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Top 7 Must-Do Fall Activities In Rochester New York To Get the Most Out of the Season

Fall is one of those seasons with little haters and many lovers—almost everyone enjoys this season! It means Halloween, fall foliage, migrations, and dozens of family-friendly activities!

There are loads of fantastic fall activities in Rochester, New York. Here are the seven best activities in Rochester this fall—from watching fascinating fall foliage to enjoying the most fun Halloween activities and everything in between! 

Book ahead so you don’t miss out on the top tours in Rochester New York.

7 Best Fall Activities in Rochester New York

1. See the Fall Foliage

Rochester in Fall
Flickr By Anthony Quintano

Fall foliage is one of the must-do activities that you shouldn’t skip if you want to get the most out of the season. In this beautiful fall phenomenon, the green leaves of many deciduous shrubs and trees turn into different fascinating colors of orange, yellow, brown, red, and purple.

You can enjoy fall foliage in many places in the city. Here are the best ones that will give you a whole fall foliage experience:

2. Watch the Fall Migration

Even though it may still be scorching outside, birds are intent on making the long journey back to their winter homes, which may be thousands of miles away. Different birds leave at various times depending on their species. The primary driver of fall migration is the need to survive—these birds look for locations with food supplies to survive. 

rochester in fall
rochester in fall

During their journey toward open waters, large migrations of raptors, wading birds, and waterfowl pass through NYC. The view of migrating birds in the sky is breathtaking—these are the best locations in Rochester to witness the moment: 

You might enjoy reading some of my other articles on Rochester New York:
Waterfalls in Rochester New York
Kayaking near Rochester New York
Haunted Houses in Rochester New York
Best Parks in Rochester

Weekend trips from Rochester

3. Fall Sky Rides

There are many outstanding vistas to feast your eyes on while driving—choose any slow road that leaves Rochester and explore the beauty of the fall with your loved ones. Besides the well-known Bristol Mountain, these are our top recommendations: 

fall activities in rochester new york
  • Route 96 to Seneca Falls and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
  • Route 20 east to Skaneateles or Lafayette or Cazenovia
  • Lake Ontario Seaway Trail west to Olcott or east to Huron.
  • Route 98 to Salamanca and Little Rock City
  • Route 20A west to East Aurora
  • Drive through Letchworth, Mt. Morris to the Glen Iris Inn
  • Route 19 to Rushford Lake
  • Route 15-15A loop around Hemlock Lake

4. Apple Picking

person picking apples
Photo Credit

Apple picking just has to be on your fall’s to-do list—it’s one of the most fun activities you can do with your loved ones that may turn into a family tradition! If you have no idea where to go to pick apples in Rochester, we’ve got you covered. There are many stunning places to do this activity in the city, but the best ones are:

The experience of apple picking doesn’t end after picking the apple—it continues when the whole family goes home with their fresh apples and tries to decide what to do with them—eat them fresh, make an apple pie, or make apple jam. 

  • Pro tip: the best apple-picking time is early October or the end of September.

5. Hiking

Fall is a perfect season for hiking—it’s not too cold or too hot, and you can enjoy the fascinating views of fall foliage during the hike. Want some help? Here are the best hiking trails in the city: 

  • Gorge Trails
  • Channing H. Philbrick Park
  • Mendon Ponds Park
  • Tinker Nature Park
  • Washington Grove 
  • Whiting Road Nature Preserve 
  • Holley Canal Falls
  • Durand-Eastman Park 
  • Braddock Bay Marina Trail 
  • Rotary Park 
  • Channing H. Philbrick Park 
  • Mendon Ponds Park
  • Rochester Junction 
  • Highland Park 
  • Sunken Garden 
  • Webster Arboretum 
  • Helmer Nature Center
  • Mount Hope Cemetery 
  • Oatka Creek Park 
  • Tinker Nature Park 
autumn in rochester new york
Autumn in Rochester, New York

  6. Seneca Park Zoo

Located in Rochester, NY, Seneca Park Zoo has more than 90 species, including amphibians, arachnids, reptiles, mammals, birds, and fish. At the zoo, you and your kids can feast your eyes on some of the most beautiful creatures, including the white rhino, Masai giraffes, Southern African lions, Snow leopards, Amur tigers, Gray wolves, African penguins, Snowy owls, African bush vipers, African pancake tortoises, Candy coral, Yellow tang, plains zebras, Red-tailed hawks, and more!

This popular zoo in Rochester is a great place to celebrate Halloween with your loved one in the fall. Every year, Seneca Park Zoo holds a fun event called ‘ZooBoo.’ 

Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo

Excited kids flock to the zoo in Halloween costumes to visit the themed booths. ZooBoo offers games, costumed actors, face painting, crafts with a Halloween theme, a graveyard for conservation, special goodies, and enrichment activities for the animals. They also hold a thrilling costume contest daily to double the fun.

All these reasons make Seneca Park Zoo one of the best places to go in the fall and a great way to get in the Halloween spirit!

  7. Stokoe Farms

There are many enjoyable family activities at Stokoe Farms. This place is not just joyful for little ones, but adults can find joy in doing some farm activities. While tickets are required for entry, they cover most of the farm’s activities.

stokoe farms fall activities Rochester new york
stokoe farms

Stokoe Farms offers a pumpkin patch, corn maze, bee zip line, low ropes course, candy cannon, apple cannon, bounce pillows, billy goat mountain slides, wagon rides, sports center, barnyard barrel train, dog agility show, duck races, grain bin cargo climb, corn box, nature trail and black bear tree house, express train, straw fort, milking cow, pony rides, gaga ball, and more!

Have we convinced you that fall is the most fun year? Perfect. Now, pick your favorite activities that work for you and your loved ones and get the most out of this stunning season in Rochester!

I covered all the costs involved in writing this article on fall activities in Rochester New York. However, this article contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission.

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