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’ 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
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.
Hiking Trails around Mendon Ponds
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”.
Sharon’s Sensory Garden, Wild Wings & the Birdsong 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!
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.
Wandering through the park’s many wooded areas
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: monroecounty.gov/parks-mendonponds
Water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for kayaks and small motorized watercraft.
Where is your favorite spot in Mendon Ponds Park?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!