Sunken Garden winter cover

Sunken Garden at Warner Castle

Take a stroll behind Warner Castle and down the grassy lawn. You will find the Sunken Garden—a peaceful retreat any time of the year. It was added to the property in 1930 by Alling S. DeForest—landscape architect of the Eastman estate.

Located on the corner of Mt. Hope Ave. and Reservoir Ave., Warner Castle and its Sunken Garden are part of Highland Park.

If you are starting near Lamberton Conservatory, head down Reservoir Ave, crossing South Ave. toward Mt. Hope Ave. Stroll around to the back of the castle and down the lawn, and there you will find the garden. It is the perfect escape from Lilac Festival crowds.

Summer shadows
The garden in winter
winter garden
Warner Castle Sunken Garden wooden bench
Sunken Garden at Warner Castle Rochester NY
Sunken Garden
Sunken Garden
Sunken Garden
Warner Castle Sunken Garden
Sunken Garden at Warner Castle Rochester NY

Often, there are photographers taking wedding and family photos, like anywhere in Highland Park. If you can get there when no one else is about, it’s a peaceful retreat, beautiful anytime of the year.

Warner Castle
 Warner Castle
 Warner Castle

Warner Castle

The ability to step inside the castle is uncertain at the moment. Until late 2017, the castle was home to the Rochester Civic Garden Center. Now, the Landmark Society of Western New York calls it home.

Warner Castle garden wall
sunken garden forget me nots
sunken garden flower
sunken garden blossoms
sunken garden pathway

More information about the Warner Castle Sunken Garden

Cost: Free

Located in the City of Rochester (get directions)

Beyond the Sunken Garden

The garden in winter near Highland Bowl

Highland Bowl

Behind the garden, you’ll find Highland Park Bowl—an outdoor amphitheater used for summertime concerts, Shakespeare in the Bowl, and Movies in the Park.

Highland Park in Rochester

Highland Park was designed by Olmsted to be enjoyed year-round. Every relationship between the land and water is intentional.

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Lamberton Conservatory

Highland Park’s Lamberton Conservatory is a calm, colorful space warmed to tropical temperatures and filled with the sound of running water.

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Ellwanger Garden

Maintained by the Landmark Society, the Ellwanger Estate Garden is periodically open to the public for special events.

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Mount Hope Cemetery

It may seem odd to think of a cemetery as a family-friendly destination, but Mount Hope Cemetery is as park-like as Highland Park next door.

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2022 Rochester Lilac Festival: Things to Do Nearby

Most 2022 Rochester Lilac Fest performances begin in the early-evening leaving your days free to explore around Highland Park.

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22 Hidden Places Around Rochester

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27 House & Garden Tours Around Rochester

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22 Monroe County Parks

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

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When is your favorite time to visit the Sunken Garden?

Please share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. Your insight and experience are invaluable!

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Author Debi Bower is the Founder and Creative Director for Day Trips Around Rochester, NY.


2 thoughts on “Sunken Garden at Warner Castle”

  1. Pingback: Five outdoor activities to combat the Rochester winter blues - Campus Times

  2. Hello,

    Please note that although the Sunken Garden at Highland Park is often free and open to the public, due to its great popularity as a wedding and graduation photo site and the severe conflicts this has led to in the past, for several years it has been possible to reserve the garden for private sessions.

    If you visit the garden and a private rental is in progress, please respect the rights of the party that rented it! Again, this private rental process was only set up in response to the many conflicts that has erupted over use of the space when it was completely unregulated.

    The Monroe County Parks registration website shows times where a private event is registered as “greyed out” if you are looking for a time when it is not reserved!


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