Cobbs Hill autumn skyline cover

Cobbs Hill + Washington Grove

Cobbs Hill Park in the City of Rochester makes you feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore. The park itself, nestled between Culver, Monroe and Highland, is recreational in nature, with Lake Riley at its heart. It’s the hill, though, that makes it so special.

The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing else quite like it in Rochester.

Cobbs Hill Park
Cobbs Hill skyline summer
Cobbs Hill skyline winter sunset
Cobbs Hill Park
Cobbs Hill skyline coffee mug

The view from Cobbs Hill is spectacular

No matter the weather, season, cloud cover, or time of day, I love looking out over the treetops at the Rochester skyline. Folks also head up to Cobb’s Hill to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve.

Cobbs Hill winter steps
Cobbs Hill skyline reservoir fountain
Cobbs Hill walking path

Cobb’s Hill Reservoir

The Reservoir’s walkways, iron fence, steps and overlooks were designed by the Olmsted firm

Encircling the reservoir is a .7-mile paved walking path perfect for a jog or a stroll, and a favorite for workday lunch breaks.

Cobbs Hill view Pinnacle Hill

The view of Pinnacle Hill from Cobbs Hill

Pinnacle Hill is the highest point in Rochester and is home to 5 of Rochester’s broadcast signal towers.

Cobbs Hill and Pinnacle Hill are two of the original five Pinnacle Hills in the Pinnacle Range—a glacial moraine created by the retreating Wisconsin Glacier 10,000 year ago.

Two of the other hills are in Highland and Mount Hope. The fifth was Oak Hill, leveled to create a golf course which has since relocated; the land is now the University of Rochester’s riverside campus.

Cobbs Hill winter sledding

Cobb’s Hill is the most popular spot to sled in the City of Rochester.

Cobbs Hill Pinnacle Hill summer
Overlooking Pinnacle Hill
Maxfield Parrish
Maxfield Parrish, “Daybreak”

In the right light, the granite, Greek-Revival-style gate house reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

Cobbs Hill skyline communications tower

Cobbs Hill also hosts Monroe Country’s Public Safety Communications.

Cobbs Hill autumn

Washington Grove

Because of the Pinnacle Range, all major infrastructure, like the Erie Canal, subway, and express way, were routed around the area leaving this beautiful area untouched by development.

The trail through Washington Grove takes you by the graffiti-tagged water towers and winds through a quiet grove of ancient oaks.

Cobbs Hill Water Tower Justin Suarez
Artist Justin Suarez at work
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Washington Grove Graffiti
Cobbs Hill water tower inside
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Washington Grove echos
Cobbs Hill Washington Grove water town autumn
Cobbs Hill water tower photo
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower
Cobbs Hill Water Tower

More information about Cobbs Hill Park

Cost: Free

Located in the City of Rochester (get directions)

More information:

Cobbs Hill geodetic marker
geodetic marker

This marker is located on the ground behind the water tower on the right coming up the trail. I am not familiar with these markers but I found some information and a few links you may find helpful if this is interesting to you!

“Survey mark refers to any permanent marks or disks placed in the ground or attached to a permanent structure with known latitude, longitude or height information. Other terms used for survey mark are “survey point” or “control point.”

“The term “benchmark” is reserved for marks that indicate elevation. Horizontal position markers used for triangulation are also known as triangulation stations.”

“Survey markers were often placed as part of triangulation surveys, measurement efforts that moved systematically across states or regions, establishing the angles and distances between various points. Such surveys laid the basis for map-making across the world.”

National Geodetic Survey FAQs

The NGS Data Sheet

Survey Marker on Wikipedia

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When is your favorite time to visit Cobb’s Hill?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.