Cobbs Hill entrance winter cover

18 Wonderful Winter Walks in Monroe County

These winter walks in Monroe County will inspire you to spend more time outside, breathing in cold, fresh air, and soaking up a little sun.

Jogging in Mount Hope Cemetery
Jogging in Mount Hope Cemetery

1. Mount Hope Cemetery

It may seem odd to think of a cemetery as a family-friendly destination, but Mount Hope Cemetery is as much park-like as it nearby neighbor Highland Park. The shapes and shadows are exaggerated when covered in a blanket of snow.

Mendon Ponds winter Chickadee cover
Mendon Ponds Park

2. Mendon Ponds

Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park with 2,500 acres of woodlands, ponds, wetlands and glacially created landforms.

Come with plenty of black oil sunflower seeds, especially during winter and early spring when food is scarce—the chickadees and nuthatches along the Birdsong Trail will land right in your hands!

Corbetts Glen winter pathway
Corbett’s Glen

3. Corbett’s Glen

Nestled in between an express way and two highly trafficked roads near the Penfield and Brighton town border, Corbett’s Glen Nature Park is a glorious green space in a suburban jungle.

Genesee Country Village winter cover
Genesee Country Village

4. Genesee Country Village

Sundays, January 9 – March 13, 2022

Check in at the Nature Center building
$5 suggested donation

The Genesee Country Nature Center is an outstanding natural area with hundreds of acres of woodlands, meadows, ponds, old fields, fascinating geologic formations, plants, and animals. Visit the Nature Center every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for an independent hike, or join one of our naturalists for a guided family-friendly nature experience.

Walk the streets of the historic village and see the houses decorated with a layer of freshly fallen snow. Have a winter photo shoot, visit our year-round farm animals, or just appreciate the tranquility and beauty of the season.

Bring your own sled or skis, or rent snowshoes, too!

For special activities, weekly weather updates, and more, call (585) 294-8262.

Winter Walks in Hidden places: Turning Point Park snow winter
Turning Point Park

5. Turning Point

Turning Point Park’s most striking feature is a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, part of the greater Genesee Riverway Trail. It’s the perfect spot to observe the river’s winter wildlife and landscape.

Channing Philbrick Park
Channing H Philbrick Park

6. Channing H. Philbrick (Linear Park)

As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special. The Irondequoit Creek Trail runs through the length of the park.

Sunken Garden at Warner Castle Rochester NY
Sunken Garden at Warner Castle

7. Sunken Garden

When you stroll around the back of Warner Castle and down the lawn, you’ll discover the Sunken Garden. It’s a peaceful retreat anytime of the year.

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. But in the wintertime, it’s a great spot for sledding.

Tinker Park Winter trail
Tinker Nature Park

8. Tinker Nature Park

Tinker Nature Park comprises 68-acres in Henrietta with a 1.2 mile flat perimeter trail for jogging, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or walking.

Skis and snowshoes are available to rent in the Nature Center from 9AM-3PM Tuesday through Saturday for $3 a pair when there is significant snow on the ground.

Seneca Park Zoo winter walking
Seneca Park Zoo

9. Seneca Park Zoo

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.

The Zoo is a great place to go if you feel intimidated walking alone. The paths, as best as they can be, are maintained for walk-ability lessening the risk of falling. The staff is so helpful and there are enough people around to not feel isolated, but not so many as in summertime when it can feel overwhelming.

Monroe County Ellison Park Rochester NY
Ellison Park

10. Ellison Park

Take the Indian Landing Trail—a 1.5 mile easy walk over level terrain, full of history—from the location of an old trading post (Fort Schuyler), to the presumed famous Butlers’s Rangers hideout.

Highland Park stairs
Highland Park

11. Highland Park

Highland Park was designed to be enjoyed year-round. Every pathway, every tree, every vista & every relationship between the land & water is intentional. Enjoy winter’s quiet serenity among the evergreens.

Cobbs Hill Reservoir walking parth winter

12. Cobb’s Hill

No matter the weather, season, cloud cover, or time of day, I love looking out over the treetops at the Rochester skyline. Encircling the reservoir is a .7-mile flat, paved path perfect for winter walks.

Cobbs Hill and Pinnacle Hill are two of the original five Pinnacle Hills in the Pinnacle Range—a glacial moraine created by the retreating Wisconsin Glacier 10,000 year ago. And it may feel like you’re walking on top of a glacier!

The trail through Washington Grove takes you by the colorful graffiti-tagged water towers and winds through a quiet grove of ancient oaks. Because of the Pinnacle Range, all major infrastructure, like the Erie Canal, subway, and express way, were routed around the area leaving this beautiful area untouched by development.

Webster Park Pier frozen
Webster Pier frozen

13. Webster Pier

Frigid temperatures and ferocious winds create wicked art along Lake Ontario. Webster Park pier is just one example, but head toward your favorite spot along the shoreline to observe nature’s creativity firsthand.

The nice thing about places like Webster Park, Sodus Point, Oak Orchard Light, and B. Forman Park, to name a few, is that you can observe the lake right from the parking lot from inside your toasty-warm car. Most lake front property is private, or requires a walk to view the lake.

High Falls Rochester winter
High Falls

14. High Falls

High Falls is both the name of the waterfall and the district where it’s located. There are very few cities in America with a city-center waterfall. It takes on a unique personality in winter.

Winter Walks in Black Creek Park
Black Creek Park

15. Black Creek

There are several trailheads and several places to park your car at Black Creek Park, one of the largest of Monroe County’s 20 parks, second only to Mendon. Both parks are well known for their sledding hills.

Genesee Valley Park winter walk
Genesee Valley Park

16. Genesee Valley Park

Genesee Valley Park is a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park located at the intersection of the Erie Canal, Red Creek and Genesee River.

It’s the perfect spot to observe these waterways in winter, especially when they’ve had time to freeze over.

Brickyard Trail Sandra L Frankel Nature Park
The Brickyard Trail

17. Brickyard Trail

Once you begin your walk, ski or snowshoe journey, you become unaware of the presence of traffic and are transported into a peaceful woodland and wetland.

It’s highly populated with birds, even in winter.

Rochester Public Market Best Coffee at the Market
The Public Market

18. Rochester Public Market

Enjoy the Rochester Public Market all year long on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, and vendors, the market is a unique destination even in wintertime.

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Where are your favorite winter walks in Monroe County?

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.

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