Lily Dale Assembly entrance cover

Lily Dale Assembly

Lily Dale Assembly is a spiritualist community in Lily Dale, New York, approximately two hours from Rochester and one hour south of Buffalo. Established in the late 19th century, it is renowned as one of the oldest and most prominent centers for spiritualism in the United States.

Lily Dale is a quaint lakeside village featuring Victorian-style homes and a serene ambiance. The district covers a small area near Cassadaga Lake and has become a destination for those interested in spiritualism, mediumship, and metaphysical practices.

2023 Best of Rochester Award Winner

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Lily Dale has a year-round population of 275 people and receives approximately 22,000 annual visitors. It is recommended to make reservations in advance if you plan to consult with a medium during a personal reading.

Lily Dale is primarily known for its focus on spiritualism, a belief system centered around the idea that the spirits of the deceased can communicate with the living through mediums. It serves as a hub for spiritual development, demonstrations, and lectures.

Lily Dale Has Two Seasons

Entrance to Lily Dale Assembly

The Summer Season

The summer season runs approximately from the week before Independence Day to Labor Day. Anytime during these ten weeks is ideal to visit and enjoy Lily Dale’s amenities.

Lily Dale offers workshops, seminars, and classes on diverse topics related to spiritual growth, healing, meditation, and other metaphysical practices. Visitors can participate in events to develop psychic abilities, enhance spiritual awareness, and explore alternative healing modalities.

You’ll be busy with various activities, including ghost walks, sweat lodges, lectures, yoga, seances, walking tours, and workshops.

The community hosts certified mediums that offer readings to visitors seeking guidance, closure, or spiritual insight. These mediums conduct public demonstrations and private sessions for individuals seeking to connect with departed loved ones.

To make the most of your day trip, look through their website at, arrive early, and either go with a solid agenda or wander freely and see what you can discover.

Cassadaga Lake

The Off-Season

We first visited the town during the off-season, a week before opening weekend in late June. It was quiet, with only a few dozen people strolling around and several mediums open for business.

We enjoyed the peaceful surroundings of Lily Dale, including Inspiration Stump, Forest Temple, and Fairy Trail. Gift shops and a charming cafe were also available.

Many facilities are closed during the off-season, and summer residents have left. Some mediums operate year-round.

Exploring Lily Dale

Lily Dale Assembly
Leolyn Woods
Lily Dale Assembly
Inspiration Stump
Lily Dale Assembly
Pet Cemetery

Leolyn Woods

At the end of the peaceful trail in the Leolyn Woods lies Inspiration Stump, a serene retreat. It’s common to feel more attuned to spiritual energies while being open and receptive at the Stump. You’re welcome to participate in a service held twice daily in the grove. During these services, mediums give short messages to the audience, demonstrating their mediumship skills. These services have been conducted since 1898.

Lily Dale Assembly
Assembly Hall

Assembly Hall

The Assembly Hall has been a central place of activity in the Lily Dale community since the 1880s. It features a gallery of portraits of historic Spiritualist Movement leaders, many of whom resided there. The Church of the Living Spirit is located in the Assembly Hall and is the central hub for workshops and other activities during the summer season.

Lily Dale Assembly
Forest Temple

Forest Temple

The Forest Temple is a tranquil area located on East Street. It operates as a center for mediumship, where messages from the spiritual realm are channeled through registered mediums, students, and visitors.

Lily Dale Assembly

Lily Dale’s Victorian Cottages

With roots dating back to the late 1800s, Lily Dale has a rich history in the spiritualist movement. Many of its historic buildings and cottages maintain their original architecture, contributing to the community’s unique atmosphere and historical charm.

Approximately 169 homes with leaseholds within a three-mile walk are surrounded by 144 acres of old-growth forest.

More on Spiritualism

Fox Sisters plaque
Fox SIsters Hydesville
Fox Sisters dedication
Fox Sisters birthplace of spiritualism
Fox Sisters
Fox Sisters basement
Fox Sisters history marker

The Fox Sisters and the Birth of Spiritualism

Two young girls living in a farmhouse in Hydesville, New York, near Newark, sparked one of the most significant religious movements of the 19th century. As the story goes, in late March of 1848, Margaretta “Maggie” Fox, age 14, and her younger sister Kate, age 11, approached their neighbor with a frightening tale. They claimed that every night before they went to bed, they heard a series of raps on the walls and furniture that seemed to possess an eerie intelligence that couldn’t be explained by any natural means. The skeptical neighbor joined Maggie, Kate, and their parents in their small chamber to witness the demonstration.

Friendship Park Lily Dale
Friendship Park

More information about Lily Dale

Lily Dale Assembly offers a space for people to delve into spirituality, find connections with others who share similar interests, and seek inspiration or understanding through mediums and spiritual education. It is an intriguing and exceptional place for those who are interested in spiritualism and metaphysical quests.

Cost: There are gate fees during the summer season.

Located in Lily Dale, approximately 2 hours / 125 miles from Rochester (get directions)


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Have you spent time in Lily Dale?

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 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.

1 thought on “Lily Dale Assembly”

  1. I have been to Lily Dale several times. I look forward and enjoy myself every time I go. I have such a feeling of inner peace come over me. I never want to leave. I hope whoever reads this experiences the same absolute peace l experience.

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