Rochester is a great place for people to find nature intermingled within and near the city. With tons of hiking, biking, beautiful outdoor scenery, and parks, Rochester has no shortage of adventure in and around the area. Check out all the outdoor experiences you can have close by!



Although there are endless hiking possibilities, here are just some of the few places you can go to enjoy nature on foot:


Mount Hope Cemetery Trail

The Mount Hope Cemetery Trail is a 2.5-mile trail you won’t ever forget. Located inside Genesee Valley Park, this hike is well worth the small incline and is perfect for birdwatching, mountain/road biking, trail running, or just taking a stroll to enjoy the scenery. Along this hour-long trail, you’ll witness nature and history colliding as you find tall Egyptian obelisks, over 80 mausoleums, a Florentine cast-iron fountain, two Gothic stone chapels, many different tombstones, winged angels of mercy and a Moorish gazebo. Since this is a relatively short hike, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of the history that lies on the path.


Irondequoit Creek

This easy hike will have you falling in love with the lush greenery of Rochester. The 4.6-mile loop takes you from Lucien Morin Park to Irondequoit Bay in about two hours and is great for anyone looking for an easier rather than strenuous hike. Spend your time birdwatching, horseback riding, or trail running. Be prepared to find some bugs along the trail, so pack your bug spray and get ready to see the beautiful nature that awaits.


Seneca Park

Seneca Park is the place to go for anyone who loves hiking year-round. This 4-mile out-and-back trail will take about an hour-and-a-half to complete and gives you a gorgeous view of the Genesee River and offers great cross-country skiing in the winter. This trail is for someone looking for something that won’t be too difficult but is slightly more challenging than a stroll. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes!


Genesee Riverway Trail via Genesee Valley Park

Take a stroll along a paved trail to see nature and urban life intermingled. The Genesee Riverway trail follows the river through heart of Rochester and is great for walking, running, and bicycling. The loop is just under seven miles and will take around two hours to complete, but you might want to plan on a little more time to take a detour at the waterfalls, bridges, or several parks along the way.


Washington Grove and Cobbs Hill Reservoir Loop

This is a perfect short trail for anyone looking for a beginner-friendly, moderately challenging hike that only takes an average of 35 minutes. Here, you’ll find views of nature and the city on a mostly unpaved pathway as you walk through the grove. The loop is open year-round and anyone who loves bird watching will not be disappointed!



Highland Reservoir Loop Trail

Not only does this trail offer the opportunity to explore over 10,000 plant varieties, but visitors will get an amazing view of the city as well. It is an easy, go-at-your-own-pace nature walk that can be enjoyed by anyone. The loop also has many animals around the area, and birding is a popular pastime on the trail.


Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area

Check out the numerous animal species of Rochester like the white-tailed deer, coyotes, American bitterns, Northern harrier hawks, owls, waterfowl like mallards and blue-winged teal, snapping turtles, red foxes, and so many more! The hiking trails, boardwalk to the marsh, wildlife blinds, and hawk-watch platform will all provide a beautiful wildlife viewing experience.



Ontario Beach Park

Find some of the best natural sand beaches of the Great Lakes at this 39-acre park. With swimming, boating, fishing, concerts, and more, the beach has something to offer year-round. Different facilities are available to the public like volleyball courts, food concessions, basketball courts, playground, bathhouse, picnic areas, and an antique historical carousel dating back to 1905.


Durand Eastman Park

Dedicated in May of 1909, Durand Eastman Park now has 977 acres of wilderness with a 5,000-foot view of the Lake Ontario waterfront and endless possibilities of things to do all through the year. Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing during the winter months, or go golfing, hiking/running on the trails, fishing, or geo-caching when it’s warmer. No matter when you visit, people of all ages will enjoy spending time here.


Genesee Valley Park

This spot is quite popular, and you’ll see why if you visit. Its three baseball diamonds, two 18-hole golf courses with a clubhouse, soccer field, hiking and cross-country skiing trails, and canoeing and fishing access make the park a fun place to spend your day in Rochester.


Turning Point Park

This park has something that not everyone knows about – an award-winning boardwalk winding across the Genesee River. The 3,752-foot boardwalk provides a tranquil experience that will have you overlooking the river and lush vegetation surrounding it. Take a stroll, go running, or bike right above the river as you find swans, herons, butterflies, turtles, and more wildlife.



Erie Canalway Trail

The Erie Canalway Trail is a 365-mile portion of New York state’s 750-mile Empire State Trail that you can bike a part of right here in Rochester! Because it’s a section of a longer trail, you get to choose your own difficulty level and how far you want to go. Suitable for all ages and abilities, everyone in the family will love the scenery this trail provides, regardless of how long you choose to stay on the path.


Genesee Riverway Trail

This path is part of the Genesee Riverway hiking trail. Generally considered easy, you’ll follow a path that takes you from Rochester to a pier taking you out onto Lake Ontario. The scenery you’ll find includes two waterfalls, pedestrian bridges, downtown Rochester, and more.


Rochester Gravel Bike Loop

The Rochester Gravel Bike Loop is a trail for bikers who want something that’s a bit harder. Similar to the Erie Canalway Trail, you’ll get to choose your length: take a stab at doing all 60 miles or only tackle a portion of it and bike as far as you choose! Take advantage of the numerous stops along the way to see animals, indulge in food and craft beverage, and enjoy ice cream.