The lure of the gorge. Every year nearly 800,000 people from across the region, state, country, and world visit Letchworth State park to marvel at the “Grand Canyon of the East.” They may hike, camp, swim, or picnic, but eventually they make their way to one of the many overlooks, some towering more than 600 feet above the Genesee River. It’s beautiful to view the gorge walls and see the many layers of exposed geological features, and there at the bottom is the river making its way north toward Lake Ontario.
Visitors cannot access the gorge unless they either secure a special permit from the park or take a rafting trip with Adventure Calls Outfitters. The rafting company has been partnering with Letchworth for almost 20 years and is continually expanding its offerings to the public.
This year, during the off season, a few of Adventure Calls rafting leaders become licensed fishing guides, so now park visitors can add a fishing expedition to their gorge rafting experience. These special trips are available June through October and are catch and release only. Spinning rods and tackle are provided but anglers are welcome to bring their own gear. Participants must have a NYS fishing license which can easily be purchased online for a small fee or they can take the trip during one of the state’s “free fishing weekends” in which a license is not required. Most commonly caught on the Genesee River are Small Mouth Bass, but occasionally lucky anglers will snag a Large Mouth Bass, Black or White Crappie, or Rock Bass.
Most rafting trips take between two and two and a half hours depending on the flow of the river. When the fishing package is added, the float time increases to about four and a half hours.
Additionally, Adventure Calls Outfitters has been partnering with the Wounded Warrior program to provide veterans with physical disabilities the opportunity to experience a day on the water. The company also has authorized merit badge counsellors on staff so Boy Scouts can earn their canoeing and whitewater merit badges.
The company also has a variety of special events lined up for the season which are not to be missed:
- June 1 through June 3 the Outfitters have partnered with Houghton College for a Mom and Me Retreat designed for single moms and their children. The weekend-long event is a great chance for single parent families to build some lasting memories together. As part of the retreat, the families spend three days and two nights on the picturesque campus of Houghton College with access to the cafeteria, dorms, athletic facilities, pool and more, culminating in a field trip to go rafting in Letchworth State Park. Contact Joan Anderson at 716-341-7657 to register.
- Adventure Calls Outfitters has also planned a couple of very special overnights in the gorge for June 9th, July 14th, and August 18th. The June 9th “Overnight in the Gorge” will include a narrated hike with some history of the park, camping along the river at St. Helena, dinner paired with local wines and craft beers, breakfast Sunday morning, then rafting through the gorge. The cost is only $160 per person.
- Lastly, Dads raft free on Father’s Day June 17th if he is accompanied by at least two other paying family members. Upon returning to the rafting office after the trip, Dad will be given a special gift.
For more information on Adventure Calls Outfitters expanded offerings and special events visit the website at www.adventure-calls.com .
The Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is the official tourism promotion agency (TPA) for the county.
Media Contact: Elissa Leuer, Director of Tourism & Marketing
585-243-2222 ext. 226 or Elissa@LivingstonCountyChamber.com