take a walk cover hamlin beach

Our Favorite Places to Take a Walk

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 or guided with a small group, this list will help.

chimney bluffs
Chimney Bluffs

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.

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Channing H Philbrick

In Monroe County

Channing H Philbrick Park (Linear Park)

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

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Corbett’s Glen

Corbetts Glen Nature Park is a hidden green space in a suburban jungle, nestled in between an express way and 2 highly trafficked roads.

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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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Highland Park in Rochester

Highland Park was designed by Olmsted to be enjoyed year-round. Every relationship between the land and water is intentional.

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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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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.

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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.

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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 in Henrietta with a 1.2 mile flat perimeter trail for jogging, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or walking.

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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

Located on Boxart St., Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin.

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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.

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Durand Eastman Park

Durand Eastman Park encompasses 977 acres of land including Durand Lake, Eastman Lake, and a swimming beach on Lake Ontario.

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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.

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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.

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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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Letchworth State Park

Relax beside a massive waterfall, hike the gorge trails, fish in the pond, and learn about the history of the Seneca people in Letchworth.

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Ganondagan State Historic Site

Ganondagan State Historic Site is the original site of the most significant 17th century Seneca town, which at its peak had 150 longhouses.

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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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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.

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

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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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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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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!

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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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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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18 Wonderful Winter Walks in Monroe County

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

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26 Winter Walks and Activities Around Rochester

These ideas for winter walks should motivate you to step outside for some fresh air and, with any luck, sunshine. Bundle up!

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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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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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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.

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53 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.

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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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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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 Canal

The Erie Canal spans 100 miles between Lockport and Clyde, with Rochester in the middle. Choose 15 miles to explore for a great day trip.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Skaneateles

Explore East Aurora, NY

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, NY

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.

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Explore Skaneateles, NY

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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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

49 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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497 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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27 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.

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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
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?

Please share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. Your insight and experience are invaluable!

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Author Debi Bower is the Founder and Chief Day Tripper for Day Trips Around Rochester, NY. Happy trails!

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