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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!