guided walk genesee river alliance cover

Guided Walks and Tours Around Rochester, NY

Join these interactive learning experiences offered through guided walks, runs, rides, and behind-the-scenes tours around Rochester. Instead of relying on signage or audio narration, knowledgeable local experts lead these guided tours, highlighting the rich history, geology, ecology, and community of the greater Rochester region.

Guided walks provide a great opportunity to learn and socialize with other curious people who share your interests. They are particularly beneficial for individuals who prefer not to explore alone.

Make sure to check out each organization’s website, follow them on social media, and sign up for their newsletters. Members of these organizations are usually the first to learn about tours if they are offered. Membership frequently includes free walks, which might otherwise be charged as a member benefit. It’s always a good idea to explore membership. Space may be limited on tours, and pre-registration is often required, so it’s good to be among the first to hear about a new event.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Regular Outdoor Guided Walks

2024 Flower City Feeling Good Guided Walks
2024 Flower City Feeling Good Guided Walks – View PDF

2024 Flower City Feeling Good Guided Walks

City of Rochester
Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. from June to September

Download a printable PDF of the Flower City Feeling Good Guided Walks schedule here.

These Thursday evening walks highlight the natural wonders of the City of Rochester. Learn about the green spaces in Rochester, participate in hands-on exploration, and learn how you and your family can help protect these beautiful spaces.

I have included a Google Maps link to the spot where you will meet your guide. Please note that the directions are roughly accurate; just look for a group of people gathering near the map’s location.

June 20, 2024: Old Growth Forest Walk with the Friends of Washington Grove. Meet at the southeast side of Reservoir Road, atop Cobbs Hill Reservoir. Get directions here.

June 27, 2024: Lower Falls Gorge Walk with Local Gorge Guides. Meet at the Maplewood Rose Garden parking lot (250 Maplewood Avenue), near the Kelsey’s Landing historical signage. Get directions here.

July 11, 2024: Genesee Riverway Trail Walk (Corn Hill Landing) with Susan Porter of the Corn Hill Neighborhood Association. Meet at the Water Spirits statue on Exchange Boulevard at the intersection with South Plymouth Avenue. Get directions here.

July 18, 2024: Learn to Take Care of the Planet Walk with Seneca Park Zoo Society’s Urban Ecologists. Meet outside the Genesee Waterways Center at 149 Elmwood Avenue. Get directions here.

July 25, 2024: Sturgeon Walk at Seth Green Park. “A success story returning lake sturgeon, a contemporary of the dinosaur to the Genesee River.” Meet at the Seth Green Drive fishing access lot off St. Paul Street. Get directions here.

August 1, 2024: Explore Genesee Gateway Park with Rochester Ecology Partners. Meet at the Rochester Ecology Partners Office, 224 Mt. Hope Avenue (between Alexander and Hamilton.) Get directions here.

August 8, 2024: Listen to the Sounds of Nature Walk with Seneca Park Zoo’s Urban Ecologists. Meet at the Wegmans Lodge parking lot along the park road in Seneca Park, near the north end of the Trout Pond. Get directions here.

August 22, 2024: Mindful Meander through Highland Park with Nature-Based Learning Coach Kyra Stephenson. Meet at the Frederick Douglass R-Center, 999 South Avenue. Get directions here.

August 29, 2024: Old Growth Forest Walk with Friends of Washington Grove. Meet at the southeast side of Reservoir Road atop Cobbs Hill. Get directions here.

Follow the City of Rochester on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the latest announcements for this annual walk series. If you have any questions about these walks, please email Amanda Little at amanda.little@cityofrochester.gov.

Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery, North Section
30 day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester: Mount Hope Cemetery
North Section
Mount Hope Cemetery tree tour
Tree Tour
Mount Hope Cemetery guided geology tour
Geology Tour

Mount Hope Cemetery

City of Rochester

Mount Hope Cemetery provides over 100 tours every year. The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery offer guided walks, primarily during the warmer months. Foundational tours are available on Sundays at 2 p.m., and Twilight Tours are on Thursdays at 7 p.m. between May and September. Expert guides and featured topics lead themed tours focused on the cemetery’s residents, geology, and arboretum.

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Mount Hope Cemetery

Mount Hope Cemetery’s winding roads are best explored on foot for a glimpse into the area’s rich history, ecology, and geology.

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Rundel Memorial Building

Central Library Local History Walks

City of Rochester

The Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County arranges a monthly walking tour series with walks scheduled every third Wednesday throughout the summer. Although registration is encouraged, it is not mandatory to join these free walking tours.

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31 Monroe County Libraries

A free library card allows you to access 31 Monroe County libraries, including Central Library and Libby, the digital library.

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Some Things Afoot

City of Rochester

Some Things Afoot offers a free 2.5-mile-long guided walking tour through Rochester’s Park Avenue Historic District and Neighborhood of the Arts.

During the tour, you will explore the grounds of the George Eastman Museum, the Memorial Art Gallery, and the Rochester Museum and Science Center. You will also learn about Rochester’s urban forest and its reputation as the World Image Center and discover some of the famous and infamous Rochesterians. The tour includes visiting a church, admiring various architectural styles, and wandering through beautiful urban neighborhoods with unique shops and restaurants.

Penfield Recreation

Various Locations in Penfield

Enjoy guided hikes through Penfield’s town and county parks, including Ellison Park, Abraham Lincoln Park, Channing H. Philbrick Park, Harris Whalen Park, and the Thousand Acre Swamp, each month. All hikes are free, but pre-registration is required.

Fairchild Walking Tours through Mendon Ponds

Mendon

Join Jack Butler for a guided walk through Mendon Ponds Park and discover its rich history and natural beauty. Fairchild Walking Tours offers smaller sections of the park that last between one and one-and-a-half hours. During each tour, you will learn about the park’s development, glacial formation, and geological features such as kettles, kames, and eskers. You will also get to identify the park’s flora and fauna. The guided walks are free of charge, but pre-registration is required.

Crescent Trail Hiking Association

Various Locations in Perinton

Since 1980, the Crescent Trail Hiking Association has been leading free monthly guided hikes to share a love of nature, educate hikers about the history of Perinton, and encourage them to be good stewards of the environment. They lead hikes on various trails, including the Seneca Trail near Eastview Mall, Horizon Hill to Woodcliff, Harts Woods, and OxBow. They offer hikes for different skill levels and age groups.

Please check their Facebook page for event details, including meet-up location, preliminary mapping, and hike descriptions.

Rochester Birding Association

Various Field Trip Locations

The Rochester Birding Association (RBA) is a group for anyone interested in birdwatching in the Rochester area. The RBA aims to bring people together who are at all levels of knowledge and experience in birding. It offers opportunities for birders to enhance their skills, knowledge, and understanding of birds. It’s also a great way for birdwatchers to connect with others who share their passion for birds.

Over 50 field trips are scheduled throughout the year to showcase birds of the season in specific habitats. Some of these trips are tailored for beginners in birdwatching. The locations vary from parks in downtown Rochester, such as Cobbs Hill and Highland Park, to places in Monroe County, like Braddock Bay, Hamlin Beach State Park, and Mendon Ponds. There are also trips to farther locations like Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and the Niagara River Gorge.

First Day hike Letchworth
Letchworth

Letchworth State Park

Castile

The Humphrey Nature Center offers an extensive range of guided hikes all year round. Their knowledgeable naturalists lead various themed hikes, such as sunrise, waterfall, and night hikes. Additionally, they offer snowshoe and cross-country ski hikes and immersive hikes along the park’s vast trail system.

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Explore Letchworth State Park

Letchworth has something for everyone, from hiking one of the park’s 29 trails and picnicking beside a waterfall to taking a scenic drive.

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Mount Morris Dam

Mount Morris

The Mount Morris Dam and Recreation Area Visitor Center is open for interpretive programs from May to October, roughly the spring through fall.

If you are an engineering enthusiast and love to explore the Genesee River Valley, then the Top of the Dam Guided Walk is a must-visit. The walk takes around 45 minutes and includes a steep 0.5-mile trek into the gorge to reach the top of Mount Morris Dam. Tickets are available every day during the season, but it’s advisable to book them in advance as the space is limited for each start time.

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Explore Mount Morris

If there was a Main Street, USA Cinderella story, it’s living a happy ending—rather, a new beginning—here in Mount Morris.

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Cumming Nature Center Guided Walks
Cumming Nature Center

RMSC Cumming Nature Center

Naples

Cumming Nature Center offers various guided walks year-round, including Snowshoe History Hikes, Eco-Book Club & Hikes, and Weekend Wild Hikes. Look for special events, like the mushroom and fungi-themed Myco Mania.

Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls, USA

Explore the natural wonder of Niagara Falls State Park with an unforgettable guided walking tour featuring ADA-compliant trails. During this one-hour tour, you will observe the beauty of Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and more. Learn about the park’s history and the daredevils who challenged the odds. Additionally, there is a two-hour excursion available, which includes the one-hour tour and admission to Cave of the Winds!

Forest Lawn Cemetery

City of Buffalo

Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo offers a regular public tour schedule that includes guided walks and trolley tours. It’s a vast place, easily explored in your own vehicle along wide, paved roads. But I recommend the formal tours to learn more about the space and its famous residents.

Montezuma Audubon Center

Savannah

The Montezuma Audubon Center is a facility owned by the state of New York and operated through a cooperative agreement between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Audubon Society. The center offers guided excursions for snowshoeing, kayaking, and birding, along with private birding tours for small groups and families. Additionally, they also organize lectures on various topics related to the environment.

Farm Sanctuary Watkins Glen
Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary

Watkins Glen

From May to October, you can take a guided tour at the Watkins Glen Farm Sanctuary and meet many rescued animals along the way. The tours are available on specific days during the week, and they last for an hour.

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Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen

Farm Sanctuary sits on 175 acres in Watkins Glen, just west of Sugar Hill State Forest, and is home to more than 500 rescued farm animals.

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Periodic Outdoor Guided Walks

I’ve included these organizations below under “periodic” because tours are not part of their core business. Yet when they offer a tour, they’re not to be missed!

Highland Park guide
Guided Walking Tours
Sunken Garden guided walking tour
Sunken Garden
guided hike rochester ecology partners highland park
Highland
Highland Park guided walking tours
Highland Park

Highland Park Conservancy

City of Rochester

Landscape design, geology, history, horticulture, and arboretum experts lead walking tours through Highland Park throughout the year.

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Highland Park in Rochester

Highland Park has even been described as a museum of exotic trees, many of which are the tallest of their species in the state, though few are native.

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guided walk genesee river alliance lighthouse
Charlotte
Turning Point Mushroom Walk
Turning Point
Genesee River Alliance Mile 3 PLEX
PLEX
guided walk Genesee River Alliance gateway
ROC the Riverway

Genesee River Alliance

City of Rochester

Subject matter experts and neighborhood partners lead periodic tours, sharing stories about its history, cultural significance, and environmental impact. Past walks have included Genesee Valley Park, ROC the Riverway, the PLEX neighborhood, Turning Point, Seneca Park, Maplewood Park, Charlotte, and High Falls. The Genesee Land Trust also offers guided tours of their protected lands in the greater Rochester region.

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Exploring The Genesee River

At Genesee Valley Park, the river merges with the Erie Canal and continues north through Rochester before reaching Lake Ontario.

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Maplewood Park & Rose Garden

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.

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Turning Point Park

Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572-foot-long boardwalk over the Genesee River Turning Basin.

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guided walk Genesee Country VIllage
Genesee Country Village

Genesee Country Village & Museum

Mumford

Genesee Country Village is typically experienced through individual exploration, with costumed interpreters sharing stories along the way. Periodically, they host guided walks, like the annual Yuletide in the Country, and a tour of Monroe County homes offered last year. Keep an eye on their events calendar for guided walks.

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Genesee Country Village & Museum

The Genesee Country Village is a living history museum with 68 structures on 700 acres, making it the largest museum of its kind in New York.

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guided walk geology brainery lower falls
Geology Tour

Rochester Brainery

Various Locations

Filter Rochester Brainery classes using “history,” “science,” or “outside” to find these types of events. You may be fortunate to come across guided geology field trips led by Tyler Lucero, Architecture in the Wild walking tours with the Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists, and The Lost Borough‘s Hidden History neighborhood tours, highlighting the history that hides in plain sight.

Rochester Fringe Festival 2023
Parcel 5

Guided Walks with Rochester Pedal Tours

City of Rochester

The 1.5-hour walking tour begins at the Liberty Pole and ends near Dinosaur BBQ. Phil Szal will share stories as you stop in front of various landmarks, such as the “I Love Rochester” sign, WALL\THERAPY murals, and the remains of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. You’ll walk along the river and look into Rochester’s abandoned subway under Broad Street.

Guided Tour High Falls Genesee River
High Falls

ROC the Riverway Weekend in October

City of Rochester

The City of Rochester organizes guided hikes, rides, and paddles every year during the first or second weekend of October. This event celebrates life along the urban corridor of the Genesee River. It’s an excellent opportunity to explore the river and enjoy the beautiful fall colors.

I anticipate the events scheduled during ROC the Riverway Weekend will grow more diverse as we continue to revive the riverfront through downtown and progress toward the creation of Rochester High Falls State Park.

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Roc the Riverway Weekend: October 6–8, 2023

Enjoy Roc the Riverway Weekend with activities highlighting the beauty, history, and significance of Rochester’s majestic Genesee River.

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Bergen Swamp

Bergen

The Bergen Swamp Preservation Society leads periodic tours throughout the year. You can also request a tour of three of the properties that they protect.

Durand Eastman Park guided tour
Durand Eastman Arboretum

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County

Irondequoit

CCE master gardeners offer guided tours of Durand Eastman Arboretum in the spring and fall, which are exceptionally wonderful times to visit the park.

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Durand Eastman Park

Durand Eastman Park’s 977 acres include an arboretum, hiking trails around Durand and Eastman Lakes, and a swimming beach on Lake Ontario.

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Indoor Guided Tours

Memorial Art Gallery DeTour baroque fountain court cover
Memorial Art Gallery

City of Rochester

Take a docent-led tour and explore 5,000 years of world art in MAG’s collection and temporary exhibitions. Upon arrival, please let the Admission Desk know that you wish to join the tour. Public tours are approximately 60 minutes and are included in museum admission.

DeTOURs℠ are offered on the third Thursday of each month and are an exclusive themed tour that is both engaging and entertaining. These tours focus on some of the amazing personal lives of artists, the inspiration and method of their creativity, and lesser-known facts about some of the works in our collection. Each tour includes activities, personal connections, and mind-blowing facts! DeTOUR℠ tickets include museum admission. Space is limited.

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Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester boasts a rich permanent collection and an impressive range of traveling exhibitions.

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ARTISANworks guided tour Bourbon Street
ARTISANworks

ARTISANworks Docent-Led Tours

City of Rochester

Schedule a tour for your group of 10 or more—admission fees apply.

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ARTISANworks

I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, and a 360° canvas that defies all boundaries.

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Susan B. Anthony Museum and House Docent-Led Tours

City of Rochester

Your guided interpreted experience will be 45 minutes. For the safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers, part of the tour will be outdoors on the Anthony Museum campus. The highlight of the tour is a visit to the first floor of the Susan B. Anthony House, featuring the front parlor where she was arrested for voting.

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Susan B Anthony

Susan B Anthony’s passion for securing women’s right to vote started with her work as an agent of the anti-slavery movement.

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AIA Rochester Guided Building Tours

City of Rochester

American Institute of Architects (AIA) of Rochester offers a “Tours at Four” series, exploring local buildings on predetermined Thursdays at 4 p.m.

George Eastman Museum Docent-Led Tours

City of Rochester

Groups planning a visit to the museum may reserve private docent-led tours of the historic mansion, gardens, or selections from the collection gallery. Our trained volunteer docents can enhance your visit with additional insight into George Eastman’s life, the historic house and gardens, and the rotating photography and moving image exhibitions. Guided tours are offered at flexible times during regular museum hours. Each tour is approximately 45 minutes. Reservations are required at least three weeks in advance.

Self-guided Tours – An audio tour is offered throughout the historic mansion and most of the photography galleries through the Bloomberg Connects app. Download the app and search for the George Eastman Museum for behind-the-scenes content in 28 different languages. Look for symbols and stop numbers in the galleries.

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George Eastman Museum

The George Eastman Museum is a beautiful tribute to his life & legacy, and is the world’s oldest photography museum with one of the oldest film archives.

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Sonnenberg Gardens Docent-Led Tours

Canandaigua

Sonnenberg offers guided walking tours of the gardens at 1 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Ask admissions when you arrive if there is a volunteer guiding this tour the day you are in the park. They also offer a self-guided audio cellphone tour of the estate.

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Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion

Located in the City of Canandaigua, Sonnenberg Gardens is an exceptional example of the lavish wealth and philanthropy of the Gilded Age.

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Periodic Indoor Guided Tours

Inside Downtown Tour The Nathaniel
Inside Downtown Tour
Inside Downtown Tour interior
House and Garden Tour home
Landmark Society House and Garden Tours

Landmark Society of Western New York

City of Rochester

The annual House and Garden Tour offers a glimpse into how Rochester’s past is enhanced by modern culture, architecture, and technology. Expert volunteers are available in each home to tell its story and answer questions. Tours typically take place in early June.

Past tours include the Western End of East Avenue (Arnold Park, Prince Street, and Strathallan Park), East Avenue and East Boulevard area, Highland Ave and Cobbs Hill Neighborhood, Mt. Hope and Highland Neighborhood, Park Ave Neighborhood, and West Irondequoit.

The Landmark Society’s annual Inside Downtown Tour of Homes and Businesses explores urban environments where people are creating exciting spaces to live and work. Visitors can visit repurposed spaces, renovated homes, lovingly preserved places, and newly built sites designed with sensitivity to the overall built environment.

Typically held in late September or early October, past neighborhood tours have included Four Corners, Liberty Pole, High Falls, the Saint Paul Quarter, Washington Square, East Avenue and East Main Street Penthouses and Rooftops, the Cascade District, and the Neighborhood of the Arts.

And don’t miss the annual Ghost Walk near Halloween!

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6 Self-Guided Tours of Rochester

If you are a fan of history and architecture, you will enjoy these self-guided Landmark Society tours of center city Rochester.

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Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes
Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes
Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes
Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes
Holiday Tour of Homes

Corn Hill Holiday Tour of Homes

This tour is offered every December and is highly sought after. It sells out quickly after its announcement. To be notified of when tickets will be available, sign up for the newsletter. The tour includes visits to private residences and public buildings, such as historic churches, in the Corn Hill neighborhood. The groups are small, and local guides lead the way.

Boat Tours

The Riverie Rochester skyline
The Riverie

The Riverie

City of Rochester

Corn Hill Navigation’s newest boat, The Riverie—a portmanteau of river and Erie offers a 90-minute river and canal cruise, a 2.5-hour cruise to experience locking through Lock E-33 in Henrietta, or a specialty cruise, like a one-hour Friday night sunset cruise.

Sam Patch captain
Sam Patch

Sam Patch Packet Boat Erie Canal Tours

Pittsford

Public cruises depart on specific days of the week, from mid-May through late October, during the open-canal season. You can experience an unforgettable adventure by taking a 90-minute cruise aboard Corn Hill Navigation’s replica canal packet boat, named the Sam Patch. It is an authentic Erie Canal experience where you can learn about the history, science, culture, and environmental importance of the Canal.

Colonial Belle Fairport
Colonial Belle, Fairport

Colonial Belle Erie Canal Tours

Fairport

Cruises depart from Packett’s Landing in Fairport unless otherwise noted. They cruise west on the Erie Canal to Pittsford and return to Fairport. Only the 3-hour cruises include the experience of locking through Lock 32.

Established in 1989, the Colonial Belle is the largest tour boat operating on the historic Erie Canal. There is a fully accessible, enclosed lower deck and an upper open-air deck. The enclosed first deck offers comfortable seating, a full-service bar, and two restrooms. The upper deck provides seating, scenic viewing, and the experience of “ducking down” for low bridges.

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Rochester-Area Boat Tours

Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Great Lakes, Genesee River, Erie Canal, and Finger Lakes on one of these Rochester-area boat tours.

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Running, Byclicling, and Pedal Tours

I’ve called these out specifically because they encourage more than exercise. Each organization’s excursion has an educational or sightseeing component.

Reconnect Rochester 2024 Local History Bike Tours

City of Rochester

May 25, June 22, August 10, September 14
10 AM – 12:30 PM

With the 7.5-mile Introduction to Rochester History Tour, you’ll get to know our area’s story and visit important locations for its development. This tour is perfect for residents who want to learn more about local history. Great for visitors and family outings as well! (Not recommended for kids.) Discover how fun it is to get around Rochester by bike and experience the City’s investment in bike infrastructure along the way. Meet at High Falls Terrace Park (across from Ward Street.) Please register in advance; $25 per participant.

Photo from Facebook

2024 Flower City Feeling Good Guided Bike Rides

City of Rochester

Join Reconnect Rochester and EE Pathways for the intermediate-level riding series that includes 15 casually paced 7-mile rides, which take approximately 45 minutes. Please note that helmets are required, and bikes are not provided. In addition, you must have solid bike handling skills and be comfortable navigating traffic. If you’re a new or beginner-level rider, Learn-to-Ride classes are available. Follow Reconnect Rochester Cycling on Facebook for the most current updates. Please contact Jesse Peers at jesse@reconnectrochester.org with any questions about these bike rides.

2024 Schedule
Arrive at 6:45 p.m.; rides begin promptly at 7 p.m.

May 22
Ontario Beach Park Southbound Ride
Meet: 50 Beach Ave.
Southbound to Turning Point Park & back (secret sidewalk, too)

May 29
Ontario Beach Park Lake Ride
Meet: 50 Beach Ave.
Ontario State Parkway

June 5
EE Pathways Ride
Meet: 10 Cady St.
19th Ward, Dutchtown, JOSANA, Brown Square, Genesee Riverway Trail

June 12
Jackson R Center Ride
Meet: 200 St Bridgets Dr.
Upper Falls, El Camino Trail, La Avenida, Northland-Lyceum, Homestead Heights, Marketview Heights

– No ride on June 19 (Juneteenth) –

June 26
Maplewood Nature Center
Meet: 107 Bridge View Dr.
Genesee Riverway Trail, Brown Square, Edgerton, Maplewood

July 3
Ryan R Center Ride
Meet: 530 Webster Ave.
Beechwood, Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Ave, North Winton Village

July 10
Carter St R Center Ride
Meet: 500 Carter St.
Seneca Park Zoo & back via 14621 Bike Boulevards and the El Camino Trail

July 17
Cobbs Hill Park Ride
Meet: 100 Norris Dr.
Pittsford Plaza & back via Bike Boulevards and the Auburn Trail

July 24
GVP Sports Complex Ride
Meet: 131 Elmwood Ave.
RIT & back via the Lehigh Valley Trail

July 31
Maplewood Nature Center
Meet: 107 Bridge View Dr.
Northbound to Turning Point Park & back via the Genesee Riverway Trail

August 7
Adams St. R Center Ride
Meet: 85 Adams St.
Corn Hill, Mayor’s Heights, 19th Ward, PLEX

August 14
GVP Sports Complex Ride
Meet: 131 Elmwood Ave.
Genesee Valley Greenway to Ballanytne Rd. & back

August 21
Douglass R Center Ride
Meet: 999 South Ave.
Highland Park, Pearl-Meigs-Monroe, Beechwood, Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Ave., Upper Monroe, Swillburg

August 28
Carter St R Center Ride
Meet: 500 Carter St.
14621, Marketview Heights, La Avenida, El Camino Trail Ride

September 4
Reconnect Rochester
Meet: 1115 E Main St
Homestead Heights, Northland-Lyceum, 14621, Marketview Heights, Beechwood

Keeping it Classy Cycle Club Fall Classic Bike Ride
GVP Fall Classic

Keeping It Classy Cycle Club

City of Rochester

Rochester’s best-dressed cycling club—with a penchant for classic style and historical nostalgia. They organize several group rides throughout the year throughout the city and surrounding area.

George Eastman Bike Tours

City of Rochester

George Eastman’s passion for cycling inspires this tour and takes you to ten different locations connected to his life and work. As a famous Rochesterian and pioneer of popular photography, this bike tour is a great way to explore his legacy and contributions to the city. GEM organizes 3-4 bike tours annually.

Rochester Pedal Tours

City of Rochester

Experience Rochester as you never have before on a pedal-powered bike or a cycle boat—just bring your own food, beverages, and music. Craft your itinerary, come in costume, and decorate the trolley for your celebration. It’s perfect for bridal showers, birthday parties, graduations, or no reason at all.

Rochester History Runs

Various Locations

There are several runs organized throughout the year. Past themes include a Pittsford History Run, History of the Hojack, Happy Hallowe’en, and The 100-acre Tract.

Behind-the-Scenes Guided Walks

This list initially includes only a handful of businesses. I’d love to expand this to highlight any guided tour that educates the public on “how the sausage is made.”

Rochester Public Market

City of Rochester

Tours can be scheduled on Thursdays between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. from April through October, weather permitting, and can be adjusted to meet the age and the interest of the group. The hour-long tour highlights the history of the Market, its importance in the community, and ideas for buying and eating healthy! There is a fee for each group or class (minimum 10 people, maximum 25 people).

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Rochester Public Market

The Rochester Public Market is the best place to find the freshest locally grown produce, seafood, beef, cheese, bread, and beverages.

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High Falls Genesee River Rochester Brew House
Genesee Brew House

Genesee Brew House Tours

City of Rochester

Pilot Brewery Tours are now available by appointment. Tours can be booked for groups of up to twelve at the following times: Thursday through Tuesday at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

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31 Craft Breweries in Rochester and Monroe County

Considering all the breweries that call the Greater Rochester area home can be overwhelming. Let’s focus on the ones here in Monroe County.

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Black Button Distilling

City of Rochester

Experience a behind-the-scenes look at how Black Button makes its award-winning spirits with the help of our knowledgeable Spirit Guides. Tours are available at 7 p.m. on Fridays and at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Iron Smoke Distilling

Fairport

Iron Smoke uses the best locally sourced ingredients from family-owned farms in the Finger Lakes region. Its four-grain mash bill is made from the finest corn, wheat, barley, and rye in the area and is unique to this distillery. Tours are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Fox Run Vineyards

Penn Yan

Discover the secrets of vine growing and wine production with a 45-minute guided walking tour through their vineyards. During this tour, you will also get a chance to peek inside the winemaking facility. The tour is available all year round, subject to weather conditions, and departs every hour on the hour. Reservations are not required.

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25 House & Garden Tours Around Rochester

Every year there are dozens of opportunities around Rochester to walk through grand and historic homes, and meticulously manicured gardens.

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11 Self-Guided Tours

These self-guided tours around Rochester are like a regional scavenger hunt! Learn the stories behind some of the things you see along our roadways.

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Craft Beverage Trails Around Rochester

Grab a designated driver and follow these craft beverage trails around Rochester to enjoy a day trip visiting our region’s talented artisans.

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Car-Free Day Trips From Rochester

Car-free day trips from Rochester let everyone enjoy the adventure. So many excursions to choose from, and you don’t have to plan them.

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This page contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase after clicking a link, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Best Easy Day Hikes Rochester
by Randi Minetor

Library | Bookshop | Amazon

Best Easy Day Hikes Buffalo
by Randi Minetor

Library | Bookshop | Amazon

Best Easy Day Hikes Syracuse
by Randi Minetor

Library | Bookshop | Amazon

Take a Hike: Family Walks in the Rochester Area
by Rich and Sue Freeman

Library

Take a Hike: Family Walks in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region
by Rich and Sue Freeman

Library | Amazon

Five-Star Trails: Finger Lakes and Central New York: Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes
by Timothy Starmer

Library | Bookshop | Amazon

50 Hikes in Western New York: Walks and Day Hikes from the Cattaraugus Hills to the Genessee Valley
by William P. Ehling

Library | Bookshop | Amazon

50 Hikes in Central New York: Hikes and Backpacking Trips from the Western Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes
by William P. Ehling

Library | Bookshop | Amazon

Do you have a favorite guided walk or educational tour we should add to this list?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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