After the famed Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park in New York City, he set his sights on Rochester to develop an “emerald necklace” of parks and gardens along the Genesee River. His creations include Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park, Highland Park, Seneca Park, and Maplewood Park. Whether you’re looking to hike, fish, or take in the scenery with a picnic lunch, Monroe County has over 12,000 acres of nationally recognized parks to enjoy.
Ontario Beach Park
Enjoy one of the Great Lakes’ beautiful natural sand beaches at Ontario Beach Park. Spend the day sunning on the beach, swimming, picnicking, and riding the historic 1905 Dentzel Menagerie Carousel. The park is open year-round 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
Turning Point Park
Take a walk on Turning Point’s boardwalk and trail, which won the American Public Works Association’s “Transportation Project of the Year” award in 2008. The trail gives visitors unique views of the beautiful cattail-lined shores of the Genesee River.
Durand Eastman Park
Durand Eastman Park offers visitors a vast 977 acres with hiking trails, a golf course, cross-country skiing paths, and a playground. The scenic terrain delivers beautiful blooms in spring and summer, stunning fall foliage, and breathtaking views in winter.
Genesee Valley Park
Play ball! Genesee Valley Park has something for every sports enthusiast, including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and golf courses. Visitors can also enjoy the outdoors with hiking trails, canoeing, and fishing. You can visit the park year-round from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
There are many kid-friendly parks in Rochester with playgrounds, easier walking trails, and activities to burn energy while enjoying beautiful Rochester landscapes.
Powder Mills Park covers 380 acres in Pittsford, NY, and offers hiking, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. Geo-caching is also popular at the park, with approximately 26 caches. Make sure to bring quarters so that you can buy food to feed the fish at the Powder Mills Fish Hatchery.
The Lilac Adventure Zone in Highland Park is Rochester’s largest nature-themed play area. Constructed from log beams and natural boulders, the free-form timber structures encourage kids to explore, discover, and learn through movement.
The Birdsong Fairy Trail in Mendon Ponds Park features miniature fairy houses and located near the park’s nature center.
Kids (and adults!) of all abilities can enjoy the Genesee Valley Park Playground for All Children. With large jungle gyms for older kids, smaller playsets for toddlers, and structures for everyone in between, everyone can enjoy a day at the playground.
If you are traveling with your furry friend in tow, there are plenty of dog parks in Rochester for Rover to socialize and burn energy. Ellison Park and Cobb’s Hill Park both offer off-leash opportunities in enclosed dog parks.