Rochesters Hidden Sidewalk

9 Hidden Places Around Rochester

We drive right past some of Rochester’s most unique hidden gems every day, completely unaware of their existence. I continue to meet life-long residents of Rochester who have no idea these hidden places are just minutes away from where they work and live.

1. Corbett’s Glen

Hidden places: Corbetts Glen in Brighton
Corbett’s Glen

Brighton/Penfield. 

Corbett’s 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. When you visit, you will notice you seem to be walking through people’s back yards. You are, in a sense.

The homeowners are passionate about keeping the glen beautiful and open for everyone’s enjoyment. It may have been a story of the past had it not been for this nature-loving community. Even still, it’s one of the most popular hidden spaces!

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2. Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk

30 day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester: Rochester Hidden Sidewalk

City of Rochester. 

To find it, start at Ontario Beach Park & head west on Beach Ave. Across from Clematis St. & Cloverdale St. are the two main entrances at either end, with several small sidewalks in between.

The beautiful lawns and gardens along the sidewalk are privately owned; only the path is public and maintained by the City.

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3. Turning Point

Turning Point Park winter walk
Turning Point Park

City of Rochester. 

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. Most folks drive down Lake Ave. never realizing they’re running parallel with this incredible boardwalk.

Turn off Lake Ave onto Boxart St. to access the south end at Turning Point Park, or start at Ontario Beach Park and follow the GRT from the north.

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4. Channing H. Philbrick Park

Channing H Philbrick Park

Penfield.

Irondequoit Creek passes through 3 Monroe County Parks, from its origin just outside Powder Mills Park, then through Ellison Park and Lucien Morin Park on its way to Irondequoit Bay. Along the way it picks up more water from tributaries like Thomas Creek, Mill Creek, and Allen’s Creek.

As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special.

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5. Warner Castle’s Sunken Garden

Warner Castle Sunken Garden looking in

City of Rochester. 

When you stroll behind Warner Castle and down the grassy lawn, you’ll discover the Sunken Garden. The garden is a small part of Highland Park, yet folks don’t realize it’s here because it’s located on Reservoir Ave across South Ave toward Mount Hope Cemetery.

Take a walk behind the garden and you’ll find yourself at Highland Bowl.

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6. Washington Grove

Washington Grove

City of Rochester.

The trail next to Cobb’s Hill takes you by the graffiti-tagged water towers and winds through a quiet grove of ancient oaks. The art is always evolving so every time you go you see something new.

7. Pedestrian Bridge over the Genesee River

Pedestrian bridge over the Genesee River connecting Seneca Park and Maplewood Park
Pedestrian bridge over the Genesee River connecting Seneca Park and Maplewood Park

City of Rochester.

Seneca Park’s Olmsted South trail ends at the pedestrian bridge over the Genesee River and connects Seneca to Maplewood, its sister Olmsted-designed park. The bridge is part of the Genesee Riverway Trail system.

You can access the bridge using stairs or ramps on both sides of the Genesee.

8. Old Canal Lock 62 behind Pittsford Plaza

30 Day Trips within 30 Minutes of Rochester: Old Canal Lock 62
Old Canal Lock 62 behind Pittsford Plaza

Pittsford.

Old Erie Canal Lock 62 is tucked just far enough off the beaten path that many do not realize it’s there.

Next time you are in Pittsford Plaza, take a look for it right behind Applebees. It is one of the best preserved antiquated locks along the canal system.

9. Grimes Glen

Grimes Glen second fall

Naples. 

Grimes Glen is about an hour south of Rochester, but I find it worth mentioning because so many people have no idea it’s there! It’s off N. Main St./County Route 21, up a seemingly normal side street (Vine St.) You’ve probably been to the Naples Fest and have driven right past it.

I have even heard from people who have lived in Naples that had no idea a glen of this incredible beauty was right there.

The great thing about Grimes Glen is that the walk in and the trail along the glen is flat, though a bit muddy after a lot of rain. There comes a point (about 1/2 mile in) at which you have to decide whether you want to walk in the water to check out the two 60-foot waterfalls just around the bend.

Go for it! It’s worth it. It’s one of our favorite hidden places!

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Where are your favorite hidden places around Rochester?

We’ve had a few suggestions for places to add to this list. Would you agree? What would you add?

  • Helmer Nature Center in Irondequoit
  • Holley Falls
  • Bergen Swamp (which is pretty special for many reasons!)

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

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12 thoughts on “9 Hidden Places Around Rochester”

    1. Thank you, Sharon! I’m of the thought that Mt. Hope Cemetery itself is not a hidden place, BUT within Mt. Hope Cemetery are many hidden places. Would you agree? That would make a good article…hidden places within Mt. Hope Cemetery. I think one of my favorite spots is where Nathaniel Rochester is buried.

    1. How funny that you and JM both suggested Holley Falls. And you are both so right! I lived in Holley for 2 years when my daughter was first born and had no idea it was even there, although we were outside the village. It’s perfectly hidden!

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