Rochester, New York City Guide
Rochester, NY City Guide

© 1996-2015 Max Lent Communications





Durand Eastman Park, Rochester, NY Photo.  http://www.inforochester.comDurand Eastman Park Walking Tour

Pine Valley Road Walk

More photographs of Durand Eastman Park by Max Lent

Return to Durand Eastman Park walking tour main page.

We like to park our car at the exit of Pine Valley Road at Sweet Fern Road and hike South.  See Maps.  This is a one-way road that exits at Sweet Fern Road.  Park outside the gate if you are unsure when you will be returning.  Remember that this road is open during the summer and that many of the park shelter visitors may have been consuming alcohol.  Vehicles may suddenly appear as they speed down the hill toward you.  Walk at farthest sides of the shoulder.

Restrooms are only open during the summer months.  When planning winter, early spring, or late fall walks, plan accordingly.

Cool or cold air frequently blows in through the ravines from Lake Ontario except on the warmest of days.  Bringing a windbreaker or jacket on your walk is recommended.  Layer your clothing so that you can take off some on the uphill sections and put on clothing on the downhill sections.  If you get caught in a shower, there are roofed shelters throughout the park.  Check local weather conditions through any of the sites listed on the Weather page of

The photo above shows what the hillsides look like in late April when many of the flowering trees are blossoming.

As the roadway ascends into the park there are steep hillsides on both sides of the ravine.  In the middle of the ravine is a meadow with a deeply cut stream through it.  This meadow is quite wet during most of the spring and fall.  

A few hundred feet up the roadway there is a trail that goes from the roadway, West, across the meadow, and into woods on the opposite hillside.

A few hundred feet further up the hill brings you to an intersection.  To the left is a road leading into a residential neighborhood.  The road is blocked by permanent barriers, but this could be an easy entry point into the park from the South.

Veering to the right is a road that heads down.  This road, which is shown as a dotted line on the park map, is an extension of Log Cabin Road.  Following this road will lead you first down to a meadow then past Pat and Trimble Lakes on the left and Trott Lake on the right.  The roadway then ascends to a ridge and officially becomes Log Cabin Road.  (Click on photos to see a larger versions.)

Veering to the extreme right is Zoo Road which immediately ascends a ridge and follows it until the ridge ends at the edge of Lakeshore Boulevard. 

The vistas of this walk changes with the seasons.  During the winter and early spring the contours of the steep ridges standout against the sky.  The conifer trees stand out as the only green in the park.  The blossoms of deciduous trees appear in late spring.  Clouds of pink and white flowers appear along the edges of the meadows and around the shores of the lakes.  The deciduous trees leaf out very quickly, over a few days, in early May.  On one weekend the deciduous trees appear to have little green buds of leaves.  On the next weekend the leaves will be fully opened.  The change can be dramatic and visually striking.  The park is awash in bright colors in the fall when the deciduous trees change color.

Log Cabin Road, Late April.  Durand_Eastman Park, Rochester, NY
Log Cabin Road Meadow, Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY.  Late April.
There is a park bench at Pat Lake.  Stop and sit a while.  During the early spring bird migrations you may see interesting birds passing through the park as they head North.  During early spring and late fall when the road is not used by vehicles, this can be a quiet contemplative spot.

Continuing on, Trimble Lake is the next lake on the left.  On the right is Trott Lake which joins with Durand Lake.

Pat Lake, Late April.  Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY




Pat Lake, Log Cabin Road, Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY.  Late April.
Trott Lake is surrounded by Trott Lake trail, a half mile easy walk that you can pick up just across the road from Pat Lake.  The trail has scenic views of the Lake and opportunities to see interesting waterfowl.  and the north end of Trott Lake there is a land bridge the separates Trott Lake from Durand Lake.  From that point you can pick up trails that wind their way along the East and West shores of Durand Lake as they head North. 

The Eastern shore of Durand Lake, especially a short distance from Lakeshore Boulevard, is frequented by fishers and the resulting pollution of land and water become obvious.  If you bring along a plastic trash bag, you can easily collect enough empty beer cans and bottles to make it worth your time to collect them.  There's not much that can be done about the illegal campfire rings, waste, and the broken glass around them.

Trimble Lake, Log Cabin Road, Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY.  Late April.
Trimble Lake, Log Cabin Road, Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY.  Late April.

As the road ascends the ridge several more opportunities to view Trott Lake appear.  Geese and ducks are often seen swimming on the lake.  The steep shores of the lake this little lake isolate in such a way that it appears precious and special. 

Bicyclists are often seen peddling along this road.  The steep hills quickly differentiate the fit from those who are not.  The same applies to runners who often have to walk portions of the road.

Many of the trails in Durand-Eastman Park are ideal for trail runners.  There are ample opportunities for hill work.  Even the trails through the woods are worn enough to provide a good running surface.

Trott Lake, Log Cabin Road, Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY.  Late April.
Trott Lake, Log Cabin Road, Durand-Eastman Park, Rochester, NY.  Late April.

Log Cabin Road ascends to the top of a ridge that overlooks Eastman Lake to the left, West, and Durand Lake on  the right, East.  There are four shelters with restrooms and a playground located along the ridge.  The trail then descends to meet Lakeshore Boulevard.

If you cross the road to visit the shore of Lake Ontario be careful.  Lakeshore Boulevard has lots of traffic.  Even walking along its shoulder feels unsafe.

When Log Cabin Road meets Lakeshore Boulevard you have a choice.  You can turn around and retrace your steps or turn right on Lakeshore Boulevard and walk along the shoulder to Zoo Road and turn inland, which will take you back to the junction of Pine Valley Road and Log Cabin Road.  Another option is to continue East on Lake Shore Boulevard to Pine Valley Road where this description started.  

For more information on Durand-Eastman Park visit InfoRochester's Gardening page.

Return to Durand Eastman Park walking tour main page

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