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Breakfast at the Glen Iris Inn and an Ode to the Waterfalls

Friday July 9, 2016                                                                           Most Recent Posts:
Letchworth State Park                                                                       Air Quality Alert Changes the Plan
Perry, New York                                                                               From the Rim – There’s a Lot to See


Today is David’s favorite day of our stay anywhere we stay longer than a few days.  It’s the day we go out for breakfast.  He’s picked the Glen Iris Inn.

The Glen Iris Inn is the former home of  William Prior Letchworth a former businessman who bought 1000 acres here including the three major falls and before his death donated it to the state to insure its protection.  The house has been turned into an Inn with rooms you can rent and a lovely dining room overlooking the gardens or you can have your meals on the porch.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When we arrive there are two couples eating on the porch.  It’s a bit breezy for us so we head inside. 



The dining room is at the end of the entry hall.  When we are seated by the window, there is only one other couple in the dining room although more come as we are eating.  The breakfast king looks very happy with his spinach and feta omelette.



This picture was taken from our table.


This one was taken of our table by the window as we left.


After breakfast, we leave and as we walk step out on the porch, there is the middle falls. What a view. This will be our last chance to see the falls as we have plans for tomorrow outside the park and we leave on Sunday. So I want to walk down and be with them again and walk up to the upper falls for one last time.

As I am putting this post together and finding it impossible to choose between the varied pictures I so enthusiastically took in my joy over the falls, especially the middle falls, I realize that for my memory stores, which is what this blog is, I want to devote the rest of this post to these two falls. If I had known that at the time, I would have gone back to the lower falls as well. They are not as close a walk and we had other plans for the rest of the day but here are the many views of Letchworth Middle Falls.

Hope there are other waterfall fanatics out there who will enjoy all the looks I got.  I’d love to know which are your favorites. 

Here is my walk to the Middle and Upper Falls for the final time.  Follow along and as you do, remember that these beautiful falls are currently in drought condition.   How even more glorious they must be at full power.

This is pretty much the view from the patio in front of the Glen Iris.  Down over the road to the Inn to the walkway and the viewing spot.



To get there, you take the walkway from the patio across the road and down these steps.IMG_9932


The falls reveal themselves as you approach.



If you are too captivated by the Middle Falls on your left, you may completely miss the little cascade on your right which comes from the fountain in the gardens outside the window of the Inn’s restaurant.  We could see it from our table.

The stone wall in the background is the edge of the Glen Iris patio.


From the view point, at either angle, at my height, I cannot see the bottoms of the far right falls.






But when I move back up on the walk, there they are. 





full streams, light cascadesIMG_9941


splashing into the poolIMG_9944


hitting the rocks belowIMG_9945




veils of water, heavy and lightIMG_9947


I never tire of the beauty of water falling over rocks.



Many of these pictures are affected by my height.  This is my view as I walk further along up the falls.  Flowers hide all but a peek at the falls.



The walk swings out and around to come up to the top of the falls. 


I turn back to see the flat water as it falls over the edge.






I turn back around at the top of middle falls, walk on along and soon there is just a glimpse of the upper falls.



Flowers here too but different ones.






The rosa rugosa, maker of the marvelous rose hips full of vitamin C.




And then the horse shoe falls are visible.









As we walk up, we can now see the top of the falls and the full bridge in the background.





I climb higher up over the tributary bridge to a view down the Genesee River, source of all this glorious water.






As I move away from the falls, the foliage increases and so I turn around and return to the top of the falls.





David waits for me and we walk back down where he takes the next two pictures minimizing the impact of the bridge on the falls.









As we approach Middle Falls on our return we notice for the first time, a small cascade on the side rim.  We’ve never seen this before because we are always looking at the falls from that rim.








As we return to the middle falls, I want to draw attention to the water marks on the far side canyon wall.  I’ve seen this every time I’ve been here and taken a picture of it each time becasue it reminds me so much of Native American pictograph animals.   What do you see in it?






Here I am, at my last view of the Letchworth Falls.  With a little more time we could have walked on to the Lower Falls which really deserve to be a part of this tribute to all the beauty.




We walk back up to the Inn where the hydrangeas are bursting with bloom.  We have hydrangeas in Virginia but they are blue due to our acidic soil.  Seeing these pink ones tells me the soil here is much more alkaline.  You can actually change the color of hydrangeas in your garden by adding the appropriate amendments to the soil.



Walking through the garden we can see the the far left window was our breakfast spot this morning.




Here is the fountain source of the cascade on the right of the path to the falls.  Masses of daylilies line the pond.


From here we merely cross the road to visit the Letchworth Museum.  The stone building is wonderful.  Hope you enjoy a revisit Pam.  Next up is our afternoon there and at the Seneca Council House with the statue of Mary Jemison known as White Woman of the Genesee, plus a difficult to photograph Friday evening.



  1. I am falling in love with this park. That falls is beyond beautiful. Just breathtaking. Thank you Sherry, for all the detail you write. Sometimes I can't get to all of it with life being what it is, but when I can return, I do, and I love seeing all the details of the places that you visit.

  2. Enjoyed all of your photos of the falls, but I love how flat and smooth the water looks just before it goes over the edge.

  3. Sue is right, Sherry. You give us so much detail and so many beautiful pictures that I feel like I am taking those hikes with you. I know how time consuming and hard blogging can be. It is truly a gift you are giving to the rest of us. Thank you.

  4. The middle falls are my favorite. I think the pictograph water mark on the canyon wall looks like a big sloth reclining. ;)

  5. Beautiful pictures - it's hard to pick favorites! I do like the water falling over rocks one especially. It must be unbelievable when the water is really up and there is no drought. I think I would have enjoyed breakfast at the Inn too - cute little tea pot!! I think I see an aardvark with his nose in the air or maybe a wolf howling in the water mark on the canyon wall.

  6. Even in drought conditions, these falls are lovely. I can see something of a pictograph quality to that rock wall.

  7. Oh yes, these falls were worth the many photos! Just gorgeous! Water is so important to humans on so many levels.

  8. The photo of Bill and I on our blog homepage was taken with Glen Iris Inn in the background. Never ate there though and I believe we missed a wonderful breakfast;o))

    My favorite photo, if I have to pick one, is the your last photo of the Upper Falls. It looks like you are peeking through the trees to see it!!

  9. What terrific pictures of the falls! That breakfast sounded yummy.

  10. Like trying to pick your favorite Beatle - too hard!! The Inn is darling, and I think you had the very best table! I hope there's still water when we arrive in September :-( Okay! The falls......they are so wonderful even in their depleted state. I love the heavy and light the best. The big pic of the horseshoe is stunning. I see Carrie's wolf howling in the seepage art (don't you love those little gifts from nature?), and the faint hint of an elephant on the other side. I bet that tiny falls never gets photographed - so that makes it special too. A wonderful tribute, thanks for sharing every bit of it :-))

  11. I must be hungry right now because the photo that I like is that of the Breakfast King! Seriously, all the photos are outstanding.

  12. Beautiful area and judging by David's clothing, it must be nice and cool.

  13. I'm a huge Waterfall Buff! Each photo is beautiful in it's own right...you took some wonderful shots. This park is amazing... I do plan to visit Watkins Glen, NY in August...if time should allow I would love to see these falls.

  14. These pictures today were so calming to me. What a beautiful place that has been added to my every growing list of places to visit. I so enjoy every last word you write. Email coming soon (believe it or not)!

  15. I think I like the pics of the middle falls best because there are no man made structures in view.

  16. This is indeed a lovely park. I can see why you might have gone overboard with taking photos of the falls ... they are beautiful. Middle Falls are my favorite.

  17. What a great place for David to choose for his breakfast! I was wondering if you would have the fountain in any of your photos. Two winter ago the fountain was featured on the news shows for being one of the tallest frozen fountains. It was quite spectacular because it was still shooting water out of the top of this frozen column.

  18. Waterfalls are so mesmerizing, no matter how big or small. I'd say you've fallen for falls! ;c)

  19. I wish I can entice Steve to get breakfast! Dave really knows which meal is the most important in a day.
    Those falls are mesmerizing, I like them all but my fave is the horseshoe falls.
    I think in addition to tress, waterfalls are your second favorite works of nature.

  20. Hi

    Still following and loving your blog! It is so great to read about places for us to try as they are not that far from NH and can travel there pre-retirement!

    If you haven't been to The Corning Museum of Glass, please consider it. It is a wonderful museum! There is also an Ansel Adams museum there. There is even daytime RV parking there with shuttles to the museum! Corning is a cute little town also. We have been a couple of times and spent two days each time.

    Katy in NH

  21. As much as I love the desert SW I dearly miss the sound, feel and scent of flowing water, and especially the energy from waterfalls. The Inn is wonderful and breakfast looks good. You do take the nicest walks.

  22. Those falls are so gorgeous and so abundant (even in a drought year!). I think both Upper and Middle Falls are equally beautiful, in different ways. I love the feeling of hiking or walking by water. Looks like a wonderful day, starting with breakfast in such a lovely place!


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