Sometimes you just need a fun, spontaneous adventure or quick getaway to refresh your day. Try one of these day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester next time someone says, “I’m bored!”
1. Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area
The Braddock Bay complex includes the bay and the surrounding wetlands. We break it down so you can start exploring!
2. Conesus Lake
Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake and the closest to Rochester. You can drive around the entire lake in 30 minutes.
3. Oatka Creek Park
Oatka Creek Park in Wheatland is one of the more strollable in the Monroe County Park system, with little change in elevation along the 3.3 mile loop trail.
4. Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk
To find Rochester’s hidden sidewalk, start at Ontario Beach Park & head west on Beach Ave. Across from Clematis St. & Cloverdale St. are the two main entrances.
5. Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery is a special place all year-round, but there’s something about Autumn that turns it into a virtual painting.
6. Helmer Nature Center
The paths at Helmer Nature Center in Irondequoit, made primarily of wood chip, boardwalk, and hard-pack gravel, are easy to navigate and clearly marked. There are sloped portions that take you down to the valley floor where the terrain around you is hilly and tree covered making it peacefully quiet.
7. Webster Arboretum
Follow the pathways that meander around Webster Arboretum’s 40 acres of open spaces, flower & herb gardens, water elements, and a wide variety of trees.
8. Erie Canal Lock 62
Old Erie Canal Lock 62 is tucked just far enough off the beaten path that many do not realize it’s there, just over the hill behind Pittsford Plaza.
9. Cobbs Hill
The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing quite like it in Rochester.
Make sure you wander back through Washington Grove!
10. MacKay Wildlife Preserve
There are interesting man-made and geologic wonders to discover at MacKay Wildlife Preserve in Caledonia, including a sea of round, moss-covered boulders.
11. Channing H Philbrick Park
As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park in Penfield, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special.
12. Turning Point Park
Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, part of the greater Genesee Riverway Trail.
13. Highland Park
Highland Park was designed to be enjoyed year-round. Every pathway, every tree, every vista & every relationship between the land & water is intentional.
14. Durand Eastman Park
Durand Eastman Park’s landscape design was inspired by the work that Olmsted had done 20 years earlier in Highland, Seneca, and Genesee Valley Parks.
15. High Falls
High Falls is both the name of the waterfall and the district in the city where it can be found. There’s plenty of parking and food options on both sides of the river.
16. Breese Park
Breese Park is located along the Genesee River in the small community of Riverton on the far west side of Henrietta.
Set your sights on late-April to early-May to see the native bluebelles, trilliums, and ferns in their full spring glory!
17. Corbetts Glen
Corbetts Glen Nature Park is a hidden green space in a suburban jungle, nestled in between an express way and 2 highly trafficked roads near the Penfield/Brighton Town border.
18. Tinker Nature Park
Tinker Nature Park comprises 68-acres in Henrietta with a 1.2 mile flat perimeter trail for jogging, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or walking.
19. Warner Castle Sunken Garden
When you stroll around the back of Warner Castle and down the lawn, you’ll discover the Sunken Garden. It’s a peaceful retreat, and beautiful anytime of the year. Continue walking behind the garden and you’ll find yourself at Highland Bowl.
20. Mendon Ponds Park
Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms.
21. Frankel Nature Park
Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park is a 72-acre linear park connecting the Brighton Town Hall and Library on Elmwood Ave with Buckland Park on Westfall Road. The 0.8-mile Brickyard Trail runs the length of the park.
22. Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk
Most folks when visiting Fairport walk along the canal path not knowing that the Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk is running parallel to them. There is also a viewing platform where you can relax and take in the sights and sounds.
23. Maplewood Park
Maplewood Park is a linear park that follows the river from Driving Park and the Lower Falls to just north of Route 104, ending at the pedestrian bridge over the Genesee.
24. Hamlin Beach State Park
Hamlin Beach State Park has 7 miles of beautiful biking and walking trails, including a mile-long self-guided tour of a CCC/POW camp.
25. Ellison Park
Irondequoit Creek meanders through Ellison Park on its way to Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, offering visitors year-round fishing and non-motorized boating opportunities.
26. Brighton Town Park
Brighton Town Park is surprisingly serene, despite it being bordered on one side by office buildings and across the pond by a major express way.
27. Ontario Beach Park
Lake Ontario Beach Park is located at the northernmost tip of the city of Rochester, and is bordered on the East by the mouth of the Genesee River.
28. Meridian Centre Park
Meridian Centre Park is located off Winton Road. There are several points of access from the large parking area to the Erie Canal path.
29. Powder Mills Park
Powder Mills Park favorites include the fish hatchery, and Daffodil Trail, and the Mushroom House, which is technically private property but still draws a crowd!
30. Seneca Park
The Seneca Park Zoo is a but a small part of the greater 297-acre Seneca Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.
The term street art means different things to different people. Here, we interpret street art to mean any outdoor, free, public wall art.
Where are your favorite day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!