Five Great Places to Picnic – Rochester, NY Part 2

In part 1 of this series on places to picnic in Rochester, NY we visited Ontario Beach Park and Seneca Park. In part 2, we’ll visit Webster Park, Durand Eastman Park and Powder Mills Park. I hope you’re enjoying this series on places to picnic. In the coming weeks and months I plan on providing great picnic locations for cities and towns all across the Country. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a place to host a large picnic event, Webster Park in Webster, NY may be just right for you. There are five enclosed lodges that can accommodate anywhere from 35 to 135 people. These lodges are fully equipped with picnic tables, wood burning stoves and charcoal grills. They are perfect for family reunions and corporate team building events.

Webster Park also has a 45 site family campground. There are campsites for all kinds of equipment from camping tents to luxury motor homes. All the sites are equipped with electrical outlets and there are plenty of drinking water taps. The campground also has restrooms, showers and a dumping station. The playground will help keep the kids entertained while you sit back and relax.

Webster Park is known for its hiking trails. A total of five trails offer about five miles of easy to moderate hiking. When hiking these trails you’ll be treated to a great variety of natural scenery. The West Loop Trail features the West Field where you’ll see wildflowers, shrubs and a wide variety of trees. This variety of plant life makes the West Loop a favorite place for birding during the migration seasons. The number of different kinds of trees makes it especially appealing during the fall foliage season.

The park also has a baseball diamond, tennis courts, beautiful lake views and a fishing pier. Webster Park is located at 255 Holt Rd. in Webster. When you visit, please take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints because Webster Park is a carry in – carry out facility.

While Durand Eastman Park is located only a few miles from Ontario Beach, and they both have Lake Ontario swimming beaches, the atmosphere of the two parks couldn’t be much different. While Ontario Beach borders the Port of Rochester and the busy Lake Avenue recreation area, Durand Eastman gives the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere. Its three easy to moderate hiking trails offer you the opportunity to see a variety of trees, wildflowers, ferns, shrubs and aquatic plants. If your kids are into fishing, check out Eastman Lake (you can’t miss it from the trails) where they’ll find lots of panfish action for bluegills, sunfish and bullheads. The trails are also good for cross-country skiing in the winter.

If golf is your game, you’ll want to check out the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. course at Durand Eastman Park. Opened in 1935, the course was heavily renovated in the 1970s and again in 1997. When I first played there, the course was broken into 10 and eight holes instead of the usual nine and nine. The hilly course plays to a par of 70 and has a stream that comes into play on nine holes. The best part is that this course still only costs $16.00 during the week and $17.00 on weekends. Durand Eastman is a strenuous walk so I recommend taking a cart.

Durand Eastman Park has plenty of picnic facilities like tables, grills and pavilions. There is also a nice playground for the kids. Like the other parks we’ve visited, Durand Eastman welcomes pets on leashes and requires you to take your garbage with you when you leave.

Do you like trout fishing? If you do then you should plan your picnic for Powder Mills Park in suburban Pittsford. The stream that passes through the park is stocked from the Fish Hatchery that’s right within the grounds. Even if you don’t fish, you and your kids will enjoy checking out the hatchery will you’ll see trout, perch and salmon in different phases of development. The mature fish are released into the park’s stream and into Irondequoit Creek.

In the winter, Powder Mills Park is great for cross-country skiing. There are several trails that are good for hiking in the summer and even better for skiing in the winter. They are clearly marked but are groomed only by skiers, snowshoes, hikers and native deer. There is also a small downhill slope that is perfect for beginners. Rental equipment and lessons are available at the downhill slope.

Powder Mills has six lodges and four outdoor pavilions that would be perfect for your family reunion or corporate event. The lodges have stove tops, picnic tables, wood burning stoves and restrooms. The outdoor pavilions have picnic tables, grills and nearby restrooms. If you’re interested in renting any of these facilities, please call 585-753-7275. As with the other parks we’ve reviewed, Powder Mills is a carry in – carry out facility.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this two part series on great places to picnic in Rochester, NY. If Rochester isn’t convenient, check back often because I plan on writing about great places to picnic somewhere near your home.

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