Finally, fall is here. What better way to celebrate the season than to go on a hiking adventure, just as the leaves are changing color?
Here are five nearby places with hiking trails that will leaf you amazed.
Letchworth State Park
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth does have quite a few canyons. Plus, it was voted Best State Park in the USA for 2015.
Even more, there are so many trees in Letchworth, it’s a perfect place for viewing fall’s foliage. It also has three waterfalls: Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. Each waterfall has a different story to tell.
Address: 1 Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Allegheny National Forest
With more than 200 miles of trails, there’s a hiking experience for everyone in Allegheny National Forest.
One can descend a short trail to the scenic Rimrock Overlook, hike the 11.1 mile Hickory Creek Trail, or do something completely different, like walking the Kinzua Sky Walk, which was once the highest bridge in the world.
Address: 131 Smokey Lane, Marienville, Pa. ; Kinzua Sky Walk: 1721 Lindholm Road, Mount Jewett, Pa.
Reinstein Woods Nature Reserve
A little gem in Depew, Reinstein Woods has lots of wildlife. There are white-tailed deer, beavers and great blue herons, as well as different types of trees, like beech and maple.
A unique feature of Reinstein Woods is that it has a lily pond with a small bridge over it. Make sure to arrive in the morning because the pink and white lilies “open” their petals in the morning and “sleep” in the afternoon.
Address: 93 Honorine Drive, Depew.
Watkins Glen State Park
This park contains 19 waterfalls, numerous bridges and stairs, and rocky cliffs. For a challenge, walk all of the 832 steps.
The trail closest to the river and waterfalls is the Gorge Trail, so have a go at that, as well. There are also a couple waterfalls that people are able to walk behind, which is noteworthy. There also is a shuttle bus available at this park.
Address: 1009 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen.
Niagara Gorge Trails
There are two levels of trails one could hike in the Niagara Gorge: One is at street level, which is mainly composed of the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail (6.2 miles). The other, lower level is composed of a few other trails, including the Devil’s Hole Trail. The lower level is closer to the river.
Try a challenge by hiking the Whirlpool Trail. It’s a 1.3 mile difficult-level trail that involves climbing over boulders to get to the Whirlpool Rapids.
Address: Robert Moses Parkway, Niagara Falls.
Sharon Luo is a freshman at Williamsville East High School.