August is officially the month of Sunflowers, and we are incredibly lucky to have some spectacular places around Rochester to celebrate!
At each of these farms, you can expect lots of people parked along the road on the weekends. If you can venture over early in the morning or evening, a rising or setting sun reveals beauty not witnessed in full sunlight. I have visited Hopkins Farm on a Tuesday morning around 7:30 am when it was slightly raining and the sky was a soft gray. Such a treat, and I had the entire field to myself.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.Helen Keller
Hopkins Farm in Pittsford
Each and every August, neighbors of the Hopkins Farm on Clover Street in Pittsford are treated to a field of golden sunflowers on their daily commutes. People from outside the immediate area start asking “Are they there yet?” and then word starts to travel, and we all find out that “they’re here!”
I start changing my commute around August 1 to find out for myself! The timing depends on the amount of precipitation we have received all summer. One year, I stopped on August 3 and the field was completely lush and green. Five days later, they were blooming. So each August, if you follow along on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter we’ll keep you posted.
There are several fields used in annual crop rotations, so the sunflowers move along Clover anywhere between Calkins and Lehigh Station Roads, alternating places with the soy beans, wheat and corn. In 2019 the field was across Calkins Road in a field you couldn’t see from Clover so we missed them until a reader let us know they were hiding! This sunflower field in Pittsford free to visit, with no planned activities or entertainment; just beautiful sunflowers.
Learn more about Hopkins Farm, established in 1813 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of very few 200+ year old farms in this area. There’s a book you can read online entitled Reflections on Big Spring: A History of Pittsford, NY and the Genesee River Valley. Stop by their produce stand while you’re in the area.
Frederick Farms in Clifton Springs
Frederick Farms’ sunflower field is located about 45 minutes from Rochester. [get directions]
There are sunflowers for days, with a large pathways carved right down the middle making it easy for everyone to find the perfect backdrop for family photos and sunflower selfies.
The farms offers hayrides at no cost, though encourages a donation to benefit House of John–a hospice in Clifton Springs. You can also purchase sunflower seeds, oil, and flowers.
Wickham Farms in Penfield
The sunflower field is located at the Wickham Farms Fields & Orchard. [get directions].
Wickham hosts a weekend, ticketed Sunflower Spectacular Festival around the last few weeks of August and first week of September.
The event feels very much like their fall harvest events: family oriented, playful, cut-you-own sunflowers, hayrides, corn maze, etc.
Sunflowers of Sanborn
Head toward Niagara Falls on NY-31 about 90 minutes. The Sanborn sunflower field is near the intersection of NY-31 and Baer St. [get directions]
The field is always free to view, but help the family farm out by purchasing concessions & novelties. They also host events like Food Trucks in the Field, art shows, and cosplay day.
Opposite of Wickham Farm, the activities seem geared more toward adults.
Need a few more places to enjoy the sunflowers while they last?
Thorn Farm in Clyde
Stokoe Farms in Scottsville
Lincoln Hill Farms in Canandaigua
Rochester became a global center for flower and tree nurseries in the mid-1800s, fostering our identity as The Flower City.
Where are your favorite spots to find sunflowers?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!