest: Braille and large print nature trail. Cross country skiing,