This past Sunday we took a rafting trip down through the Grand Canyon of the East, otherwise known as Letchworth State Park on the Genesee River. This winter as many of you know lacked any real significant snow, and this spring until yesterday (after the trip), so the river is running on the low end of average. Last year the river set records for flow, for depth, and every other category – This trip would not be a thriller, but would still be fun.
You arrive in Letchworth State Park and head to the lower falls area, there you put on your wet suits and splash jacket and life jacket
After getting suited up, you get a quick lesson on dry land about safety. (Which is funny, because our guides fell in and no one else did).
It’s a quick bus ride to the river from the offices and lockers.
The Genesee River is 155 miles or so running from PA through NY north to Lake Ontario, there are 3 significant drops along the way the most significant in the park.
We had to do a lot more paddling this season, and what took 55 minutes last year with little paddling took about 2 hours this year with plenty of paddling. I also couldn’t get any photos IN any rapids because, well, I was paddling then.
At one point I decided with another guide to just go in to the river for a little float. We were fooling around, but the water was about 50 degrees so I could not stay in long before getting back in the boat and working my body heat back up by paddling.
About 2/3 of the way into the trip we stop where wolfs creek empties into the Genesee River. There is a beautiful waterfall, at the bottom of the waterfall is a hole about 5 feet deep, you can jump into the waterfall, and the pressure takes you in and pops you right back out down the creek.
This season 5 of our group members braved the cold and jumped in. Then we posed for some great pictures, got back to our boats and paddled to the finish.
At the end of the trip, you carry your raft from the riverbed up to a waiting truck, make a short hike up a hill and there is a bus waiting for us to take up back to the main building where the staff had cookies and hot chocolate waiting for us.
Overall the trip was great, with a great price ($44) Included your trip and your wetsuit. The staff were wonderful, the water was really low, but this was really about being outdoors with friends. We are currently looking into some summer class V range trips.
For more information to make your own trip, visit Adventure Calls Outfitters
This season I wore my Fila Skeletoes Version 1.0 They are made from a neoprene material and kept my feet (and toes) nice and comfortable. They are also perfect for the walk up to wolfs creek and the hike up to the bus after. I could keep them on and not worry about water, mud, rocks, I feel like I probably had the most comfortable feet of anyone around.
Surf Suit – This makes putting on and taking off a wet suit super easy. It also keeps me extra warm. I love the design, the fit, and the feel. This is probably what makes it ok for me to jump in and out of the rivers comfortably!
Manzella Gloves : They are not neoprene, but they really keep my hands warm when wet. They also have a rubber style grip that really helps grab a wet paddle.