Letchworth State Park

Friday, September 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Hunting for big game at Letchworth State Park is allowable with bows, crossbows, shotguns, muzzleloaders, and handguns and by permit only. Hunting with rifles is not allowed in the park.

Applications for hunting permits are available by calling (585) 493-3600 or online at www.nysparks.com and should be mailed to Hunting Permit, One Letchworth State Park, Castile.

Additionally, archery hunting permits will be self-issued for the following schedule:

    • Eastside hunting begins Oct. 1 and runs through Dec. 19; and

    • Westside hunting begins Oct. 17 and runs through Dec. 19.

Crossbow hunting will be allowed from Nov. 4 through Dec. 19.

The special archery-only – antlerless deer only – hunting season runs from Oct. 30 through Dec. 19 in the southern portion of the park. Applications are available by calling (585) 493-3600 or online at www.nysparks.com and should be mailed to:  Special Archery Permit, One Letchworth State Park, Castile, 14427.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm

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Information sourced from a press release, file photo:

Letchworth State Park is up against 20 of New York’s top attractions in the 2017 round of USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for “your favorite attraction” in New York State.

The Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism office is encouraging everyone to vote for Letchworth State Park, one of the top nominees again this year. The world-renowned attraction is up against some very stiff competition among New York’s most well-known tourist attractions.

“We encourage everyone to share the contest to their social media accounts and to get the message out about the contest,” said Chamber & Tourism Director of Tourism and Marketing Eric Szucs. “Letchworth State Park won the #1 State Park designation because of its natural beauty and strong following worldwide. Let’s try to again capture the momentum and win again for this great natural asset.”

USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best website reports that some of the United States' most recognizable attractions – Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building – are found in New York City.

While the Big Apple has no shortage of travel-worthy attractions, the rest of the state is well worth exploring as well. Outside the iconic metropolis in the Empire State, travelers find natural wonders like Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands, Letchworth State Park, award-winning wineries, Revolutionary War sites and the elegant estates of the Hudson Valley.

“We are up against some very tough competition in New York this time around,” said Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner. “If everyone that loves Letchworth State Park votes in the contest we can once again win the competition and claim the title of ‘favorite attraction’ recognizing this well-known destination right here in Wyoming County.”

Voting for Letchworth State Park is easy. Simply visit the Chamber & Tourism Facebook page at to find the link or visit USA Today’s Readers’ Choice contest website at www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-new-york-attraction/, then scroll down the page and select Letchworth State Park. Voting can be done daily until noon Oct. 10.

Monday, September 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Castile, Letchworth State Park, history.

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A throng of people milled about at the Trailside Lodge at Letchworth State Park Saturday for The Native American and Pioneer Heritage Day festivities.

Highlights of the day included a performance by Gretchen Sepik portraying “The White Woman of the Genesee” Mary Jemison, Native American storyteller Perry Ground, Native American Flutes by Ken Wallace, and the Allegany River Indian Dancers, who showcased traditional songs and dances of the Iroquois.

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Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 1:52 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Event Date and Time: 
September 16, 2017 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Western New York’s rich history from both the Native American and pioneer perspective will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Letchworth State Park. The Native American and Pioneer Heritage day’s festivities will be held at Trailside Lodge, near the park’s Castile entrance. Admission to the show is included with the $10 per car park entrance fee. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Castile, Letchworth State Park.

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Press release, photos submitted:

Western New York’s rich history from both the Native American and pioneer perspective will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Letchworth State Park. 

The Native American and Pioneer Heritage Day’s festivities will be held at Trailside Lodge, near the park’s Castile entrance. Admission to the show is included with the $10 per car park entrance fee. 

Highlights of the day include a performance by Gretchen Sepik portraying “The White Woman of the Genesee” Mary Jemison, whose remarkable story is one encompassing both the pioneer and Native American culture; and Native American storyteller Perry Ground, Native American Flutes by Ken Wallace, and the Allegany River Indian Dancers, who will showcase traditional songs and dances of the Iroquois.

Throughout the day there will be Atl-Atl (spear throwing stick) competitions for all ages and pioneer walks led by historian Tom Cook.

Trailside will also be the site of a craft show and sale featuring Native American and pioneer crafts. Some of the crafts presented this year include, flintknapping – the making of flaked or chipped stone tools, basketmaking, open hearth cooking, quill art, soapstone carving, and much more.

Exhibits in the William Pryor Letchworth Museum, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., also feature Native American Culture and the pioneer story of the development of Letchworth State Park and the surrounding area.

For more information call (585) 493-3600.

Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 1:10 pm

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Information sourced from press releases, photo submitted.

One of the Northeast’s largest arts and crafts shows welcomes new artists to start their career in an Emerging Artist program.

The Letchworth Arts & Crafts show welcomes the next generation of professional artists to join more than 330 vendors at this year’s show. The show now hosts up to 90,000 people and includes artists from around the country.

“At the last Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show, we launched this program with great success,” said ACWC Emerging Artist program coordinator Pilar McKay. “The artists were able to network with each other and with us. In fact, one artist returned to exhibit her art in Wyoming County.”

Acceptance in this program will include display and selling space in an indoor venue (north shelter) at the show on Oct. 8 and 9. Accepted emerging artists will have no booth fee for their space.

Artists will be responsible for staffing and selling their works during this day. They should anticipate being on-site at the show both Sunday and Monday including teardown of all art by 5:30 p.m. Oct. 9.

Artists will be approved after a completed application is submitted. Applications are accepted via email (mckay@artswyco.org) or in the mail/in person at 31 S. Main St., Perry, NY 14530.

All Applications must be submitted by Sept. 30.

Criteria for application include:

    • Either currently attend college/university or recently graduated from college (within the last two years). All levels of college/university students welcomed: from associates to bachelors to MFA students. All majors welcomed: applicant does not have to be studying in a visual studies/art program to submit an arts & crafts application;

    • Produced a body of work in the last two to three years;

    • A brief personal statement about applying to Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show (500-word maximum);

    • An artist statement (500-word maximum);

    • A resume (one-page maximum);

    • Minimum of three and up to five digital images of work created in the last three years – images can include multiple pieces of art, but be mindful that the jury must be able to see detail in the work;

    • One image of artist creating their art;

    • Present a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority;   

    • Applicant must submit application materials by email on or before Sept. 30. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed;

    • No application fee; and

    • Optional: Attendance to one of two virtual orientations (conference calls) to the festival or confirmation with the Emerging Artist coordinator.

For questions email McKay at mckay@artswyco.org.

Monday, August 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

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Photo credit, Kristen Guyett

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Photo credit, Lori Clark

Press release:

Nine men and women with disabilities from The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming are using photographic art to provide a better understanding of their perspectives and worldview, in a new exhibit this September at Livingston Arts Center.

“I never really took many photographs before this project,” said participant Miranda Snyder. “But I really enjoyed going out and capturing pictures of things that I like, like animals and flowers. I learned that you can take pictures at different angles. It helps people to see things the way that I see them. When people see the pictures that I took, we might find out that they like the same things that I do.”

Snyder and her peers from The Arc will present their photographs at the opening of an exhibit entitled “A Different Point of View,” from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Livingston Arts Center, 4 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris. The exhibit will run throughout September and is open to the public.

Participants spent two days this summer capturing the sights and nuances of SUNY Geneseo, the Village of Geneseo, and Letchworth State Park. The aspiring photographers used adaptive equipment where needed to explore an art form that, for some, had not been physically accessible until the project.

They were supported by Arc staff, volunteers, and professional photographer Larry Tetamore, of Tetamore Photographic. The resulting photographs are inspirational, says project coordinator Mary Coniglio, of The Arc – a not-for-profit agency that provides services for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

“It gives the individuals an opportunity to show others what they think is beautiful and interesting,” Coniglio said. “They get to showcase their work and become more than just a person with disabilities. I love seeing the pride on their faces when people ‘ooh and ah’ over the beautiful photographs.”

The Different Point of View exhibit will include photographs by Snyder, Lori Clark, Billy Driscoll, John Feidner, Kristen Guyett, Melissa Mitchell, Juan Padilla, Casey VanZandt, and Joe Wright.

Artists are expected to be in attendance opening night to offer insight on their photographs and the project as a whole.

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and administered by the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts at the Livingston Arts Center, a member supported organization.

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Photo credit, John Feidner

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Event Date and Time: 
September 3, 2017 - 3:30pm

Sept. 3 marks the unofficial end of summer at Letchworth State Park and becomes another reason to celebrate.

The annual Summer Farewell Festival offers an array of activities for all ages, music galore and a grand fireworks display to end the day with a bang.

This year’s festival begins at 3 p.m. at the Highbanks Recreation Area with the swing and rockabilly sounds of The Twang Gang. Smokin’ Gun follows at 6:30 and offers a dynamic country and southern rock variety show.

Other entertainment includes:

    • Clowns from 5 to 8 p.m.;

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 11:02 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.

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File photo of Glen Iris Inn.

This Sunday (Aug. 27), the Glen Iris Inn, located at the south end of Letchworth State Park, will host the first Brunch and Buy Local. This premier event features not only a brunch of locally sourced products but also a Farm and Artisan Market with locally produced food and items for sale.

A market preview begins at 11 a.m. with brunch starting at 11:30 a.m. The Farm and Artisan Market will be open to the public from noon until 4 p.m.

“We are very pleased to be hosting this first-time event and welcome everyone to the historic Glen Iris Inn to experience local agricultural products and artistic creations,” said Glen Iris Inn General Manager Maureen Tillotson.

“We have put together a delicious menu, featuring locally sourced products that will inspire and delight. We are pleased to welcome everyone to visit and experience all the area has to offer.”

The brunch includes a variety of carved foods, omelets, crudités – a traditional French appetizer consisting of sliced or whole raw vegetables typically dipped in a vinaigrette or other dipping sauce, and crepes. 

The price per person is $25 plus tax and service charge. Reservations are required for the brunch and can be made by calling the Glen Iris Inn at (585) 493-2622. The Farm & Artisan Market is open to everyone.

“We are very pleased to be a part of this new Buy Local event as it is another great way to feature local products from both our agricultural community and local artisans,” said Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism President Scott Gardner.

“Visitors will be able to enjoy farm fresh foods at the brunch, and then have the opportunity to purchase handmade gifts and food products from local artisans all while enjoying beautiful Letchworth State Park.

More than 20 vendors are confirmed for the Farm & Artisan Market including: Inspire Moore Winery & Vineyard, Arts Council for Wyoming County, Artisan Villa, Castile Cider Mill, Bittersweet Basketry, The Flour Pot; Carol Spann; Genesee Country Beekeepers; Randall Farm/Just About Farmin'; East Hill Creamery, Nunda Mustard, Wooden Acres, Wyoming County NY Tourism, Summer Breeze Strawberries, Dsigns by D, The Woolroom at Longmeadow Farm, Ellen's Purses, Roberta Hagan, Rural Arts Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Honey Girl Gourmet, and Davis Sugar Shack.

Formerly the country estate of William Pryor Letchworth, the Glen Iris Inn has welcomed guests as a country inn since 1914. Overlooking the Middle Falls, the inn includes suites at the Glen Iris as well as guest rooms at the Pinewood Lodge and year-round rental homes on park property.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 9:33 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Event Date and Time: 
August 27, 2017 - 10:00am to 2:00pm

On Aug. 25 through 27 the Genesee Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will be hosting the Stone Tool Craftsman Show at Letchworth State Park.

The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Highbanks Recreation Area near the Mt. Morris Entrance to the park.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 9:31 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Event Date and Time: 
August 26, 2017 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

On Aug. 25 through 27 the Genesee Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will be hosting the Stone Tool Craftsman Show at Letchworth State Park.

The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Highbanks Recreation Area near the Mt. Morris Entrance to the park.

Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 9:30 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.
Event Date and Time: 
August 25, 2017 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

On Aug. 25 through 27 the Genesee Region of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will be hosting the Stone Tool Craftsman Show at Letchworth State Park.

The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Highbanks Recreation Area near the Mt. Morris Entrance to the park.

Friday, August 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Letchworth State Park, Castile.

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The above photo is of the Civilian Conservation Corps statue and plaque.

letchworth.jpg:

Press release, photos submitted:

Eighty-four years ago the first of four Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps opened in Letchworth State Park. Over the next eight years, more than 3,000 out of work young men would take advantage of a remarkable Great Depression era program and lay the foundation, literally stone by stone, for the modern park. 

Their experience and achievements will be honored and celebrated at a special CCC Legacy Day at Letchworth State Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

Events begin with a visit to the 1936 CCC lean-to near the Hogsback Overlook. Other activities include: the dedication of the Gibsonville CCC Camp’s chimney recently restored by the Friends of Letchworth Park; the raising of the Parks special CCC commemorative flag at the CCC Memorial flag pole at the Lower Falls; and a remembrance ceremony at the Park’s CCC that includes the laying of a memorial wreath to honor all the Park’s CCC members. A tour of the site of the Big Bend Camp is also planned.

A series of special exhibits, activities and mini-talks are open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Highlights include a traveling Great Depression art exhibit by the nationally known WPA Art Gallery operated by the Livingston Arts Council, information tables by the  official national CCC Legacy organization, New York State’s Excelsior Program – New York State’s modern day work program for young people and the Friends of Letchworth booth. There will be a variety of CCC and 1930s related family activities including building your own CCC-style cabin or shelter using Lincoln Logs and storytelling about the famous CCC stone arch bridge.

The only known surviving Letchworth CCC “boy,” Lawrence Kelly, will be attending CCC Legacy day this year. He turns 100 Aug. 12.

Individuals who attended all the day’s events will be awarded the We Can Take It award, named after the Civilian Conservation Corps' motto. The award includes a special certificate from Letchworth Park and a pin.

All events are free and open to the public. Afternoon activities at the Lower Falls are handicapped accessible. For details, locations and times for all planned events, visit friendsofLetchworth.com or call Letchworth Park directly at (585) 493-3600.

This entire day is planned and supported by Friends of Letchworth, a volunteer organization whose mission it is to support the preservation, conservation and careful development of Letchworth State Park.

Friday, July 28, 2017 at 4:28 pm

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Balloons Over Letchworth celebrated its 30th anniversary with a ribbon cutting at Letchworth State Park yesterday evening.

Sean Quigley, his wife Denise, the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, Letchworth park officials, family, and friends gathered at the Middle Falls Area by the Glen Iris Inn to celebrate the milestone.

“We offer our hearty congratulations to Sean Quigley on 30 years of Balloons Over Letchworth,” said Chamber President Scott Gardner. “Sean’s business is one of the most recognized and respected tourism attractions in Wyoming County. He provides a truly unique experience to his customers and something special for visitors to see as he flies his balloons over the gorge.”

While he has been enamored with balloons since he was a small child, it wasn’t until 1979 that he took his first flight in a hot air balloon, and 1987 when he bought his own rig. It wasn’t until 1993 that he walked away from a 21-year career in real estate and bought Balloons Over Letchworth.

Quigley is an F.A.A. licensed commercial pilot; he has since logged over 2,000 flights in hot air balloons in festivals and races from Florida to Maine as well as in Europe. In 1989, he placed sixth of 38 countries represented in Le Coup Du Monde, World Cup balloon race in Belfort, France.

He has piloted his balloon over the brim of Niagara Falls several times and placed ninth in the United States in a distance long jump competition, traveling more than 114 miles in two-and-one-half hours.

In 2004 he flew in a weeklong festival over the Alps at Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland. In January 2012, he flew two flights to 13,000 feet over the Austrian Alps.

Visit Balloons Over Letchworth for more information.

See related: Balloons Over Letchworth celebrates 30 years of flight over the park’s gorge

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 4:18 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, tourism, Warsaw, Letchworth State Park, Business.

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The photo is of one of the boxes that can be found along the newly launched Geocache Trail in Wyoming County.

Tourism is big business in Wyoming County and the state’s recent tourism report backs it up with solid and exciting numbers, says Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Scott Gardner.

Building on the momentum of previous successes, the program reaches out to more visitors with new promotions, targeted marketing, and strong partnerships.

According to the most recent data, the county’s tourism impact is up 6.3 percent. This represents $43.8 million in traveler spending over 2015 levels. Additionally, Wyoming County is the second highest in terms of growth in the Greater Niagara region, which it is a part of. Tourism in this region is a $2.5 billion industry.

Travelers are spending in several categories: the food and beverage industry leads the list with $12.1 million; second is homes with $10.7 million; retail sales at $7.2 million, recreation at $6.9 million, lodging at $5.2 million and transportation at $1.6 million.

Data from Tourism Economics, New York State's tourism economy showed a 2.7-percent growth in traveler spending. This reached a new high of nearly $65 billion or 22 percent above the state's prerecession peak set in 2008.

"I would like to recognize the tourism businesses across Wyoming County who have invested and work tirelessly to grow their businesses. I would also applaud the effort of the staff and board of directors who put together a strong tourism program for our County," Gardner said.

"We must also recognize state leaders for continuing to wisely invest in New York's tourism as an economic driver and thank the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors for continuing to support our efforts to strengthen the tourism sector in Wyoming County."

The report also details the effect of tourism on employment – the county's total labor income is $21.4 million.

Additionally, between state and local taxes generated from tourism, Wyoming County is collecting $5.25 million, which translates to savings for county taxpayers. Tourism-generated state and local taxes save the average Wyoming County household $338 annually. For the Greater Niagara region, that number jumps to $599 per household on average.

"The state's report is great news for Wyoming County and reflects all of the hard work that our tourism partners put in every day and each season. From beautiful and award-winning Letchworth State Park to our outstanding restaurants, attractions, and landscapes, Wyoming County really is a great place to recreate," said Marketing and Tourism Director Eric Szucs. "It is awesome when the data reflects what we all know about Wyoming County. We love to tell the story and welcome visitors from across the globe to experience all that we have to offer."

The Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism is the leading membership organization for local and regional growth, advocacy, and connection for the county's business community. Its mission is to serve the members and community; promote and grow the area's economic and tourism assets; and work collaboratively to create an environment that leads to the success and economic prosperity of Wyoming County.

For more information, or to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, call  (585) 786-0307 or visit wycochamber.org or gowyomingcountyny.com.

Click here to view the Greater Niagara Region report.

Tourism Economics, headquartered in Philadelphia, is an Oxford Economics company dedicated to providing high value, robust, and relevant analyses of the tourism sector that reflect the dynamics of local and global economies.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, outdoors, nature, Letchworth State Park.
Event Date and Time: 
May 6, 2017 - 9:00am

More than 120 state parks and historic sites are participating in the sixth annual Parks & Trails New York and NY State Parks I Love My Park Day, May 6. 

Friday, March 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget includes $120 million to continue the NY Parks 2020 initiative. Since the launch of NY Parks 2020 in 2012, State Parks has advanced more than 383 separate projects within 130 parks and historic sites to enhance, restore and repair public facilities – helping reverse decades of decline and neglect in our parks. 

Last year, New York state parks hosted an estimated 69.3 million visitors – a 6-percent increase over 2015 and a hike of 21 percent since 2011. Park attendance was boosted by major improvements to park facilities, the Connect Kids to Parks program, extending the swimming season after Labor Day, favorable weather, and more.  

Connect Kids to Parks enhances educational and recreational opportunities for schoolchildren and help promote parks and historic places. New York partnered with the National Park Service in 2016, to begin an initiative to offer all fourth-grade students and their families free day-use entry passes to state parks. The program also created a grant program to help transport schoolchildren to outdoor recreation and environmental education programs, and historic sites.

The governor’s executive budget proposal will double the state’s investment in the Connect Kids program through the Environmental Protection Fund. The fund provides free or low-cost transportation to connect schools in underserved communities with state parks. 

Parks will also expand the free or low-cost Learn-to-Swim program to all state park swimming facilities, which serves up to 5,000 youth annually. Additionally, in a partnership with the Office of Children & Families, State Parks will also expand the free Foster Family New Camper program. Approximately, 300 foster families and at-risk youth benefit from this program. 

Funding is still available for Connect Kids field trip transportation grant for the 2016-17 school year. Visit www.nysparks.com for an application and more information.

In an effort to make visiting state parks, well, effortless, a new Empire Pass Card is now being offered. This wallet-sized plastic card can be shared among family member, caregivers and more. While the Empire Pass costs $80 and allows card holders to take any vehicle to the park, the original pass is still available for $65 and must be affixed to a single vehicle.

Friday, December 30, 2016 at 1:02 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, weather, Bliss, Letchworth State Park.

The National Weather Service in Buffalo reports a band of lake effect snow producing snowfall rates of about 1 to 2 inches per hour extended along a line from Holland to Bliss to Canaseraga.

Winds in excess of 30 mph are possible with this band of lake effect snow and is due to impact southern Wyoming County, including Letchworth State Park. 

The NWS warns that conditions can deteriorate rapidly; be prepared for snow or ice covered roads, and allow extra time when traveling.

The snowfall is expected to last until 2:45 p.m..

UPDATE 2:59 p.m.: The advisory has been extended to 4:45 p.m.

UPDATE 4:42 p.m.: The advisory has been extended to 6:30 p.m.

Friday, November 18, 2016 at 4:42 pm

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File photo.

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File photo submitted by the New York State Police.

On Tuesday, the Wyoming County Grand Jury handed down a 28-count indictment charging two Rochester men in the deaths of Dylan and Preston Giangregorio in Letchworth State Park this summer. 

Tyler Jennings, 34, and Chad Staley, 32, were each charged with two counts of manslaughter in the second degree, a Class C felony; two counts of criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony; and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.

The charges stem from a five-month investigation that began June 11 by the New York State Park Police after park patrons were in a restricted area of the park, resulting in the death of the brothers Dylan, 9, and Preston, 6, both of Rochester. 

It is alleged the two defendants and five children entered a restricted area above the Lower Falls to get a closer look at the waterfall. It is also alleged the men allowed the children – 5 to 12 years old – to enter the water.

It was reported the group began to lose their footing due to the strong current and all were swept over the 70-foot waterfall. 

Staley was said to have been stuck on the brink of the falls for almost two hours until he was saved by the Wyoming County Rope Rescue team. The other three children and Jennings cascaded over the falls and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Searchers continued scouring the river below the falls June 12 and recovered the body of Preston. On June 14, the Underwater Recovery Team from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police recovered Dylan’s body. 

“While this case is truly tragic and our hearts go out to the family of the Giangregorio family, it is important to note that their deaths were 100-percent preventable,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. “After reviewing the thorough investigation completed by members of the NYS Park Police, and personally surveying the area above the lower falls, I felt that a review by the members of the Wyoming County Grand Jury was warranted and the indictment in this case was the result of their decision.”

Wyoming County Judge Michael Mohun unsealed the indictment Nov. 17 and both defendants were arraigned and released on their own recognizance. 

“It is important to note that the signage in any park means something. Signs are there to give notice, warning and assistance so that your stay can be enjoyable and safe. In the area where this occurred, the signage is clear and unmistakable. However, regardless of signs or no signs, any area directly above or within close proximately to a major waterfall is inherently dangerous and common sense would dictate not allowing children to play in that vicinity. 

“It is a miracle that four other people did not die from going over the falls and it is because of the quick work of first responders and the specialized rescue teams that the fifth person was rescued before serious injury or death occurred.”

Assisting State Park Police in the search included the New York State Police, and NYSP dive team, aviation, and other resources; Pike, Silver Springs, Perry, and Monroe ambulances; Nunda Fire and Ambulance; Castile Fire Department; Livingston County Emergency Services; Mercy Flight; Wyoming County Rope Rescue; Wyoming County Emergency Management; and the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office.

See related: Police identify the boys who fell over the falls at Letchworth State Park

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