Harriet Hollister

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Park

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area is a New York State Park located in the hills six miles south of Honeoye Lake, and affords one of the most beautiful scenic views in the Finger Lakes region.

Honeoye Lake from Harriet Hollister
Honeoye Lake from Harriet Hollister

I would argue that Harriet Hollister and The Jump Off at Ontario County Park are the two most beautiful, must-visit places in Autumn when the trees are in their peak of change.

View from CR-36 below Harriet Hollister and Canadice Hill
Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area

One thing to keep in mind: the road is pretty rocky and pitted in places. It is a beautiful, yet very bumpy, drive, and oh so worth it!

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area

There are 16 miles of hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing trails, including the Overlook Trail.

More Information About Harriet Hollister Spencer

The area was created after 680 acres of land was given to the state from the estate of Harriet Hollister Spencer, a horticulturalist, rose expert and civic leader, after her death in 1962. Her final resting place is in Mount Hope Cemetery, along with her twin sister Elizabeth Hollister Frost.

Years later, more land was annexed increasing the recreation area’s current size to 1,550 acres.

According to the University of Rochester, “Harriet Hollister Spencer, rose expert and civic leader, was born in 1887, the daughter of George C. Hollister, whose grandfather founded the Hollister Lumber Co. in Rochester in 1832. Her main accomplishments include: designing the “Garden of Fragrance” at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, contributing many of the roses and plants from her own Tudor knot garden at 1005 East Avenue; receiving the Garden Club of America Rose Medal Award (1959); initiating and persevering in the acquisition of the Ellwanger and Barry Arboretum by the University of Rochester (1963). She was a charter member of the Rochester Garden Club and the Landmark Society of Western New York. A collector of and authority on glass, silver and lace, she served as a consultant to the Memorial Art Gallery. She was made a fellow of the Rochester Museum and Science Center. For 46 years she served on the board of the Genesee Hospital School of Nursing. As she requested, her family gave to the people of New York State 679 acres of land above Honeoye Lake, now called the Harriet Hollister Spencer State Memorial Recreation Area.”

Cost: Free

Located in Springwater, roughly 55 minutes / 40 miles from Rochester (get directions)

More information: nysparks.com

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When is your favorite time of year to visit Harriet Hollister?

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 book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.


2 thoughts on “Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area”

  1. Kathleen Muto (Spencer)

    Hollister Spencer was my Great Grandmother. I have fond memories of my father, Eliott Frost Spencer, grandson of Herriet Hollister Spencer bringing our family every few years to enjoy the treasure in which his grandmother donated. Now as an adult, often, I too bring my own children to enjoy the beauty of what was so generously donated by my Great Grandmother.
    Sincerely, Kathleen E. Muto (Spencer)

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