Dog Friendly Parks

Snowshoeing in Black Creek Park – Making the Most of Wintertime!

Our cute little snow dogs enjoying a winter hike!
Written by Kevin Sando

It has been a while since we last featured a dog friendly park on the site. Primarily this has to do with the fact, that Rochester, NY seems to have migrated north to become a part of the frozen tundra. With temps steadily below zero, walks have had to be kept brief and the boys have been getting a bit stir crazy.

Black Creek Park

So on a particularly balmy 20 degree day a few weeks back we decided to break out of the house and let the boys do some real exploring.  We headed out to Black Creek Park on the west side of Rochester for an afternoon of snowshoeing.  

Charlie catching snowflakes on our hike at Black Creek Park

About Black Creek Park

Black Creek Park is located in the town of North Chili and covers more than 1500 acres.  It is relatively undeveloped and a popular destination for bird and animal watching. We have always loved it for its seclusion. It is relatively rare to run into other hikers along the trails, which makes it a great place to let the dogs explore and run around a bit. Black Creek Park is a year-round destination. Its beautifully remodeled lodges are popular spots for hosting large reunions and get-togethers and it is a popular destination for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and sledding in the winter. 

Black Creek Park in Rochester, NY is a great year round spot for Hiking with Dogs

There are several trails to choose from, but our favorite is the Creek Trail winding along – you guessed it – Black Creek.  The boys were whining as soon as we pulled into the park, so we wasted no time in getting on our gear!

We strapped on our snowshoes and the dogs slipped on their Pawz and we were all ready for a fun winter hike!

We strapped on our snowshoes, the boys slid on their Pawz Dog Boots and as soon as we reached the open trail – they were off!

But not too far!

While Harley loves to lead us on a trail he never gets out of sight.  He runs ahead – stops to look back to make sure we are coming – and excitedly runs back to us! We have always joked that he travels about 3 times the distance that we do on any given hike.

Our dogs running along the Creek Trail at Black Creek Park!

We are very pleased that Charlie seems to have picked up this habit of Harley’s and also refrains from straying too far! Good boys!

Heading down a Black Creek Park Trail with our dogs. Black Creek Park is located just outside of Rochester, NY.

Don’t let that sweet lace face fool you – Harley may be getting older but he is completely in his element when outdoors. He runs, sniffs, and explores just like he always has.  While he definitely still has great stamina we always try to make sure that he doesn’t overdo it, which can result in sore and achy bones the next day.

It is very important to watch for signs of exhaustion in your dog while hiking in deep snow. Keep in mind all the effort it requires to move through!

The snow was deep and Harley was showing signs of being a bit tired (though he wouldn’t admit it), so we veered off the Creek Trail before getting too far out.  While running in sand or snow, it is always important to watch for signs of fatigue as the extra resistance requires significantly more energy for you and your pup!

We knew roughly the location of a side trail but it was quite hard to distinguish under all that snow! No problem, the dogs can do some trailblazing of their own!

Trailblazing on a winter hike with the dogs near Rochester, NY

Finally, we reached the clearing we were looking for and Charlie got his much needed frisbee time. After all, what good is a trip to a park with out some good old fashioned fetch?

Our dogs love winter hikes but they tend to collect snowballs in their fur. We find warm water to work the best at gently removing them.

Charlie playing with his Chuckit! dog frisbee on a snowy hike at Black Creek Park!

Charlie, our Golden Retriever dog running at Black Creek Park

By this point we were getting close to the popular sledding hill at Black Creek Park. We could hear lots of laughter in the distance and showing no signs of slowing down, Charlie was eager to see what was going on. We still had a long walk back to the car so I decided to give Harley a bit of a rest while Rach and Charlie ventured on.

Sitting on a bench outside the Woodside Lodge at Black Creek Park. Harley and I decided to rest here while Rach and Charlie checked out the sledding hill.

Harley, our Golden Retriever in the Snow at Black Creek Park. Happy as can be taking in the cool, crisp air!

Don’t worry, he was perfectly content to sit by my side taking in the sights, sounds and fresh cold air!

Charlie taking in the sights and sound of the Black Creek Park sledding hill in Chili, NY!

Charlie was pretty stoked when all of a sudden there were lots of people around. These were no ordinary people… these were little people, the kind that have lots of pets, energy for frisbee throwing, and silly baby talk. Needless to say, I think he would have been happy sitting here all day soaking up all of that attention from the kids!

Our Golden Retriever Charlie acting goofy and sticking his tongue out!

Why MyDogLikes Black Creek Park

With a terrain of beautiful rolling hills, ponds, creeks and fields Black Creek Park is the perfect place to get out and stretch your legs a bit! Especially when you have been huddled indoors for what seems like forever just trying to keep warm! There are several miles of well kept but quiet trails to explore, and while hiking them you will feel particularly close to nature.  Black Creek Park is a favorite of ours (and the dogs) at all times of the year!

Our boys with real "snow pants!" These clumps of snow often collect in their hair in the wintertime. They can be uncomfortable and warm water helps to remove them.

The boys were quite satisfied, but looking a bit disheveled when we finally loaded them back into the car. Off to the PetSaver Superstore self wash to get cleaned up!

About the author

Kevin Sando

Kevin is a mechanical engineer with a degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has move than a decade experience in new product design, prototyping and early stage manufacturing. Pairing this background with his love of dogs, gives him a unique perspective to evaluate the design and execution of new and interesting pet products.


    • How fun! Love finding Western New York natives! Now I a get to watch all your photos and be jealous of your warm weather adventures!

  • What a fun day! We’ve been wanting to get out snowshoeing too, but we haven’t had a warmer day at the right time yet. Oh, and it’s bad when we consider 20 degrees “warmer”, isn’t it? 🙂

  • That looks like a ton of fun. Sadly we can’t be off leash as we will take off. We will come back, but it may not be for hours and Mom doesn’t have nerves for that. What a great workout for everyone too! What you say about walking 3x as far mom used to say about me and now says about Bailie as youngsters we race ahead, race back, off to the side and back, etc. It is fun. Thanks for joining the hop!

    • If I wasn’t confident with their recall, I would definitely not let them off. Emma you are just doing what your nose tells you I bet…there are lots of wabbits out there!

  • Looks like you guys had a fantastic time! Wish mom would be brave enough to let us off leash. Mom says she’s getting snow shoes next year….it probably won’t even snow with her luck! BOL!!

    • We joke that the way to guarantee of now snow is buying a snow blower and a ski season pass!

  • Looks like so much fun!! Sadly everyone but us got snow this year so we weren’t able to break out our snowshoes…we love snowshoeing!
    Those pawz dog boots look great! Do they stay on well? I was thinking of picking some up for my pups – but the need didn’t arise this year.
    Beautiful pictures! May I ask what type of camera you use? I’m hunting for a new one. 🙂

  • That park looks awesome! Your boys are so cute!! Look at all that snow! Phoenix is the same way as Harley! She will run ahead and then look back and run back to me. We also have the same joke about running 3 times the distance! 😀 Zoe is more of an adventurer and she likes to get really far ahead which makes us nuts. I’ve been working with her lately on staying closer.

    • They are both great with recall. As Har gets older he is less interested in listening to us, but learns quickly when we put him back on the leash! The girls always look like they are having so much fun at their parks!

  • That looks like a great adventure! We haven’t been able to adventure to many parks lately, either, with the frigid temperatures in Ohio. We’re hoping that we get some good “warm” snow frolicking weather soon! Our neighborhood walks are getting boring very quickly!

    • That is EXACTLY the point we got to. It was hardly warm enough, but we were getting stir crazy!

  • Fun in the snow! Awesome!, the snow shoeing really helps our furry friends when treading in the snow and like you said it is nice to get out once in a while and play in the snow especially after huddling indoors trying to keep warm. Looks like you had a blast!

    • It really was so much fun for them! They would live outdoors (as long as we could be out there with them). Nothing makes them happier!

  • What a great hike! Is off leash permitted or were you just breaking the law like we do? I probably would take off too far from mom there off leash. Loved the missing and torn booties at the end! Love Dolly

    • We may have been breaking the rules a bit 😉 They are very good on recall so we only let them off leash when we are in a secluded spot.

      Yes, not having to worry about a lost or torn boot is one of the best things about Pawz!

    • We were breaking the rules technically, but the boys stay realllllly close, we always go at non-peak times, and are super vigilant of other dogs, especially those who have been kept on leash. They really were rough on those Pawz!!

  • Wow, this looks like so much fun! Resistance training, running, exploring all the different smells, and socializing with friendly kids…doesn’t get any better!!

  • Chewy runs back and forth like a maniac, too! His snow tracks are never in a straight line. There are always loop-de-loops through the trees, and the occasional rolling around.
    Have you tried sledding with them? Chewy loves chasing us while we sled, and is sometimes even willing to ride in it while sitting in someone’s lap.