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Graze the Green Space

Maplewood Roses

Courtesy of the Communications Bureau, City of Rochester, NY

Marvel at the roses in Maplewood Park.

Frederick Law Olmsted, aka the father of American landscape architecture, is renowned as the designer of New York City’s Central Park. But he also designed four parks in Rochester, offering scenic getaways. Olmsted, who helped pioneer the idea of green space amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, zeroed in on Rochester’s waterways in 1888 to begin what he called an “emerald necklace” of parks and gardens along the Genesee River. His efforts resulted in Genesee Valley Park, Highland Park, Seneca Park and Maplewood Park, which all continue to thrive in Rochester today.
 

Genesee Valley Park
Located along the eastern bank of the Genesee River, the park spans more than 800 acres on rolling pastoral fields and is a popular spot for outdoor sport aficionados. The park boasts two 18-hole golf courses, three baseball diamonds, a soccer field, canoeing and fishing access and numerous trails for hikers, bikers and cross country skiers.

The park is open year-round. April 1-October 31: Daily 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; November 1-March 31: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday 7 a.m.-11 p.m.


Highland Park
Planned by Olmsted as an arboretum, this park is home to a colorful array of flowers. The park itself rests on hills and valleys formed by glacial deposits and is the perfect environment for flourishing gardens, producing more than 500 varieties of flowering shrubs, in addition to exotic trees. Highland Park is perhaps most famous for its collection of more than 1,200 lilac shrubs and hosts the Lilac Festival in May each year, drawing visitors from around the globe. Other notable highlights of the park include the historic Warner Castle and an outdoor amphitheater.

The park is open year-round: April 1-October 31: Daily 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; November 1-March 31: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. 


Seneca Park
Quaint Seneca Park offers a quieter oasis within Rochester. Home to 297 acres of open fields and a serene pond, this park is another example of Olmsted’s vision of natural public space for urbanites. The park’s scenic Trout Lake, originally created by damming a natural spring, is one of the park’s main attractions.

The park is open year-round: April 1-October 31: Daily 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; November 1-March 31: Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. 


Maplewood Park
Prepare to be wowed at the natural delights Maplewood Park has to offer. Stretching along two miles of Lake Avenue, this Olmsted gem is home to a nationally accredited Rose Garden and two waterfalls in the Genesee River Gorge. The park’s Rose Garden is its main attraction, featuring more than 3,000 rose bushes that are in full bloom from early June to November. At peak blooming season each June, the park hosts the Maplewood Rose Festival, a highly celebrated event with activites such as a parade, music, and gorge and garden tours.

The park is open year-round.

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