Nestled in between an express way and two highly trafficked roads near the Penfield/Brighton town border, Corbett’s Glen Nature Park is a glorious green space in a suburban jungle.
As overused as this statement is, Corbett’s Glen is truly a hidden gem. I am always surprised by how many people drive past it every day and don’t realized it’s there.
The park is divided into two areas—Corbett’s Glen North and Corbett’s Glen South.
Corbett’s Glen North
You can start your exploration of Corbett’s Glen from the north, parking in the eight-car lot located off of Penfield Road, across from Forest Hill Road.
There are stone dust, wood chip and pine needle trails that lead you toward the south area. The pathways are easy to navigate and they crisscross and loop each other allowing you to choose your own adventure.
Corbett’s Glen North encompasses roughly 34 acres of land. The trails are relatively smooth, with portions that cut into the creek valley, like the Stone Steps, and down toward the glen and Allen Creek.
- Stone Dust Trail Loop: 0.35 miles
- Trailhead to Park Lane Access: 0.4 miles
- Trailhead to Corbett’s Glen South: 0.75 miles
There are also splinter trails that lead off to the surrounding neighborhoods and up to Temple Sinai. Definitely take a look!
Built in 1967, Temple Sinai was designed by Rochester architect James H. Johnson, who also designed the Mushroom House, Phillis Wheatley Library, the Liberty Pole, and dozens of other magnificent structures.
Keep heading south along the trails to reach the portion of the park most people envision of when they think of Corbett’s Glen.
Corbett’s Glen South
I do not have a photo of the parking area on Glen Road off Linden Ave NY-441. But once you get there, you will see both parking and no-parking signs that will guide you.
You’re basically parking along the side of the road and walking down toward Allen Creek through the neighborhood.
There is also room for two cars in the handicap-only spots: drive through the tunnel to access these.
You’ll find prom, wedding and senior pictures being staged right next to folks trout fishing.
Fun fact: President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train passed along the railroad tracks above the tunnel in 1865, on its way to Illinois.
This is the perfect spot for a picnic! A table in the shade next to the waterfalls makes for a peaceful lunch.
When you visit, you will notice you seem to be walking through people’s back yards, because you are.
The homeowners are passionate about keeping the Corbett’s Glen beautiful and open for everyone’s enjoyment. The glen may have been a story of the past had it not been for this nature-loving community.
There’s a trail leading toward the fall, and a number of large boulders perfectly placed for sitting.
Folks who have been visiting the glen for a long time will know the fencing was not always there, and that the creek and plant life had been extremely abused by foot traffic.
Please respect the fencing and enjoy the creek from a distance so the nature in this “nature park” can thrive. There is no wading in the creek, unless you’re trout fishing.
The trails that wind through Corbett’s Glen South’s take you through 18 acres of marsh-meadow, successional shrubland and wetland—a much different environment than the woodlands in Corbett’s Glen North.
- Glen Road to Postcard Falls: 0.13 miles
- Perimeter Trail Loop: 0.65 miles
- Plus, the Cross Meadow Trail and South Meadow Trail that cut through the center
Map of Corbett’s Glen
Located in Brighton, roughly 15 minutes / 10 miles from Rochester
More information: townofbrighton.org
There is informational signage at both trail heads introducing the area and its history. The south portion, being the older of the two, captures a much longer history.
This section of the timeline I found most interesting, but please read the rest when you visit. I did not know Sandra L. Frankel, but her legacy and impact on the preservation of natural spaces can been seen throughout Brighton, including the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park Brickyard Trail.
1990s – Much activity by Town Supervisor Sandra L. Frankel, the Town Board and Administration, and various local grass-root organizations toward preservation of glen, maintenance of property as a wildlife sanctuary and park, vs. development
1994 – Chief Shenandoah, Iroquois walks through valley in Corbett’s Glen
1997 – Chief Waterman, Onondaga Turtle Clan, and members of his tribe, come to glen to perform sacred tobacco ceremony, pray for preservation of Allen Creek Valley.
1999 – With assistance of the Genesee Land Trust, the Town purchased Corbett’s Glen property for “Corbett’s Glen Nature Park.”
What do you love most about Corbetts Glen?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!