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Letchworth State Park New York Upper Falls Train Bridge Portage Viaduct

Train passing the bridge over Upper Falls via the Portage Viaduct

Letchworth State Park is a New York State Park located 35 miles Southwest of Rochester. The park is about 17 miles long; covering over 14,000 acres along the Genesee River. The park has three large waterfalls and a gorge with walls up to 550 feet high. This has earned it it's reputation as "The Grand Canyon of the East." Letchworth is a very large park with miles of hiking trails and other facilities such as picnic areas. The Glen Iris Inn is a historic site located within the park. There is a road that traverses the park on both sides of the river/canyon. Entrance may be free on the western road later in the afternoon.

  • Letchworth State Park won USA Today's Reader's Choice competition as the best state park in the United States in 2015.[1]

Letchworth Park was heavily damaged during the Flood of 1972 in which Hurricane Agnes dropped 6 to 12 inches of rain over the already soaked Pennsylvania and New York states.

The train bridge that is located over Upper Falls was built in 1875 and is called the Portage Viaduct. It is 820 feet long and 240 feet high. It was built to replace the wooden train bridge that was built in 1852 and burned on May 5, 1875. It is a classic trestle style bridge that will likely be deconstructed after a new arched Portageville Viaduct is construction tentatively starting in 2015. The current bridge meets minimal FRA standards and requires the trains to travel under ten miles per hour and at restricted weight capacity. The railroad is operated by Norfolk Southern Railway and it is known as their Southern Tier Line.[2] Being an active railroad, it is a misdemeanor to trespass on the right-of-way including the bridge.

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