Seneca Park Zoo giraffe cover

Seneca Park and Zoo

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

Seneca Park Zoo Visitor Information ►

Things to know before you go!

The zoo is open all year long, and is continuously upgrading facilities and adding exhibits. “A Step into Africa,” a 2006 addition, features African Lions and Elephants. “Animals of the Savanna” opened in 2018, featuring Giraffes.

Behind the Zoo, there is a trout pond surrounded by pavilions, a playground and hiking trails that take you up close with the Genesee River. The trails are part of the Genesee Riverway Trail.

Seneca Park Zoo in summertime

Naturally, everything is more active in the non-winter months. The animals spend time outside, there’s more visitors walking about, the Tram is in operation, and there are more events, like Zoo Brew.

Seneca Park Zoo winter snow leopard
Seneca Park Zoo winter tiger 2
Seneca Park Zoo winter red panda
Seneca Park Zoo winter giraffe
Seneca Park Zoo winter sea lion
Seneca Park Zoo winter walking
Seneca Park Zoo winter rainbow
Seneca Park Zoo winter sign
Seneca Park Zoo winter pathway

A beautiful place to walk in wintertime

The Seneca Park Zoo is open all year. And while many animals prefer to stay comfy-cozy inside or in a den, some species, such as polar bears and Amur tigers, enjoy the long, cold Rochester winters.

Seneca Park drive
seneca park pond
seneca park parking
Seneca Park Genesee River access
Seneca Park Genesee River access
Seneca Park north trail
Seneca Park Genesee River access
Seneca Park north trail

Olmsted Trail North

1 mi. (one way)

This trail leads along the river nearly to Lake Ontario, with three optional descents to the riverside. The sign reads,

“Olmsted Landing: A park should be accessible to the poor as well as the rich. It should be the beauty of the fields, the meadow, the prairie, or green pastures, and the still waters. What we want to gain is tranquility and rest to the mind.”

Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn
Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn
Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn
Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn
Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn
Seneca Park pedestrian bridge autumn

Olmsted Trail South

0.7 mi. (one way)

Both the North and South trails begin at Trout Pond. This south trail ends at the pedestrian bridge over the Genesee River and connects Seneca to Maplewood, its sister Olmsted-designed park.

The bridge is accessed using stairs or ramps on both sides.

Helpful transportation

The Zoo has a seasonal tram to help transport visitors to the extreme ends of the park, for a small fee each way-$2 for adults and $1 for youth and seniors. It does not go through the zoo.

The tram runs weekends only starting in mid-April, daily Memorial Day through Labor Day, back to weekends only through ZooBoo.

The pathway is primarily downhill from the entrance to the Savanna. I’m betting most people walk through the park then take the tram back to the entrance. There is now a gift shop in the Savanna area where tickets can be purchased.

More information about Seneca Park

Cost: Free for Park, Admission Fee for Zoo (see website for admission fees)

Located in the City of Rochester (get directions)

More information on the park plus trail map

More information on the Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo tiger stained glass
This stained glass tiger
from the old zoo building, torn down in 2018.

21 Monroe County Parks

Monroe County parks are free, so take advantage of 12,000 acres of natural, zoological, horticultural, historical and geological experiences!

Read more

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!

Read more

13 Places in the City to Enjoy the Genesee River

At Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee River begins her journey through the city, racing over a dam and three waterfalls before emptying into Lake Ontario.

Read more

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.

Read more

What do you enjoy most about Seneca Park?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.