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!” This sunflower field in Pittsford free to visit, with no planned activities or entertainment; just sunflowers. You’ll find other fields (listed at the end of this article) which make sunflower viewing only part of the experience. Sunflowers Of Sanborn, for example, now has a paved parking lot and hosts food truck events. And Wickham has activities similar to their fall harvest events in October.
When to expect the sunflowers in Pittsford on Clover St. just south of Calkins Rd. to be in bloom
I start changing my commute around August 1 to find out! The timing depends on the amount of precipitation they have received all summer. So each August, if you follow along on Facebook, we’ll keep you posted! This year (2018), I stopped on August 3 and the field was completely lush and green. Five days later, they were blooming. I can imagine it will be a busy weekend along Clover Street!
Find the sunflowers
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. Directions to the 2018 field: 43.065873, -77.550212
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 on a Tuesday morning around 7:30am when it was slightly raining and the sky was a soft gray. Such a treat, and I had the entire field to myself.
Evenings and weekends during this short window of time, folks are taking selfies along side professionals taking family photos and senior pictures. Artists en plein air capturing the scene with their paint brushes and easels. People wandering around just soaking up the summer sun. It is impossible to be unhappy in a field of sunflowers.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.
40 Public Gardens
Take only photos & leave the sunflowers to brighten another person’s day!
Everyone talks about the sunflowers, but not about the farm that plants them all! 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.
If you’d like to see more, there are equally beautiful sunflower fields:
The sunflower field is located at the Wickham Farms Fields & Orchard. [get directions]. Wickham hosts a 2-weekend, ticketed Sunflower Spectacular Festival around the last week 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.
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.
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.