The Best Hiking Trails Around Campus!

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Sciences and Technologies MS student

One of the few gems that I have come across after coming to the States is the nature trails situated in every part of the city. These trails are perfect for biking or if you just want to go for a run amidst the natural beauty. 

Rochester, NY has some great options when it comes to taking an outdoor adventure. Here is a list of some notable places that are not too far from the RIT campus.

RIT Nature Trails

This 2.12-mile walkway is the nature trail behind Grace Watson and SLC on RIT’s campus. It is beautiful and definitely worth your time. Well groomed. Check out this page to find out about the routes and particular information for each trail here: https://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/criw/documents/Trails%20Pamphlet%202011.pdf

Linear Park Cascades Trail

Linear Park Cascades Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rochester, New York that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

The Town of Penfield hosts this 19-acre community park along an exciting stretch of Irondequoit Creek, where it drops over 90 feet in the course of one mile. The relatively steep drop in an otherwise flat region leads to some interesting rapids along its path towards Irondequoit Bay and eventually Lake Ontario. The community of Penfield has always had a use for this stretch of the creek. The power presented by the creek created a large community of mills that fueled the earliest industries in the valley. Although the course of the creek has changed over time, and all of the mills that once utilized it have been razed, evidence of this period can still be found in the crumbling foundations of a few of these remaining structures.

Named after former Town Supervisor, Channing H. Philbrick, the park serves a variety of purposes. The open field, picnic shelter, and playground are a frequent host to parties and family gatherings throughout the summer months. Year-round, the creek is host to hikers, photographers, and fisherman who come to enjoy the sights, sounds, and the sense of peace and isolation this small sliver of nature offers in an otherwise highly-developed suburb.

Old Rifle Range Trail, Lucien Morin Park

Old Rifle Range Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Turning Point Park Trail

Located in the Charlotte neighborhood near Lake Ontario on Rochester’s northwest side, Turning Point Park covers 275 wooded acres along the banks of the Genesee River. Hiking and biking trails will help you discover the park’s distinct areas, from the wooded oak forest called “Bullock’s Woods” to the cattail-lined shores of the river. One can enjoy nature watching and beautiful Genesee river views from its trails.

Turning Point Park Trail is a 5.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Rochester, New York that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Turning Point’s boardwalk and trail won the American Public Works Associations’ “Transportation Project of the Year” Award ($2-$10 million categories) in 2008. The trail consists of 3 main parts: 1) the 2,968 ft land-based trail that utilized an old railroad bed to transition from the top of the bank to the river’s edge, 2) a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, and 3) an all-new land-based trail, 3,406 feet in length, through Turning Point Park North and adjacent to the Genesee Marina.

Fall foliage at Turning Point Park.

Fall foliage at Turning Point Park.

The park’s trail continues on to connect to the Genesee Riverway Trail. Take the trail and explore over 16 miles of Rochester by reaching Ontario Beach Park to the north or downtown to the south.

Turning Point Park also features a gorgeous Rain Garden, an eco-friendly way to use natural vegetation as sediment filters. When it rains or snows, flowing sediments and pollutants from the nearby parking lot are captured by the garden’s vegetation. The water-loving plants act as filters and clean the runoff before it reaches the river. The rain garden is stocked with a wide variety of hardy plants that aid in the process, from ostrich fern and filipendula to coneflower and New England aster.

Leave a Reply