It’s snow joke: Rochester’s tops for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

natural scenary

Aside from building a snowman, perhaps the most popular snow-related activity for people whatever their age is skiing. And why not? That said; what about snowshoeing? Well, should you be staying in the Rochester area for a short-break (perhaps at one of the top boutique hotels in Rochester NY), there are plenty of venues and opportunities for trying out both. Here are just a few examples…

Black Creek Park

(3835 Union Street, North Chili New York 14514)

Great for various activities all-year-round (fishing, hiking, horseback-riding, soccer and kids’ play in its designated playground), this charming, somewhat undeveloped park arguably comes into its own in the depths of winter when it transforms into a perfect venue for both sledding and cross-country skiing. Indeed, the 1,505-acre park possesses a hill that’s actually designated for sledding in the coldest months, while the cross-country skiing opportunities definitely come highly recommended.

Durand Eastman Park

(570 Lake Shore Boulevard, Irondequoit New York 14617)


Equally popular in summer and winter, Durand Eastman Park is nothing if not versatile. Its 5,000 feet’s worth of waterfront on Lake Ontario is hugely popular in the warmest weeks of the year, but in the frostier months the place becomes terrific for amateur winter sports enthusiasts, especially those looking to discover or reacquaint themselves with cross-country skiing. With steep-ish slopes, wooded areas and particularly beautiful vistas, the scenery is sublime when the weather’s at its most extreme and the dogs and their owners no longer fill up the parkland. Note that, for skiing, best access to the park is from the east or the northeast; they tend to be less busy than its west entrances, as at this time of year the latter are particularly popular with sledding enthusiasts.

Genesee Country Village Nature Center

(1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford New York 14511)

Sitting adjacent to the Genesee Country Village and Museum (the largest ‘living museum’ in the whole of New York state), the Nature Center lies in 175 acres of woodland and meadows, ensuring it’s utterly ideal for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing when the white stuff’s at its heaviest, most copious and most powdery. For those tempted by this venue just 20 miles outside Rochester itself (so not far at all from the Rochester best hotels), skis are available to rent at very decent prices in an array of sizes; all the way from adult down to children as young as three-year-olds – family-friendly, indeed, then!

Montezuma Audubon Center

(2295 State Route 89, Savannah New York 13146)

A fantastic place for viewing the natural world at its very finest, especially the avian variety, this 198-acre venue comprises five different habitats and, as it’s located at the center of one of the most used flight lanes in the Atlantic Flyway, it’s a reliable resting, feeding and nesting site for waterfowl and migratory birds. And yet, it’s far from merely about our feathered friends here, for the snowshoe events are second to none. Indeed, running for much of the winter and through March, the ‘Hot Cocoa and Snow’ activities on Saturdays involve a lot of outdoor fun as participants throw themselves into solving something of a mystery… yes, on snowshoes! Not only are the prices decent for all the family, but also included are snowshoe rental and hot cocoa come the finish – of course!