These paved pathways and boardwalks around Rochester are ideal for folks using strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, or managing other mobility challenges. There are no steps or stairs to navigate around on these walkways. They offer a smooth ride and a beautiful view.
Stroller and wheelchair accessible trails around Rochester
- City of Rochester
- Highland Park
- Cobb’s Hill
- Genesee Riverway Trail
- Mount Hope Cemetery
- Ontario Beach Park
- Hidden Sidewalk
- Genesee Valley Park
- Memorial Art Gallery campus
- Monroe County
- Hamlin Beach State Park
- North Pond Park
- Durand-Eastman Park
- Erie Canal
- Places in Monroe County with Admission Fees
- Seneca Park Zoo
- Genesee Country Village
- Greater Rochester
- Canandaigua Lake
- Conesus Lake, Lakeville
- Seneca Lake, Geneva
- Skaneateles Lake
- Niagara Falls
- East Aurora
City of Rochester
1. Highland Park
Every pathway, every tree, every vista and every relationship between the land and water is intentional.
The pathways are paved, but they are not flat. They meander over rolling hills. I often see parents with strollers taking advantage of the more physically challenging climbs while enjoying the smooth path.
The walkways through the magnolias and south of Highland Drive tend to be more level.
2. Cobb’s Hill Reservoir
The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing else quite like it in Rochester.
Encircling the reservoir is a .7-mile paved walking path perfect for an easy stroll.
3. Genesee Riverway Trail
To start at the south end, park at the Boxart Street lot. From here, most folks walk north and down the steep, paved road descending to the river’s edge.
But you can also take the train-grade path to the river’s edge by heading south from the parking lot about 0.5 miles, and taking the north trail at the fork near Brewster Harding Park. Going this way will take you along a seasonal creek through Bullock’s Woods
From the City of Rochester website, “The trail consists of three main parts: 1) the 2,968 ft land-based trail that utilized an old railroad bed to transition from the top of the bank to the river’s edge, 2) a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, and 3) an all-new land-based trail, 3,406 feet in length, through Turning Point Park North and adjacent to the Genesee Marina.”
4. Mount Hope Cemetery
The newer south section is paved, while the older north section is a more rustic combination of paved road, brick and cobblestone.
5. Ontario Beach Park
Ontario Beach Park is located on Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Genesee River.
Paved and boardwalk pathways allow for an easy walk along the lake shore and pier. Grab some ice cream at the original Abbott’s Frozen Custard!
6. The Hidden Sidewalk
From Ontario Beach Park, head west on Beach Ave. Across from Clematis St. and Cloverdale St. are the two main entrances, with several smaller sidewalks between roughly every forth house.
The .4-mile-long paved sidewalk is open to pedestrian traffic only–no bicycles or skates.
7. Genesee Valley Park
Genesee Valley Park is a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park located at the intersection of the Erie Canal and Genesee River. The 800-acre park was designed to connect the various green spaces and waterways together using a series of winding paths.
8. Memorial Art Gallery
On the museum’s campus, you’ll find the Sculpture Park, including The Creation Story by sculptor Tom Otterness, and The Unicorn Family by Wendell Castle.
Around the perimeter is the Poets Walk and Story Walk. This “urban gathering space” in the Neighborhood of the Arts welcomes you to explore the grounds for free and use your imagination to interact with the elements.
It’s a great starting point for exploring more art and architecture in the surrounding neighborhoods and side-streets connecting University, East, and Park Avenues.
9. Hamlin Beach State Park
Hamlin Beach has seven miles of beautiful walking paths along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Each area of the park has its own amenities, with plenty of places to take a break in the shade.
10. North Ponds Park
The 1-mile loop trail circumnavigates both ponds. It is perfect for a leisurely stroll, jog, or ride with little change in elevation along its route.
With eight fitness stops optimized for varied ability and height, it could easily be part of a daily workout routine.
11. Durand-Eastman Park
Though the trails around the lakes are not ideal for wheels, the paved roads through Durand Eastman are. There’s a section between Log Cabin and Zoo roads that is closed to vehicular traffic and absolutely perfect for a walk in the arboretum.
You can also enjoy the Irondequoit Lakeside Multi-Use Trail, a paved sidewalk along 5,000 feet of Lake Ontario shoreline, which continues on a boardwalk leading up to Seabreeze. The length of the entire trail, from Irondequoit Bay to the Genesee, is roughly 7 miles.
12. Erie Canal
Folks tend to think of the Erie Canal as a single destination. But the canal spans 100 miles between Lockport and Lyons, with Rochester located right in the middle making it easy to explore.
Pick a canaltown like Brockport, Spencerport, or Fairport to walk through areas steeped in history.
Or choose an entry point like Greece Canal Park or Meridian Center to walk or bike the trail’s more natural surroundings.
Stop at one of the canal locks—like Lock 32 Canal Park in Pittsford—and watch the boats go through.
You can easily have a different experience every time just varying where you start.
Places in Monroe County with Admission Fees
There are a few benefits to paying the admission fee to walk around these places with wide, well-maintained walkways and no vehicular traffic. Plus, the opportunity for education and entertainment.
13. Seneca Park Zoo
The Seneca Park Zoo is only a small part of the greater 297-acre Seneca Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.
The Zoo’s walkways are paved and meander through the animal exhibits. There are more hilly sections as you head deeper in toward the lions and elephants.
The bridge can be accessed using ramps on both sides of the river.
14. Genesee Country Village
Although the streets are not paved, they are about as hard-packed as stone-dust can be. If you go during the week, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice, quiet stroll, free from major events and crowds.
15. Canandaigua Lake
Take a walk down Canandaigua City Pier and check out the boat houses.
Continue along the lake shore toward Kershaw Beach Park and the Canandaigua Lady, a double-decker steamboat.
Lagoon Park offers a hard-packed gravel pathway to explore the Canadaigua Outlet wetlands
16. Conesus Lake
Enjoy a stroll through Vitale Park on the north shore of Conesus Lake. The paved walkways meander through the park, with fabulous views, beautiful landscaping, and cool summer breezes.
17. Seneca Lake
Enjoy a wonderful walk along Geneva’s Seneca Lake shoreline, starting near the Finger Lakes Welcome Center. From here, you can walk right into Seneca Lake State Park. Grab an ice cream on Long Pier when you get back.
Or, take a self-guided walking tour along the sidewalks of historic South Main St.
18. Skaneateles Lake
The Village of Skaneateles is located st the northern tip of the lake. You’ll find dozens of boutiques along Genesee St (US-20) and Jordan St specializing in art, home decor, toys, clothing, and food.
The traffic through Skaneateles seems pretty used to having pedestrians crisscrossing US-20 at regular intervals, so take advantage of the many cross-walks.
Enjoy the lake-town vibe and the view of Skaneateles Lake as your stroll along paved sidewalks and pathways though the parks and down the pier.
19. Niagara Falls
There are walkways throughout Niagara Falls State Park that connect the Visitor Center via pedestrian bridge to Goat Island, Luna Island, and Three Sisters Island.
You’ll be able to stroll along the paved pathways from Horseshoe Falls to American Falls. Visit during the week or off-season to avoid the crowds.
20. East Aurora
East Aurora feels locked in time. From Vidler’s 5-and-10 to the Aurora Theatre, and the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement, the early 1900’s are alive and well on Main Street US-20A and ready to enjoy.
A walk down Main Street will show you everything the village of East Aurora has to offer. You’ll find unique boutiques, restaurants, and historic sites worth stopping for along the way.
For example, the Millard Fillmore House is the only home still standing that a president built with his own hands.
The Roycroft Campus and the Elbert Hubbard Museum around the corner will give you insight into one of America’s most successful Arts and Crafts communities. The Campus contains nine of the original fourteen structures including the Inn, the Chapel, the Print Shop, the Furniture Shop, and the Copper Shop.
If you want to extend your walk, head up Riley Street to the Fisher-Price Toy Store. Kids or no kids, it’s a playful place for everyone! Fisher-Price was founded in East Aurora in 1930, and is still headquartered here today.
A few more ideas
I wanted to include these destinations as additional options to consider even thought they are not paved. While gravel, stone-dust and some smaller roots are challenging for wheels (especially ones with sleeping toddlers,) these places are relatively flat, without steps or stairs.
They may work well for folks who desire interesting places to walk but experience some limited mobility challenges.
Tinker Park, Henrietta
Corbett’s Glen, Brighton
Thomas Creek Wetland Walk, Fairport
Lollypop Farm Petting Area, Fairport (seasonal)
Brickyard Trail, Brighton
Webster Arboretum, Webster
Where are your favorite paved pathways for easy strolls?
Please share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. Your insight and experience are invaluable!