Pieces of the Past
Artifacts, Documents, and Primary Sources
from Letchworth Park History

We’re Number One!


The modern world has recognized Letchworth State Park as the most popular state park in the nation. This is based on a poll taken among the nation’s internet users by the widely distributed U S A TODAY newspaper in the spring of 2015.The competition ended with Letchworth as the top choice with Watkins Glen as third but others that ranked in the top ten included parks in Missouri Wisconsin, Tennessee, Indiana, Maryland, South Dakota and South Carolina.


We would point out that this admiration has existed for many years besides 2015. The American Scenic & Historic Preservation Society annual report of 1925 states on page 93, in the typical flowery language of the day:


Sign at the Portageville Entrance to Letchworth State Park

"Letchworth Park has a great future and will always have a distinctive luster in the galaxy of State Parks. In gorge and waterfall scenery it is second only to Niagara Falls, but what it lacks in the magnitude of its cataract, compared with Niagara, or in the size of its area compared with some other parks, it makes up in an inexpressible charm of varied beauty. It will always be loved by the people, not only for what it is, but for what it expresses of the gentle spirit of Dr. Letchworth, who rescued it from the woodsman’s axe, and the saw-mill, who restored and cherished it as one of Nature’s loveliest haunts, and who finally gave it to the people for their endless benefit.”

That 1925 prediction of the Park's future has come true. As the 2015 poll demonstrates, Letchworth Park has continued to be "loved by the people" and, although the original gift of 1000 acres has now grown to over 14,000 acres, Letchworth Park certainly has "a great future" and "a distinctive luster" among state parks across the nation.


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