I featured small but beautiful Letchworth State Park here last summer. We were so surprised to rediscover this gem so nearby. When we were looking at snowmobiles last fall, we spoke to a dealer who told us that Letchworth is awesome in the winter for snowmobiling.
As Mark is always given to doing, he called the trail coordinator who grooms Letchworth trails and asked how the trails were. When he was told they were in fine shape, Ben loaded the sleds and we were off!
Letchworth’s “heart” is the Genesee River Valley which runs through the park, featuring steep cliffs and scenic gorges. Letchworth abounds with scenic areas, but to me, they are more outstanding in the winter. Without the foliage, the cliffs seem even steeper, the evergreens even greener, and everything in general seems more awesome.
We were able to park in a huge unplowed parking lot where a few other trailers had done so previously. We unloaded and were ready to ride. The first miles, the snowmobile trails run parallel to the park roads, with some “ditchbanging”. (riding right next to the road, or on the road)
Rather quickly, snowmobilers come to this sign which indicates that the fun begins!
The signs below are designated snowmobile trails, or corridors, sanctioned by New York State.
As one can see, a vehicle larger than a snowmobile just isn’t going to fit through!
Although the park is handicap-accessible, there are so many places to stop and see the scenery, it would take a day of just loading and unloading a wheelchair to be able to see the scenery. Some areas are impossible to get a wheelchair in, so this ride was so incredible for Mark; he could see everything we saw!
The ride on the road was luxurious! The snow was fantastic, the base was firm and well established, and it was so nice! We saw several sleds out, but they were pretty much few and far between. There is a section with a huge wall built of stone…as we passed by it, I loved how the snow had stuck to it, forming a pretty pattern!
It’s fun to take a ride like this because one sees things normally missed! And, I could take pictures! (I did have to hurry, though, as the riders I was with could end up far, far ahead, were I to lolligag!)
At one scenic area, Mark told me there was this really awesome “blue ice” on the walls of the cliffs. I said I would photograph it….he and Ben had already ridden around there, so as I went in to take photos, they took off!
I did catch up! Then we took a ride through the woods!
Mark stopped and turned around to me. Without saying a word, he motioned ahead….
Snowmobilers must be mindful of the deer! A collision with a deer could be quite detrimental! We went a short distance and this single deer stood, looking back.
Behind it was a group of deer!
We drove past District 12 Schoolhouse.
By this time, we were prety much at the south end of the park. It was getting to be late afternoon, and we needed to travel back to the truck. Michelle had stayed there with a backpack full of school books and a pair of Scottie dogs!
We arrived back to the truck at about five o’clock. I was tired and I felt like I had swollen glands, so I was happy to climb into the truck with Michelle and the Scotties. We sat and talked for awhile, as Ben and Mark drove off “for just a short ride” headed north. Michelle suddenly decided she wanted to ride, so she hopped into her snowpants, popped on her helmet and goggles, a pair of gloves…..and off she went down the trail Ben and Mark had taken!
I sat enjoying doing a bit of reading and relaxing, when I suddenly began to wonder where they had gone! The impending darkness was beginning to settle in, and although it is possible to ride in the park in the dark, permits must be obtained from the park police. As the sky grew darker and darker, I wondered where my family might be!
Mark had taken my camera from me when he left. Finally, after six o’clock, the trio showed up once again at the truck! It seems Michelle wanted to ride some, so they had gone several miles with her! Ben and Mark took her to one of the scenic lookouts and Mark took a photo….
Yeah, they do indeed look like ALIENS!!!! You, dear reader, can see that it was getting quite dark, as the reflective tape on Ben’s jacket was reflecting as the flash went off!
This was so much fun. The temperature was actually warm and the ride was smooth! We all had a great day! This is definitely a “we need to come back again” ride!