BUFFALO, N.Y. --
The William B. Hoyt II Visitor Center at the Mount Morris Dam and Recreation Area opens to the public Sunday, May 1 for its 2022 visitor season. This year marks the return of inside-the-dam tours after a two-year hiatus, the first full season of online tour reservations, and 70 years since construction of the dam was completed.
Located on the Genesee River next to Letchworth State Park, the dam provides flood protection to downstream communities, including the City of Rochester, as well as a place to enjoy nature and outdoor recreation in its day-use park.
“The Mount Morris Dam and Recreation Area is a must-see for history buffs, engineers, historians, nature-lovers, students and families,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District. “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to resume public tours inside the dam this season so visitors can see, up-close, how amazing it is and enjoy the natural beauty of our recreation area.”
Mount Morris is the largest concrete gravity dam east of the Mississippi river, standing 245 feet tall and spanning 1,028 feet, with the ability to store nearly 302,000 acre-feet of water in the reservoir behind it. Marking 70 years in service this year, the dam is still an active project maintained and operated by the USACE Buffalo District and has provided an estimated $3.9 billion in flood damage protection to the community.
Visitors can join USACE Ranger-led walking tours to see some of the dam’s inner workings and enjoy unique perspectives from within the Letchworth Canyon.
“Our tours offer a rare opportunity to go inside a working flood risk management project, and one with such historic significance,” said Steve Winslow, Mount Morris Dam and Recreation Area Manager. “It’s an immersive experience.”
Visitors can now view schedules and reserve tickets online up to seven days in advance by visiting Recreation.gov and searching for “Mount Morris Dam Tours.”
Outside the dam, visitors can enjoy the Mount Morris Recreation Area, with captivating views of the Letchworth Gorge – known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”
The Recreation Area also includes: the William B. Hoyt II Visitor Center, where visitors can learn about the dam, the Army Corps of Engineers, and local plants and wildlife; access to hike, bike or run on the Finger Lakes Trail; picnic areas and a playground.
For new and experienced birders, the recreation area and surrounding Letchworth State Park is one of the National Audubon Society’s more than 2,800 Important Bird Areas worldwide. Iconic birds such as the Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle can often be seen flying over the dam and recreation area.
The visitor center is located at 6103 Visitor Center Road, Mount Morris, NY 14510 and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with tours offered May 1 through October 25, 2022.
All activities at the dam and recreation area are offered for free, although non-refundable service fee of $1 per ticket is charged by Recreation.gov for using the online reservation system. Visitors can sign up for walking tours in-person at the visitor center, but availability is not guaranteed. Online reservations are recommended.
Call (585) 659-4790 for more information or visit the Mount Morris Dam and Recreation Area website: https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Mount-Morris-Dam/.
More photos and video available at: https://flickr.com/photos/buffalousace/albums/72157719577385652
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.