perfect picnic spots cover darien lakes

30 Perfect Picnic Spots Around Rochester

I have a few specific things I look for when qualifying a place as the perfect picnic spot. A picnic table, followed by scenery and proximity to water, shade, and relative privacy.

Here are my top recommendations so you can start planning your own picnic. I’d love to hear about your favorite spots in the comments below.

I’ve provided Google map links to each picnic table location. Please keep in mind tables can be moved, or even removed. It is my wholehearted intent to get you as close as possible to the right place.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

City of Rochester

port of rochester picnic riverside
Genesee River

1. Port of Rochester


Like many of the parks, there are a few picnic tables spread throughout Ontario Beach Park, with many more under the pavilions. I like this one on the riverside closer to the Port Of Rochester restaurants, with a great view of interesting boat traffic at the mouth of the Genesee.

Read about our Ontario Beach Park experience

perfect picnic spot high falls granite mills commons
High Falls

2. Granite Mills Commons

High Falls, Rochester

This public seating area is right next to the pedestrian bridge on the west side of the river.

Read about our High Falls experience

highland park picnic table
Highland Park

3. Highland Park


This is probably the best known picnic table in Highland Park. Perfectly placed beneath the largest Katsura tree in New York, it’s an easy walk from Highland Drive.

Read about our Highland Park experience

eastman museum picnic tables
Eastman Museum

4. Eastman Museum


There are a few picnic tables near the University Ave. side of the mansion to enjoy seasonal changes around the formal garden.

Read about our Eastman Museum experience

Genesee Valley Park picnic
Genesee Valley Park

5. Genesee Valley Park


There are a handful of picnic sprinkled around Genesee Valley Park, with many more under pavilions. I particularly like this one by the Roundhouse.

Read about our GVP experience

Monroe County

brighton town park
Brighton Town Park

6. Brighton Town Park


Picnic tables can be found all along the water’s edge.

Read about our Brighton Town Park experience

perfect picnic spot north ponds park webster
North Ponds Park

7. North Ponds Park


There are several picnic tables around each of the ponds.

Read about our North Ponds Park experience

rotary park honeoye falls
Rotary Park

8. Rotary Park

Honeoye Falls

Enjoy the swift current of Honeoye Creek running through the park.

perfect picnic spot black creek park
Black Creek Park

9. Black Creek Park


There are a few picnic tables scattered around the pond at Black Creek Park.

Read about our Black Creek Park experience

Erie Canal

kennelley park fairport

10. Kennelley Park


A great public seating area next to the Erie Canal within a stone’s throw of Moonlight Creamery. It’s the perfect place to watch the lift bridge allow boat traffic through.

perfect picnic spot pittsford erie canal

11. Port of Pittsford Park


Most people spend their time across the Erie Canal at Schoen Place. I enjoy the opposite side, relaxing with a good book from the library and watching the Sam Patch and Colonial Belle navigate the water alongside smaller canal boats and kayaks.

lock 32 park
Lock 32

12. Lock 32 State Canal Park


Not only a fabulous picnic table in the shade but a great spot to watch the canal boats lock through. I’ve spend many a summer lunchtime here at this table.

perfect picnic spot holley canal park

13. Holley Canal Park


Another lovely spot on the Erie Canal when, with a nice flow of boat traffic, you can watch the lift bridge in action.

Read about our Holley Canal Falls experience

holley canal falls

14. Holley Canal Falls


Although part of the same Holley Canal Park, the canal is not viewable here at the base of the falls and it feels like a whole new place.

Read about our Holley Canal Falls experience

Lake Ontario

perfect picnic spot b forman park lake ontario
Lake Ontario

15. B. Forman Park


This picnic table has great shade and a wide-open view of Lake Ontario.

In case you are curious, as was I, the park is named for Benjamin Forman, originator of B. Formans’ department store. A Wikipedia fun fact, “Once the largest store of its kind between New York and Chicago, the company, founded by Benjamin Forman in the first decade of the twentieth century, closed in 1994. B. Forman Co., along with McCurdy & Co., created Rochester’s Midtown Plaza, one of the first enclosed downtown malls in the United States.”

Things you can think about while enjoying your picnic!

hamlin beach state park
Lake Ontario

16. Hamlin Beach State Park


Hamlin Beach offers an overwhelming amount of picnic tables under shady trees. Some are closer to the beach, while others are along the walkways throughout the park.

Read about our Hamlin Beach experience

perfect picnic spot golden hill state park lake ontario
Lake Ontario

17. Golden Hill State Park


This particular picnic table is behind the lighthouse so it’s pretty secluded with a great view of Lake Ontario.

Finger Lakes

honeoye lake overlook
Honeoye Lake

18. Honeoye Lake Overlook


This is a popular stopping point on US-20A with a great view of Honeoye Lake.

Read about our Honeoye Lake experience

NOTE: In July, the hillside is covered in Wild Parsnip. It looks like a yellow Queen Anne’s Lace, yet is a highly poisonous, invasive species. The plant produces a compound that causes intense, localized burning, rash, severe blistering, and discoloration on contact with the skin on sunny days. This is not an allergic reaction, it is a chemical burn brought on by an increase in the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Do not attempt to make a bouquet with it! Things to think about as you enjoy your picnic.

wild parsnip
wild parsnip
perfect picnic spot canandaigua lake overlook naples
Canandaigua Lake

19. Canandaigua Lake Overlook


Another popular overlook on CR-12 with an unobstructed view of Canandaigua Lake’s south end.

Read about our Canandaigua Lake experience

long point park conesus lake
Long Point Park

20. Long Point Park

Conesus Lake, Geneseo

A picnic table and a swimming beach is a great combination! Located on the west side of Conesus Lake.

Read about our Conesus Lake experience

perfect picnic spot vitale park conesus lake
Vitale Park

21. Vitale Park

Conesus Lake, Lakeville

There are a few picnic tables throughout Vitale Park offering great views of Conesus Lake’s north end.

Read about our Conesus Lake experience

seneca lake state park
Seneca Lake

22. Seneca Lake State Park


The Seneca Lake north shore is lined with picnic tables and shade trees.

Read about our Seneca Lake experience

More Greater Rochester Picnic Spots

perfect picnic spot ganondagan

23. Ganondagan


To find this picnic table, follow the Trail of Peace to the furthest point with a lovely view overlooking Victor.

Read about our Ganondagan experience

papermill falls avon
Papermill Falls

24. Papermill Falls


Papermill offers a picnic table next to a waterfall on a country road.

perfect picnic spot griffis sculpture park summer
Griffis Sculpture Park

25. Griffis Sculpture Park

East Otto

There are several picnic tables throughout the park, but I like this one in particular near the pond.

Read about our Griffis Sculpture Park experience

gannett hill
Gannett Hill

26. Gannett Hill

South Bristol

Gannett Hill is part of Ontario County Park with an expansive view of the Canandaigua Lake valley. This is also where you’ll find the Jump Off Trail.

Read about our Gannett Hill experience

perfect picnic spot moss lake houghton
Moss Lake

27. Moss Lake


Moss Lake is a National Natural Landmark, so no boating or swimming here. Just a quiet picnic spot with an abundance of aquatic life, including the sphagnum moss mat and thousands of bullhead fish.

A note about the directions. Google does not have this area street-mapped. Just know when you pull in to the parking lot, you’ll see the lake and the picnic table is right there.

darien lakes state park
Harlow Lake

28. Darien Lakes State Park

Darien Center

The aptly named Picnic Island on Harlow Lake is a perfect spot to spend a few leisurely hours. Also popular for fishing.

perfect picnic spot silver lake state park
Silver Lake

29. Silver Lake State Park


There are a few shaded picnic tables near the marina which makes for a great spot to watch the boats come and go.

letchworth eddies overlook
Eddie’s Overlook

30. Letchworth State Park


Arguably there are hundreds of picnic tables throughout Letchworth that are all are worthy of mention! But this area near Wolf Creek is my favorite, with these stone tables at Eddie’s Overlook.

And I promise you, these picnic tables won’t move!

Read about our Letchworth experience

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perfect picnic spots cover darien lakes
Picnic Island, Darien Lakes State Park

Where are your favorite picnic spots around Rochester?

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 and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

2 thoughts on “30 Perfect Picnic Spots Around Rochester”

    1. There surly must be! I just don’t have a photograph to represent. Happy to add GVP if you have a photo I can share! GVP is wonderful for lots of reasons.

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