Waterfalls You Can Visit In
Letchworth State Park


      A Waterfall Guide to Letchworth State Park by Scott A. Ensminger and Douglas K. Bassett. Now in its third edition this 104 page expanded and updated guide contains directions on how to reach the best viewing area for more than 25 waterfalls found in the park. There are nine maps that show the locations of the waterfalls and the trails used to reach the viewing areas. Over 50 black and white photographs of the waterfalls are included in the guide.

Click on the cover photo to the right for more information.

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Return to Waterfalls You Can Visit In Letchworth State Park

     Below you will find descriptions of several waterfalls found in Letchworth Stare Park. To the right of the waterfall name is a link that will take you to a trail map of the area where the waterfall is located. This page is part of the Letchworth State Park Information page by the Western New York Waterfall Survey. For an alphebetical listing of the parks waterfalls that contains GPS location data click here.


Paul Rock Cascade          Trail Map 3


     Located on the east side of the park, Paul Rock Cascade is found along the Foot Bridge Trail (6A), roughly 600 feet west of the East Park Road. The trail crosses the creek and then passes near the crest of the Cascade - please stay on the trail.

     Paul Rock Cascade is a 35-foot high steeply sloping cascade with a 12-foot wide crest that faces northeast. The Cascade is named after a large rock that is found at itís crest. The name "Paul," along with some other illegible words, is chiseled into the rock. Unfortunately, you cannot get a good view of the full face of the Cascade, only a partial view a little farther along the trail.

For a TopoZone map of the location of the Paul Rock Cascade click here.


Denton Brook Cascade          Trail Map 4




     Denton Brook plunges into the Great Bend Gorge a short distance south of the Castile entrance. The Cascade is very steeply sloped and has a total drop of 500 feet, and a crest width of two feet. Denton Brook Cascade faces northeast and can be seen best by looking southwest from the Great Bend Overlook. Binoculars are helpful, because the Cascade is slightly over 0.5 mile away. The top portion of this Cascade may be seen from the Gorge Trail (1), a short distance north of the Archery Field Overlook.


For a TopoZone map of the location of the Denton Brook Cascade click here.


The Three Sisters and Stepmother Cascade

     The Three Sisters and Stepmother Cascade are four cascades found on separate streams between the Castile entrance road and the Great Bend Overlook. Since all four streams have rather small drainage areas, the streams are low in volume and the duration of their flow is short. The Three Sisters and Stepmother Cascade are best seen in the early spring (late March to mid-May) because all of the streams are usually dry by early summer. A period of heavy rain will bring them back to life, but they will quickly dry up.
     In the photo above Cinderella Cascade is on the far left, with Youngest Stepsister Cascade a little to the right. Eldest Stepsister Cascade is a little right of the center of the photo, and Stepmother Cascade is to the left.
     The four cascades can be seen best by looking to the southwest from the Great Bend Overlook. They may also be seen from the Gorge Trail (1), just north of the Archery Field Overlook, and at a much greater distance from two overlooks on the Lower Falls Road.
     The name "The Three Sisters" is a reference to characters in the Cinderella fairy tale, but it also has an underlying meaning. The Iroquoian foods of corn, beans and squash, usually grown together, were also referred to as "The Three Sisters."


Cinderella Cascade          Trail Map 4

     This is the southernmost cascade of the aforementioned Three Sisters. It is very steeply sloped, with a few short vertical sections. Cinderella Cascade has a total drop of 500 feet, a crest width of two feet, and faces east. This Cascade has the lowest stream volume of the Three Sisters and is the most hidden from view by tree cover.

For a TopoZone map of the location of the Cinderella Cascade click here.


Youngest Stepsister Cascade          Trail Map 4

     Located only 200 feet north of Cinderella Cascade is Youngest Stepsister Cascade. It has a total drop of 500 feet, a crest width of three feet, and faces east-southeast. Youngest Stepsister Cascade is very steeply sloped and has some short vertical sections.

For a TopoZone map of the location of the Youngest Stepsister Cascade click here.


Eldest Stepsister Cascade          Trail Map 4



     Slightly over 200 feet northeast of Youngest Stepsister Cascade is Eldest Stepsister Cascade, which has a total drop of 500 feet, a crest width of three feet, and faces east-southeast.


     Eldest Stepsister Cascade consists mainly of a very steep slope, with one overhung section. The overhung section is located about halfway down the cliff face and has a drop of approximately 45 feet. It can be seen best from the Gorge Trail (1), across from the Castile entrance road.


For a TopoZone map of the location of the Eldest Stepsister Cascade click here.


Stepmother Cascade          Trail Map 4

     This Cascade is located 500 feet northeast of Eldest Stepsister Cascade and can be seen best from the Great Bend Overlook. It may also be seen from the Gorge Trail (1), just north of the Archery Field Overlook. Stepmother Cascade is very steeply sloped and has some vertical sections. The Cascade has a total drop of 470 feet, a crest width of three feet and faces southeast.
     The main vertical part of Stepmother Cascade, located roughly halfway down the cliff face, is known as "The Vulture's Nose." When viewed in profile from the Adventure Calls whitewater raft trip on the Genesee River, this section of the cascade resembles a nose. In the early 1980's, turkey vultures were repeatedly seen flying in and out of a nostril-like cavity near the nose, thus giving this section of the cascade its name.


For a TopoZone map of the location of the Stepmother Cascade click here.


Wolf Creek Cascade          Trail Map 5

     Located just west of the Wolf Creek picnic area, Wolf Creek Cascade has a total drop of roughly 225 feet, a crest width of 25 feet and faces south. The Cascade is located in a narrow curving ravine and is actually made up of four very steep cascades with some sections containing near vertical falls. Because of the shape of the ravine and tree cover down in and around the ravine, only the first section and part of the fourth section can be seen from the Gorge Trail (1). The first section known as the Wide Expanse has a height of 65 feet. Click here for another photo of the Wide Expanse. The second section of the cascade is known as the Zig Zag. It has a height of 38 feet and a lower section known as the Power Chute that drops 35 feet. The third section, with a drop of 28 feet, is called Block and Waggle.


     The fourth section of Wolf Creek Cascade has a height of 60 feet and can be partially seen from the Gorge Trail (1) at the Tea Table picnic area. It is known as the Shower Curtain or Diagonal Shower Hole, and in times of low water the Cascade of the Marching Bubble Beetles. The best way to see the fourth section of the Cascade is to take the six-mile long Adventure Calls whitewater raft trip, which departs from the Lower Falls area. The trip takes you past Denton Brook Cascade, the Three Sisters, through the deepest part of the Great Bend Gorge (550 feet), and usually makes a stop at the fourth section of Wolf Creek Cascade.


For a TopoZone map of the location of the Wolf Creek Cascade click here.


Copyright © 2016 by Scott A. Ensminger.
This information may not be reproduced without written permission.

    You can send me e-mail at:falzguy@verizon.net



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