This winter we are going to double down on our efforts to spend time outside enjoying the natural beauty of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. Enjoy time outdoors – no matter the weather – and take in the fresh air in Rochester. Read on for our favorite local spots to take a winter walk.
Cobb's Hill Park is located in the city's southeast area and features 109 acres of beauty, recreation, and scenic trails. At the park's highest point, a walking trail offers one of the best views of the city. Explore a true urban natural oasis within Washington Grove, a city owned woodland area nestled on the eastern edge of Cobbs Hill Reservoir. Whether exploring Washington Grove’s vast collection of oaks, taking a stroll around the reservoir (be sure to take a photo of the city skyline from this view!), or going sledding down the park’s large hill, Cobb’s Hill is a great choice for a winter walk in Rochester.
A satellite location for the Rochester Museum & Science Center, the Cumming Nature Center is a dynamic environmental education center that celebrates the unique landscape and culture of the Finger Lakes region. Nestled between Canandaigua and Honeoye Lakes, this 900-acre preserve is as beautiful as it is vast. Visitors can explore the Visitors Center and hike more than 15 miles of trails through diverse habitats. From rare hemlock bogs to active beaver ponds to an iconic 90-year-old red pine stand, there’s something for everyone all year round at Cumming Nature Center.
The Genesee Country Nature Center is an outstanding natural area with hundreds of acres of woodlands, meadows, ponds, old fields, fascinating geologic formations, plants, and animals. Visit the Nature Center every Sunday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM starting January 2 for an independent hike or join one of their naturalists for a guided family-friendly nature experience.
Highland Park is a beautiful 150-acre park that is just as wonderful to visit in the winter as it is in the spring, when the park’s famous collection of lilacs – the largest in North America, are in full bloom. In the winter, enjoy clear walking paths, memorials and gardens throughout the park, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and a Lily Pond which provides a natural skating rink in the winter. Highland Park is also home to the Lamberton Conservatory, which features a beautiful collection of plants from many different places and is open all year around.
Inside Mount Hope Cemetery, the oldest municipal cemetery in the United States, visitors will find rolling hills and walking trails. A range of architectural styles that can be found in the cemetery’s headstones, grave markers and mausoleums. No visit to Mount Hope is complete without stopping at the graves of Rochesterians and historic figures Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.
Located just 40 minutes south of Rochester, NY is Letchworth State Park, otherwise known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Letchworth is one of the most stunning sites in the Greater Rochester region any time of the year, including the winter! Though certain trails and parts of the park road are closed during the winter, you will still find trails for exploring, by foot, or in cross-country skis or show shoes.
Monroe County has 21 parks that make up more than 12,000 acres of parkland. In addition, the City of Rochester also maintains a variety of parks that offer active and passive forms of recreation as well as scenic overlooks and trails ideal for walks and jogs.