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You will find that Rochester, NY offers plenty of Parks to explore. You can utilize the Genesee Riverway Trail as a beneficial way to explore 11 parks: Genesee Valley Park, Bausch and Lomb Riverside Park, Durand Eastman Park, Genesee Gateway Park, High Falls Terrace Park, Highland Park, Middle Falls Crossing, Lower Falls Park, Maplewood Park, Ontario Beach Park, Seneca Park and Turning Point Park.

Download the Genesee Riverway Trail Guide Map.

Genesee Riverway Trail

This 24 mile-long, scenic, multi-use trail runs through Rochester. You will find that the off-road trail is great for walking, running and bicycling along the Genesee River.

The GRT provides pedestrian access to the Genesee River as well as its scenic gorge, 3 waterfalls, 8 pedestrian bridges, 11 parks (including four historic parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.)

The GRT links nine historic districts and individual landmarks including the 1842 Erie Canal Aqueduct and the 1822 Lake Ontario Lighthouse.

The GRT runs on both sides of the Genesee River from the southern city line to Court St downtown, a total of 9 miles. This section of the trail has five pedestrian bridges and a variety of trail loops. North of downtown, the trail is continuous from Middle Falls to Lake Ontario, a total of 7 miles.

The GRT is marked with a system of wayfinding and interpretive signs. It is a designated National Recreation Trail. Beyond the city, it links to the Erie Canal Heritage Trail, and the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail.

The 11 Parks on the GRT are:

Genesee Valley Park

1000 E. River Rd.
– 800-acre park designed by landscape architect Frederic Law Olmsted

– a favorite spot for golfers, crew teams, kayakers, and cross-country skiers

– 3 baseball diamonds, a soccer field, hiking trails, biking paths, playground areas, cross-country ski trails, Genesee Valley Park Sports Camp, and 8 picnic shelters

– two 18-hole golf courses canoeing and fishing access to Genesee River, NYS Barge Canal and Red Creek

Bausch and Lomb Riverside Park

711 Wilson Blvd
– close to the University of Rochester River Campus.
– walking paths with views that loop around the Genessee River
– Picnic tables and benches

Durand Eastman Park

1200 Kings Hwy. N.
– 5,000 ft of Lake Ontario waterfront.
– a gift to the city of Rochester by Dr. Durand
– George Eastman increased the size to 977 acres
– Part of the Monroe County Arboretum
– Supervised swimming Beach Hotline (585)753-5887
– 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones.
– includes lakes, ponds, hiking trails, shelters and a lodge available for rent, cross-country skiing, fishing, geo-caching, golf, hiking/running, kayaking/canoeing, orienteering, a playground, snowshoeing and swimming.

Genesee Gateway Park

151 Mt. Hope Ave.
– a scenic sliver of land located along the river between the Ford Street Bridge and downtown Rochester
– includes a small playground, basketball courts, fishing locations, a boat launch for canoes and kayaks, benches, bike trail, picnic area and hiking trail

High Falls Terrace Park

St. Paul Blvd.
– a portion of the original Gorsline Building is now a terraced park
– provides a panoramic view of the waterfall and the city’s skyline
– a walking promenade in the location of the old railway lines

Highland Park

450 Highland Ave
– was expertly designed by Frederick Law Olmsted
– home of the Lilac Festival.

Middle Falls Crossing

– a waterfall on the Genesee River

Lower Falls Park

– a 110 ft. waterfall on the Genesee River
– located 1.5 miles downstream of Upper Falls
– Lower Falls Overlook Trail is a 0.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail from Stevenson Trail along a portion of the Genesee River Trail
Note: The Genesee River flows in a northerly direction starting in Pennsylvania and going through Letchworth State Park and Rochester before ending in Lake Ontario.

Maplewood Park

89 Maplewood Dr.
-a linear park that follows the river designed by Frederick Law Olmsted
-two hiking trails, biking trails, running trails

Ontario Beach Park

50 Beach Ave
– 39-acre park contains one of the best Great Lakes and best natural sand beaches
– fishing pier, public boat launch, supervised swimming, bathhouse, volleyball, softball and basketball courts, a playground.
-1905 Dentzel Menagerie Carousel -concerts by the shore schedule.

Seneca Park

2222 St Paul St,
– a 297-acre park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted
– picnic shelters, lodge, playgrounds, scenic views of the Genesee River gorge, hiking trails, open fields and a large pond with a paved walking path. Turning Point Park 260 Boxart St
– 275 wooded acres along the banks of the Genesee River
– wooded oak forest “Bullock’s Woods”
– a rain garden
– the boardwalk and trail won the American Public Works Associations’ Transportation Project of the Year Award in 2008.

Additional Parks:

Flower City Virtual Tours is also exploring some additional parks in Rochester. Flower City Virtual Tours has a Discover ROC Series that posts twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Friday. I am including the dates of the blog posts below. The past/future blog posts can be found here.

January 14, 2022-Erie Canal

January 28, 2022-Genesee River High Falls

February 11, 2022-Highland Park

February 25, 2022-Ontario Beach Park

March 11-Durand Eastman Park

March 25, 2022-Turning Point Park

April 8, 2022-Cobbs Hill Park

The Future:

The #ROCtheriverway initiative to revitalize the Genesee riverfront will be bringing a lot of changes to the area. For more information see ROC the Riverway Overview.

Rochester, NY has many beautiful parks to explore. Get out there and get exploring!

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