The last few months we have made a point to get outside and reconnect with nature as a family. We are not by any means extreme hikers but we appreciate the time spent in the outdoors together. These are our picks for favorite family hiking near Rochester NY.
Rochester, NY is a great place to live. With endless options for easy to difficult hikes, and outdoor activities for families, it is a perfect destination any time of the year.
Often we will plan a full Rochester day trip that includes a stop at one of the places on our list or we keep it simple and spend the morning exploring.
The best thing to do is plan what works best for your family and enjoy creating awesome memories at these beautiful hiking spots in Rochester, New York.
Please check the location website before visiting due to COVID-19 rules and regulations.
Best Hiking Near Rochester, New York with Kids
In no particular order these are our picks for the best Rochester hiking trails for families.
Channing H. Philbrick Park
Location: Penfield, New York
Amenities: Playground, Fishing, Trails
What to Know: There are two trails you can take but they do not circle around and you will have to come back the way you came. We prefer taking the Philbirck Park Trail and then veer onto the Honey Creek Trail for an easy walk. Trails are all under 2 miles.
Mendon Ponds Park
Location: Honeoye Falls, NY
Amenities: Playgrounds, Many Hiking Trails, Bird Song Fairy Trail, Wild Wings
What to Know: Give yourself plenty of time to visit Mendon Ponds Park. We usually start at Wild Wings to see the animals and then start walking the trails.
Wild Wings is a non-for-profit that cares for injured birds. They have owls, birds, and on our last visit fox. There is no fee to enter.
After Wild Wings we walk the Bird Song Trail that is an easy hike lined with fairy houses. The hike is perfect for kids of all ages. You can even bring a stroller if necessary.
On our recent visit we hiked Devil’s Bathtub trail. There is a steep climb but it is a great .6 mile hike. I plan to visit again in the fall.
Holley Canal Falls
Location: 1 Holley Falls Park Rd, Holley, NY 14470
Amenities: Picnic Tables, Waterfall
What to Know: Holley Canal Falls is a bit tricky to find and there is not much information about it, but it is a hidden gem. At the foot of the parking lot is a gorgeous water fall. We hiked the trail loop and it led us to a view of the Erie Canal. There are a few steep areas but most will find this an easy hike.
Tinker Nature Park
Location: Henrietta, NY
Amenities: Playground, Nature Center, Boardwalk Trails
What To Know: Tinker Nature Park used to have the fairy trails before they moved to Mendon Pond but it is still worth a visit. The nature trail is easy for all ages, stroller friendly, and has a nature center.
Location: Rochester, NY
Amenities: Playgrounds, Walking trails, Lilac Festival, Lamberton Conservatory, Warner Castle and Sunken Garden. Lilac Adventure Zone playground.
What to Know: Highland Park is located in Rochester, NY. There are many entrances and ways to visit. The Lilac Adventure Zone is worth visiting for its unique play area. I included the map of the park below to help you plan your visit.
Chimney Bluffs State Park
Location: Wolcott, NY
Amenities: Picnic Area, Restrooms, Hiking Trail, Lake Ontario.
What to Know: Chimney Bluffs state park is an awesome place to hike close to Rochester, NY with older kids. The hike can be a bit complicated due to weather patterns and it is not stroller friendly. Read more about visiting in this post: Chimney Bluffs State Park with Kids.
Turning Point Park
Location: Rochester, NY
Amenities: Walking Trails along the Genesee River.
What to Know: Turning Point Park offers 16 miles of walking paths that lead along the Genesee River and to Lake Ontario. We’ve always walked the boardwalk over the river and it offers amazing views. The boardwalk is stroller friendly but you will have to climb a steep hill down and up to get to it.
Taughannock Falls State Park
Location: Trumansburg, NY
Amenities: Playground, Walking trails along the waterfall, picnic areas, restrooms.
What to Know: When visiting the park you will have to pay a state park entry fee. Taughannock Falls is a great place for families. The gorge trail is under a mile and is easy for most kids. We like walking along the trail and the gorge during our visits. The park is also situation along Cayuga Lake making it a great picnic spot too!
Location: Brighton, NY
Amenities: Hiking Trails, Waterfall
What to Know: Corbetts Glen has two entry ways making this park a little difficult to find, but once you do it is well worth it. I suggest parking at the Glen Road Entry to hike the boardwalk and see the Postcard Falls overlook.
Watkins Glen State Park
Location: Watkins Glen, NY
Amentities: Gorge Trail, Waterfalls, Playground, Swimming Pool, Camping
What to Know: Watkins Glen is a day trip drive from Rochester, NY but it may be my favorite park! I love the 19 waterfalls and the gorge trail. It is stunning! The trail is not stroller friendly and you should be ready to hike up stairs.
Powder Mills Park
Location: Pittsford, NY
Amenities: Playgrounds, Hiking Trails, Fish Hatchery, Restrooms
What to Know: There are many trails at Powder Mills Park but we like to visit in the spring for the Daffodil Trail. The trail is 1.4 mile round trip leading you to the field of Daffodils. All of the trails at Powder Mills Park are under 2 miles round trip making this a great hike for kids near Rochester.
Letchworth State Park
Location: Castile, NY
Amenities: Hiking Trails, Playgrounds, Waterfalls, Swimming Pool, Restrooms, Concessions, Camping
What to Know: Letchworth State Park is named the Grand Canyon of the East and it is a massive park. Driving from one end to the other can take 20-30 minutes.
The gorge trail is 7 miles and there are some longer trails at Letchworth but you do not have to do it in its entirety. We park near the middle falls and hike the short trails to see both of the falls areas. Letchworth is great because the hiking can range from easy to difficult making this a great pick for more skilled hiking families.
The hiking trails near Rochester make it easy to get outdoors with your family and enjoy some quality time together. If you are looking for more family fun in Rochester check out 101 Things to Do for Families in Rochester, NY.
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