Delightful destinations around Rochester to meander, mosey, saunter or stroll.
One of the best things you can do for your body and mind is simply take a walk. It’s movement. It’s a change of scenery and perspective. It’s an opportunity to be alone with your thoughts or share them with a friend.
Just walking out your door and around your neighborhood is a step in the right direction. But if you’re looking for something less routine or off the beaten path, this list will help.
I am a walker.
I love to explore new places and old favorites on foot at a slow pace and just see what there is to see. City, village, forest, lakeside, glen—it’s all good! No agenda required.
I find joy in small details and fleeting moments that can only discovered and appreciated by slowing down.
Here are a few ideas to help you start your own slow-paced adventure. Some offer paved pathways while others call you to explore the grid of a rock city or climb dozens of steps through a creek gorge.
A Few of Our Favorite Places to Take a Walk
We return to these locations each season, with different people or to enjoy alone. They’re the places we’ve gotten to know intimately and enjoy discovering new perspectives in familiar territory.
Channing H Philbrick In Monroe County
Channing H Philbrick Park (Linear Park)
As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick (Linear) Park, it drops 90 feet creating the cascades that make this park so special.
Corbetts Glen Nature Park is a hidden green space in a suburban jungle, nestled in between an express way and 2 highly trafficked roads.
Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk
To find Rochester’s hidden sidewalk, start at Ontario Beach Park & head west on Beach Ave. Across from Clematis St. & Cloverdale St. are the two entrances.
Highland Park in Rochester
Highland Park was designed by Olmsted to be enjoyed year-round. Every relationship between the land and water is intentional.
Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area
If you’re cruising on Edgemere along the ponds, or on the parkway near Manitou, you’re enjoying the Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area.
North Ponds Park in Webster
The 1-mile paved loop trail in North Ponds Park circumnavigates both ponds. It is perfect for a leisurely stroll, jog, or bike ride.
Genesee Country Village & Museum
Genesee Country Village is the largest living history museum in New York State, and the third-largest in the United States.
Hamlin Beach State Park
Hamlin Beach State Park has 7 miles of beautiful biking and walking trails, including a mile-long self-guided tour of a CCC/POW camp.
Tinker Nature Park
Tinker Nature Park comprises 68-acres in Henrietta with a 1.2 mile flat perimeter trail for jogging, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or walking.
Seneca Park and Zoo
The Seneca Park Zoo is a but a small part of the greater 297-acre Seneca Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.
Turning Point Park
Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin.
Mount Hope Cemetery
It may seem odd to think of a cemetery as a family-friendly destination, but Mount Hope Cemetery is as park-like as Highland Park next door.
Durand Eastman Park
Durand Eastman Park encompasses 977 acres of land including Durand Lake, Eastman Lake, and a swimming beach on Lake Ontario.
Webster Arboretum at Kent Park
Follow the pathways that meander around Webster Arboretum–40 acres of open spaces, flower & herb gardens, water elements, and a wide variety of trees.
Niagara Falls, Three Sisters Island Greater Rochester and Beyond
Holley Canal Falls
Holley Canal Falls is located in the heart of the Village of Holley. The water that flows into the glen is overflow from the Erie Canal.
Griffis Sculpture Park
There are over 250 whimsical, fantastical, and delightful sculptures at Griffis Sculpture Park, integrated into the bucolic landscape.
Conesus Lake: One of New York’s 11 Finger Lakes
Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake and the closest to Rochester. You can drive around the entire lake in 30 minutes.
Seneca Lake: One of New York’s 11 Finger Lakes
Seneca Lake has the largest volume, which is roughly half of the water in all of the Finger Lakes. You can drive around the entire lake in 120 minutes.
Letchworth State Park
If the temperatures have been below freezing for several days in a row, head to Letchworth and check out the ice volcano at the Glen Iris.
Ganondagan State Historic Site
Ganondagan sits atop Boughton Hill. It is the original site of the largest 17th century Seneca town, which at its peak had 150 longhouses.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is the largest in New York State at 10,828 acres, not even including the surrounding Oak Orchard and Tonawanda WMAs.
Niagara Falls, USA
Niagara Falls is beautiful year round. I highly recommend going at different times during the year to witness the uniqueness of each season.
Guides: Take a Walk in Nature
We’ve themed places together to help you find a place that strikes the right mood. Gorge trail or arboretum? Rock city or boardwalk? Choose your own adventure. When in doubt, our
city parks, town parks, and county parks are good places to start.
Letchworth, Trout Pond
36 Places to Immerse Yourself in Green
I find the color green soothing, especially when I am surrounded by it. Enjoy some of my favorite places to go green!
22 Fabulous Fall Hikes in Monroe County
Our favorite fall hikes offer a variety of elements and views. The presence of water, trees, and solitude help rank these high on our list!
4 Rock Cities Near Rochester
Explore these cool, quiet, mossy rock cities near Rochester, with boulders the size of houses! You’ll love Panama Rocks, Rock City Park, Little Rock City, and Thunder Rocks in Allegany State Park.
20 Paved Pathways for Easy Strolls
These paved pathways and boardwalks are ideal for folks using strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, or managing other mobility challenges.
30 Winter Walks Around Rochester
These ideas for winter walks should motivate you to step outside for some fresh air and, with any luck, sunshine. Bundle up!
18 Beautiful Boardwalks
These boardwalks are incorporated into larger trail systems to help people meander through wetlands, or to help preserve wildlife.
73 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.
Gorge Trails Near Rochester
Gorge trails call out to us from their deep, dark, and cool caverns. If you haven’t already, check these spectacular trails off your list!
40 Public Gardens Around Rochester
Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at one of these arboretums, labyrinths, estate gardens, or botanical gardens, all within a 2-hour drive of Rochester.
52 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.
The Flower City: Exploring Rochester’s Extraordinary Flowers and Trees
Rochester became a global center for flower and tree nurseries in the mid-1800s, fostering our identity as The Flower City.
Rochester Area Parks
There are over 200 Rochester area parks (New York State Parks, Monroe County Parks, Town Parks, and City Parks) within a 2-hour drive.
11 Best Places to Rent Snowshoes Around Rochester
If you’re looking to spend time outdoors, try snowshoeing! There are places around Rochester to rent snowshoes and learn how to use them.
Rochester’s Olmsted Designed Parks
Rochester is fortunate to be one of a handful of American cities that have a park system comprised of Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks.
Guides: Take a Walk through Our Cities, Towns & Villages
I have discovered so much by parking the car and walking along the Main Streets sprinkled around the region. With diverse origin stories, architectural details, natural elements, events, shops and services, each one is a day trip in its own right.
19 Monroe County Towns and Villages
Each Monroe County town & village has something unique to offer. Here is just a taste of what makes each one special.
Exploring the Erie Canal
The Erie Canal spans 100-miles between Lockport and Clyde, with Rochester located right in the middle. Choose 15 miles to explore for a great day trip!
The Greater Rochester Nine-County Area
The Greater Rochester Area is made up of 9 counties that fall under the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Each county has something special to offer!
Day Trips in Livingston County
Take a drive through the Livingston County countryside to explore charming village Main Streets, historic districts, nature trails and lakes.
Our Favorite Walkable Villages
These particular villages offer a wide range of shopping, entertainment, historical and architectural interest without need of a vehicle. Even though the guides are structured to inspire a three-day agenda, take a few ideas and make a day of it. Each is perfect for a single day trip.
3-Day East Aurora Getaway
From Vidler’s to the Aurora Theatre to the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement, the early 1900’s are alive and well on Main Street East Aurora!
3-Day Lewiston Getaway
Ranked as one of the “Top Ten Small Towns,” you’ll love a getaway in Lewiston, with its excellent shops, restaurants and Niagara River views.
3-Day Skaneateles Getaway
The Village of Skaneateles is the perfect place to getaway and enjoy the pace of lake-life surrounded by unique boutiques and restaurants.
Plan Your Walk Around Food & Drink Destinations
Often times I will plan a day trip around an ice cream shop, winery or restaurant. You have to start somewhere! Enjoying and supporting local is the perfect motivation.
52 of the Best Ice Cream Shops Around Rochester
Ice cream, gelato, Italian ice, frozen yogurt, and custard—we love these shops for their outstanding atmosphere, taste, and innovation.
402 Highly Recommended Restaurants, Diners, Cafes, Pubs, Bakeries, and Bars Around Rochester
Some of these food destinations are well-established, while others are quickly becoming favorites as Rochester’s culinary scene explodes.
26 Craft Breweries in Rochester and Monroe County
These Rochester craft breweries show off their newest and most popular creations while giving you a complete food experience.
Lost & Found
Here are a few helpful tools for finding your way using Google Maps or a Wegmans’ “Hit the Trail Passport.” In addition, the
AllTrails App is helpful navigating a trail in real-time.
Oatka Creek Park
Day Trip Maps
Use our curated Google Maps to help you locate the best waterfalls, ice cream shops, farm markets, sledding hills, Christmas lights and more.
“Hit the Trail Passport” for the Rochester Area
Pick up your “Hit the Trail Passport” booklet at Wegmans, or print your own! You’ll have everything you need to start your hiking adventure.
Durand Eastman Where are your favorite places to take a walk?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!