Mendon Ponds Park summer trail cover

Mendon Ponds Park

Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created land-forms.

In 1969, it was named to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks due to its geologic history and presence of significant kames, eskers, and kettles.

Mendon Ponds Park

Mendon Ponds’ unique geologic structure

To paint a richer picture, read this excerpt from an article entitled Glacial Geology by James S. Wishart:

“The southern edge of the ice sheet gradually melted and the ice front retreated northward. Little by little, as the ice disappeared other features appeared. Lakes formed from the melting ice developed along the edge of the ice sheet.

“Chunks of ice, detached from the edge of the glacier often foundered in the shallow water and were partially buried by rock debris. Later when the ice was gone ponds appeared in the hollows once occupied by the ice.

“Some of these ponds continue to exist today—as at Mendon Ponds Park. These bodies of water are called kettle ponds and the depressions in which they are found are referred to as kettles or kettle holes.”

Glacial Geology by James S. Wishart

Mendon Ponds Park
view brochure with this information

Now that you have to facts, you can experience the beauty and serenity that is Mendon Ponds Park.

Visit each and every season to appreciate the bold-blue ponds in summer, the reflection of colored trees in the Devil’s bathtub in autumn, the bright-white hills in winter, and the rebirth of Sharon’s Sensory Garden in spring.

Geologic History of the Rochester Area

These day trips into Rochester’s geologic history, filled with drumlins, fossils and a meromictic lake, will leave you awe-struck.

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Areas Around Mendon Ponds

Rochester's Geographic History: Mendon Ponds Park Devils Bathtub
Mendon Ponds Park stairs Devils Bathtub
Mendon Ponds Park

The Devil’s Bathtub

This is one of New York’s rare meromictic lakes, similar to Green Lakes. It’s so deep, and so protected by the geologic features around it, that the layers in the water do not mix, or “turn over”.

The Best Day Trips Around Rochester survey

The Best Day Trips Survey

Nominate your favorites before July 31.

Mendon Ponds Wild Wings
Mendon Ponds Park Birdsong Fairy Trail red door
Mendon Ponds Park Birdsong Fairy Trail stairs
Mendon Ponds Fairy Trail glitter is litter
Please remember glitter is litter!
Mendon Ponds Fairy Trail bridge
Mendon Ponds Fairy Trail tic tac toe
Mendon Ponds Park birdsong trail
Mendon Ponds Park Birdsong Fairy Trail shaded doors
Mendon Ponds Park Davids Nature Trail swamp

Sharon’s Sensory Garden, Wild Wings, and the Birdsong Fairy Trail

The most popular walks among bird lovers and families are the Birdsong Trail and Swamp Trail, located near Wild Wings Bird Sanctuary near Route 65 and Pond Rd.

Come with plenty of black oil sunflower seeds, especially during winter and early spring when food is scarce—the chickadees and nuthatches will land right in your hands!

Wandering through the park’s many wooded areas

Mendon Ponds Park Rochester NY
Autumn on the Devils Bathtub trail
Mendon Ponds Park Davids Nature Trail yellow trail
Mendon Ponds Park
Mendon Ponds Park
rain on Round Pond
Mendon Ponds Park Round Pond Autumn cover
Mendon Ponds Park Monroe County Sledding
Mendon Ponds Park Monroe County XC Skiing

Sledding & Cross-Country Skiing in the Winter

Every January, Mendon Ponds hosts Winterfest and it’s the one outdoor-winter-event you don’t want to miss! Activities are spread through the park so take a look at the activities for a place to start your day.

More information about Mendon Ponds Park

Cost: Free

Located in Pittsford and Honeoye Falls roughly 20 minutes / 13 miles from Rochester (get directions)

More information:

Snow Sports: 6 Ways to Stay Active in Winter

Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating, and tubing are great snow sports to shake the winter doldrums with exposure to fresh air and sun.

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18 Beautiful Boardwalks

These boardwalks are incorporated into larger trail systems to help people meander through wetlands, or to help preserve wildlife.

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21 Monroe County Parks

Monroe County parks are free, so take advantage of 12,000 acres of natural, zoological, horticultural, historical and geological experiences!

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Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

Paddle your way to peace and quiet along Rochester’s water trails. Use these launches for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.

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72 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

A few rustic trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail, waterside, and inland trails.

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Where is your favorite spot in Mendon Ponds Park?

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


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.