Towering ice volcano rises from ground for its winter return in New York State park

·1 min read
Screengrab from the Letchworth State Park Facebook

Letchworth State Park’s iconic winter wonder is yet again emerging from the earth and could grow up to 50-feet tall.

The yearly spectacle created by the Glen Iris Fountain has been compared to volcanoes and geysers by visitors, especially when it is at its peak size. In February 2021, the fountain towered at about 20 feet, based on photos and estimated measurements from visitors.

Right now, it only stands a few feet tall, according to the park, but that could change with the chilly weeks in the forecast ahead.

Some have speculated if the feature has manmade pumps running through it, forcing the water to spurt out, but officials assure visitors that the fountain relies on science to push the water through.

“This simple fountain was built at the request of William Pryor Letchworth in the 1860s to beautify the garden pond by his estate, Glen Iris,” the park explained on its Facebook page. “Gravity pulls water from man made Trout Pond, through a narrowing pipe and finally into a nozzle so tight that the pressure from the water coming downhill sends a spout flying continuously about 50 feet in the air. No pumps, no motors, no heaters. Just science!”

Letchworth State Park was named Best State Park in the U.S. in the USA TODAY Reader’s Choice Award of 2015, with the fountain being a hot spot for tourists of the park and garnering lots of attention on social media.

For more information about the best times for ice-volcano viewing and other attractions in the park, people can visit the state park’s web page.

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