Monroe County Parks: Durand Eastman Park

20 Monroe County Parks

Unlike most New York State Parks, Monroe County parks are free. Take advantage of 12,000 acres of natural, zoological, horticultural, historical and geological experiences! It’s an amazing backyard! The 20 parks below are listed in order of their size.

Mendon Ponds Park stairs Devils Bathtub
Mendon Ponds Park

1. Mendon Ponds

Highlights: 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms, on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks due to its geologic history and presence of significant kames, eskers, and kettles, Wild Wings, birdsong trail among other excellent hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty, sledding, camping for scout and youth groups only.

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Geologic History of the Rochester Area: 5 Locations to Explore

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

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Monroe County Parks Black Creek Park
Black Creek Park

2. Black Creek

Highlights: 1,505-acres, 5 hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty, sledding.

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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester, NY

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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Durand Eastman Park boardwalk
Durand Eastman Park

3. Durand Eastman

Highlights: 977 acres, arboretum, swimming beach on Lake Ontario, steep wooded slopes and valleys, small lakes, sledding, golf, 5 hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

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75 Rochester Experiences that Make Great Gifts

Make something together. Visit a place you’ve never been, or one you love. The benefits of Rochester experiences extend far beyond personal happiness!

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Monroe County Parks Northampton
Northampton Park

4. Northampton

Highlights: 973 acres, Springdale Farm, downhill ski slope (ski lessons from Swain), a model airplane field, 5 hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

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The 15 Best Places for Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing Around Rochester

Skiing around Rochester is as much winter recreation as it is a social experience, competition, and a tradition. A few of these destinations also offer cross country ski rentals.

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Water Trails Around Rochester NY Genesee River through Genesee Valley Park
Genesee Valley Park

5. Genesee Valley

Highlights: 800 acres, Olmsted-designed park, intersection of the Erie Canal and Genesee River, connection point for the Canalway Trail, Genesee Riverway Trail, and Genesee Valley Greenway, 2 golf courses, organized recreation, paved pathways popular with bicyclists and joggers, kayak & canoe rentals.

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Gorge Trails Near Rochester

Gorge trails call out to us from their deep, dark, and cool caverns. If you haven’t already, check these five spectacular trails off your list!

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Monroe County Parks: Kayaking Black Creek Churchville
Churchville Park

6. Churchville

Highlights: 742 acres, golf and disc golf courses, one of three Monroe County Parks with an outdoor ice skating rink

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Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

Depending on your definition, water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.

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Erie Canal Greece Canal Park
Greece Canal Park

7. Greece Canal

Highlights: 577 acres, located along the Erie Canal, one of two Monroe County parks with a dog park, 4 hiking trails all mainly easy/level.

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5 Roadside Attractions Worth Going Out of Your Way For

There are so many interesting roadside attractions near Rochester. As you’re driving around the area, you should at least see these five!

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Monroe County Parks Webster
Webster Park

8. Webster

Highlights: 550 acres, the only County park with camping available to families and not just scout troops, sledding, access to Lake Ontario (no swimming), hiking trails.

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39 Natural Swimming Areas

On a hot day, you can sit under a waterfall, swim in a lake, or jump in a creek at one of these refreshing natural swimming areas.

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Monroe County Parks - Oatka Creek Park
Oatka Creek Park

9. Oatka Creek

Highlights: 461-acres, exceptional trout fishing from both banks along Oatka Creek, mostly undeveloped, hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

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75 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

Here are a few less populated, rustic, or unusual trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail-trails, waterside trails, and inland trails.

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Monroe County Ellison Park Rochester NY
Ellison Park

10. Ellison

Highlights: 447 acres, our first county park, natural woodlands combined with steep slopes, in the Irondequoit Creek flood plain. One of two Monroe County parks with a dog park, one of three with an outdoor ice skating rink, 5 trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

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25 Incredible Creeks Around Rochester, NY

These creeks around Rochester impact us in such subtle ways they sometimes disappear into the background of our lives. Our creeks provide us with opportunities for recreation and relaxation.

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Powder Mills Park Daffodil Meadow Trail
Powder Mills Park

11. Powder Mills

Highlights: 380 acres, fish hatchery, steep hillsides, creekside meadows and wetlands, downhill skiing, trout fishing in Irondequoit Creek, 5 hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty including the Daffodil Trail, winter ski lessons from Swain.

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Transcending Places: 37 Alternate Reality Destinations Around Rochester

Rather than an escape, I prefer to think of these as transcending places that encourage us to transcend space, time, and state of mind.

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Monroe County Parks Lucien Moren
Lucien Moren Park

12. Lucien Morin

Highlights: 348 acres, located on the north side of Ellison Park, marsh area for canoe and kayak access to the bay, hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

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132 Day Trips from Rochester, NY

We’ve pulled together a diverse list of day trips from Rochester, NY within an hour-and-a-half of Center City–perfect for quick getaways!

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Monroe County Parks Seneca
Seneca Park

13. Seneca

Highlights: 297 acres, linear park along the Genesee River, Olmsted-designed park, Seneca Park Zoo, pedestrian bridge over river connecting to Maplewood Park and the Genesee Riverway Trail, 6 hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

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5 Hidden Places Around Rochester

We drive past some of Rochester’s most unique features every day, completely unaware that these hidden places are just minutes away from where we live.

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Free Rochester Day Trip Ideas: Highland Park
Highland Park in April

14. Highland

Highlights: 150 acres, Olmsted-designed park, arboretum, Lilac Fest, Lamberton Conservatory, Warner Castle Sunken Garden, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, reservoir, Highland Bowl, , one of three Monroe County Parks with an outdoor ice skating rink, paved pathways with sizable changes in elevation, one of the 5 pre-historic Pinnacle Hills: Cobb’s, Pinnacle, Highland and Mount Hope, plus Oak Hill which is now the University of Rochester’s campus.

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33 House and Garden Tours Around Rochester

Every year there are dozens of opportunities around Rochester to walk through grand and historic homes, and meticulously manicured garden spaces.

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Lehigh Valley Trail Rochester Junction
Lehigh Valley Rail Trail

15. Lehigh Valley Trail

Highlights: 15 mile linear park, hard packed gravel, crosses the Genesee River to connect with the Genesee Valley Greenway, the only one of our Monroe County Parks utilizing an old railroad line. There are dozens of access points, most at crossroads.

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5 Places in the City to Enjoy the Genesee River

At Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee River begins her journey through the city, racing over a dam and three waterfalls before emptying into Lake Ontario.

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Monroe County Park Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln Park

16. Abraham Lincoln

Highlights: 182 acres, on Irondequoit Bay, hiking trails are each less than a mile with varying degrees of difficulty.

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33 Roadside Waterfalls Near Rochester

Our roadside waterfalls near Rochester are spectacular, and for some, you do not need to get out of your car. Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails.

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Monroe County Parks - Irondequoit Bay Park West
Irondequoit Bay Park West

17. Irondequoit Bay West

Highlights: 147 acres, completely undeveloped, 2,000 feet of Irondequoit Bay shoreline that is incredibly popular but difficult to park.

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18. Tryon

Highlights: 82 undeveloped acres, west-side of Irondequoit Creek, Lucien Morin runs on the east-side, popular for mountain biking and dog walking.

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Fall Foliage: 5 Breathtaking Views Near Rochester

These five destinations offer colorful fall foliage and varied landscapes so you can appreciate them each in their own unique way.

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Monroe County Parks - Ontario Beach Park
Ontario Beach Park

19. Ontario Beach

Highlights: 39 acres, historic 1905 Dentzel Carousel, walkable pier, Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, restaurants, original Abbots Custard, swimming beach on Lake Ontario, concerts, organized recreation, events, a short walk from the Rochester’s hidden sidewalk.

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48 Nature Centers, Preserves, Refuges, and Observatories Around Rochester

Our nature centers, wildlife preserves, management areas, etc., all serve to protect and sustain life, while making nature accessible to people to enjoy and learn from.

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20. Devil’s Cove

Highlights: 18 acres, park will remain natural and undeveloped, is accessible only from the water.

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Note: This map shows all of the Monroe County parks. It lists 21 parks because Irondequoit Bay Marine by Seabreeze was recently transferred to the state to manage.

More information about Monroe County Parks

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