take a walk cover hamlin beach

Our Favorite Places to Take a Walk

Delightful destinations around Rochester to meander, mosey, saunter, and stroll.

I firmly believe that walking is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. It provides movement, a change of scenery and perspective, and a chance to be alone or share your thoughts with a friend. If you’re accustomed to walking around your neighborhood and crave something new, this list of guided walks with smaller groups or off-the-beaten-path options may be interesting. As for me, I consider myself a walker at heart.

I enjoy exploring new and familiar places on foot, taking the time to observe and appreciate everything around me. Whether it’s a city, village, forest, lakeside, or glen, I enjoy the small details and fleeting moments that can only be experienced by slowing down. You don’t need a specific plan or agenda to start your slow-paced adventure. I have some suggestions for you that might help you get started.

Some places offer paved pathways, while others call you to explore the grid of a rock city or climb dozens of steps through a creek gorge. We visit these locations repeatedly, either with different people or alone, each season. Over time, we’ve known them intimately and enjoy discovering new perspectives in familiar territory.

City of Rochester

Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn
Seneca Park

Durand Eastman Park

Durand Eastman Park’s 977 acres include an arboretum, hiking trails around Durand and Eastman Lakes, and a swimming beach on Lake Ontario.

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Highland Park in Rochester

Host to the Lilac Festival in May, Highland has the most extensive collection of lilacs in the country, with 500 varieties across 1,200 shrubs.

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Mount Hope Cemetery

Mount Hope Cemetery’s north section’s winding cobblestone roads are best explored on foot for a glimpse into the areas’s rich history, ecology, and geology.

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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.

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Seneca Park and Zoo

The Seneca Park Zoo is only a small part of the 297-acre Seneca Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.

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Turning Point Park

Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572-foot-long boardwalk over the Genesee River Turning Basin.

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Monroe County

take a walk cover channing
Channing H Philbrick

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.

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Channing H. Philbrick (Linear) Park

Irondequoit Creek drops 90 feet over one mile through Channing H Philbrick Park, creating the cascades that make it unique.

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Charles E. Sexton Memorial (North Ponds) Park

The one-mile paved loop trail in North Ponds Park circumnavigates two ponds and is perfect for strolling, jogging, biking, and dog-walking.

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Corbett’s Glen

Corbett’s Glen is a glorious green space in a suburban jungle. As overused as this statement may be, Corbett’s Glen is truly a hidden gem.

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Genesee Country Village & Museum

The 19th-century Genesee Country Village features homes, taverns, shops, and churches that were moved to the grounds starting in 1966.

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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.

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Tinker Nature Park

Tinker Nature Park comprises 68 acres along the Pittsford-Henrietta town border, with trails and boardwalks for all abilities.

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Webster Arboretum at Kent Park

Covering 32 acres, the arboretum boasts a pond, winding paths, various trees and shrubs, and formal gardens with over 200 daylily cultivars.

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Greater Rochester

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Niagara Falls, Three Sisters Island

Ganondagan State Historic Site

Ganondagan is the original site of a 17th-century Seneca town, which at its peak had 150 longhouses where one replica stands today.

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Griffis Sculpture Park

There are over 250 whimsical, fantastical, and delightful sculptures at Griffis Sculpture Park, integrated into the bucolic landscape.

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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.

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Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

At 10,828 acres, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is the state’s largest refuge. Alabama Swaps amasses 19,000-acres designated for wildlife.

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Explore Niagara Falls, USA

Niagara Falls is majestic year-round, and I recommend going at different times throughout the year to witness the uniqueness of each season.

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Guides: Nature Walks

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. And a guided walk is the perfect way to learn in a social environment where you need not walk alone.

take a walk cover trout pond letchworth
Letchworth, Trout Pond

Guided Walks and Tours Around Rochester, NY

Local experts who highlight the rich history, geology, ecology, and community of the greater Rochester region lead these guided walks.

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20 Paved, Gravel, and Boardwalk Pathways for Easy Strolls

These paved pathways and boardwalks are ideal for folks using strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, or managing other mobility challenges.

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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 helps rank these high on our list.

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Gardens & Arboretums

These carefully designed gardens, often cultivated for decades or even centuries, display exceptional collections of flowers and trees.

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36 Places to Immerse Yourself in Green

I find the color green soothing, especially when surrounded by it. Enjoy some of my favorite places to go green!

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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.

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18 Beautiful Boardwalks

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

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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.

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74 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

Less traveled than in our parks, these hiking trails around Rochester offer a secluded and rustic area to immerse yourself in nature.

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Gorge Trails Near Rochester

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

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Nature Centers and Preserves Around Rochester

The various nature centers, preserves, and management areas all work to protect and maintain natural spaces for the benefit of all.

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Rochester’s Olmsted-Designed Parks

Rochester is fortunate to be one of a handful of American cities with a park system comprised of Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks.

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Rochester-Area Parks

Beyond the gorge trails, nature centers, and gardens, these exceptional parks offer unique experiences and amenities worthy of exploration.

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The 16 Best Places for Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing Around Rochester

Both downhill and cross-country skiing around Rochester is as much recreation as it is a social experience, competition, and a tradition.

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11 Best Places to Rent Snowshoes Around Rochester

If you’re looking to spend time outdoors, give snowshoeing a try. There are places around Rochester to rent and learn how to use them.

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18 Wonderful Winter Walks in Monroe County

These winter walks in Rochester and Monroe County will inspire you to time outside, breathing in cold, fresh air and soaking up a little sun.

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26 Easy Winter Walks Around Rochester

Each destination offers a unique perspective of the Rochester area’s natural beauty, from snow-covered parks to picturesque waterfronts.

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Guides: 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.

take a walk cover i love ny geneva

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.

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Explore the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Nearly 80% of the upstate population lives within 25 miles of the Erie Canal. Explore the 115-mile stretch between the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and Niagara River.

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The Greater Rochester Nine-County Area

The Greater Rochester Area is made up of nine counties that fall under the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

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Explore Livingston County

Take a drive through the Livingston County countryside to explore charming village Main Streets, historic districts, nature trails and lakes.

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Guides: 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.

take a walk skaneateles cover

Explore East Aurora

From Vidler’s to the Aurora Theatre to the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement, the early 1900s are alive and well on Main Street in East Aurora.

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Explore Lewiston

Ranked as one of the “Top Ten Small Towns,” spend a day in Lewiston, with its excellent shops, restaurants, and Niagara River views.

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Explore Skaneateles

The Village of Skaneateles is the perfect place to get away and enjoy the pace of lake life, surrounded by unique boutiques and restaurants.

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Day-Trip Destinations

These day trips are filled with carefully chosen options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as memorable experiences and events.

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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.

stony brook
Stony Brook

53 of the Best Ice Cream Shops Around Rochester

Ice cream, gelato, Italian ice, frozen yogurt, and custard—we love these shops’ outstanding atmosphere, taste, and innovation.

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598 Highly Recommended Restaurants Around Rochester

Some food destinations are well-established, while others quickly become favorites as Rochester’s culinary scene explodes.

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30 Craft Breweries in Rochester and Monroe County

It can be overwhelming to consider all the breweries that call the Greater Rochester area home. Let’s focus on the ones here in Monroe County.

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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
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.

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“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.

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durand eastman
Durand Eastman

Where are your favorite places to take a walk?

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 daytrippingroc.com and author of the book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.


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