A few weeks back, you may have seen photos of the boys exploring beautiful waterfalls. Believe it or not, these photos were taken just outside of Rochester, NY (within walking distance of our home), at Corbett’s Glen Nature Park! Not only is Corbett’s Glen close, it happens to be one of our favorite spots to take the dogs. We feel so lucky to have this gem right in our “backyard” and felt it was only natural that this special place become the focus of our next installment in our series of Dog Friendly Parks.
Southern Park Entrance: Located off of Glen Road, near Route 441
Corbett’s Glen: A Hidden Gem in Rochester, NY
Corbett’s Glen is located in the Allen’s Creek Valley, between the towns of Brighton and Penfield. Established in 1999, this park is relatively new and definitely still making a name for itself. Even those who are familiar with hiking in the Rochester area may be unaware of Corbett’s Glen, and the exceptional beauty it contains.
Where is Corbett’s Glen and How do I get There?
There are two entrances to Corbett’s Glen, the first of which is located on Penfield Road across from Forest Hill Road. This is considered the north entrance to the park and there is a small, handicap accessible parking lot there.
The Southern entrance to Corbett’s Glen is located on Glen Road, off Route 441 (near 490 ramp). Parking is available on the street and is clearly marked. Handicap parking is also available if you drive under the large stone arch (it will seem like you are breaking a rule, I promise I wouldn’t mislead you). The southern entrance provides direct access to the main part of the park and would be great for people who want to get right to the action or who have less mobility.
Corbett’s Glen spans 52 acres through a wide variety of habitats including marsh, fields and woodlands. The glen itself is surrounded by glacially-formed, tree-covered ridges on three sides.
The story of Corbett’s Glen is just about as unique as the park itself, and is a shining example of what the Rochester community is all about. It all started in the mid 1990’s when the locals got word of a large industrial and office building project being planned alongside Allen’s Creek. This was directly next to the land which was to become Corbett’s Glen Nature Park! Being well aware of the natural beauty of the land, a grassroots movement began to halt the project and future developments in the area. The Allens Creek/Corbett’s Glen Preservation Group (ACCGPG) was founded and has been working hard to preserve the land ever since. Their efforts to save this land influenced the town of Brighton and the Genesee Land Trust to purchase the land known as Corbett’s Glen in 1999. In the years since, the town has acquired some of the adjacent land and expanded the park to its current form.
Maps of Corbett’s Glen North and South (Click to Enlarge)
To this day, the ACCGPG continues its work on preserving the lands of the Allen’s Creek Valley attempting to ensure that any development is minimal and environmentally sensitive. Their ultimate goal would be for the town to acquire the remainder of this land and incorporate it into Corbett’s Glen Nature Park the ensure the enjoyment of this space for future generations.
A Few of our Favorite Things…
There are roughly 3 miles of well cared for trails at Corbett’s Glen. In fact, as you walk around the trails you will see many different areas where Boy Scouts have maintained, improved, and cared for the trails and grounds! Every time I go, I see some new way the Boy Scouts are working to improve their community, and it makes me feel proud!
The north entrance marks the start of the Stone Dust Trail Loop, a well manicured trail that could easily accommodate people with various levels of mobility (stroller, wheelchair, elderly, young children, etc). Park visitors can take this trail to the southern area with a ~1.5 mile walk. Though the trail isn’t challenging there is an area that has a steep downhill/uphill transition that might not be a good fit for anyone with limited mobility. Don’t let this dissuade you though, this is a beautiful, peaceful hike that truly is designed for everyone. When walking on this trail you feel so far away from the busy city/suburban life that sits just outside of the park!
The Stone Arch Bridge
While accessing the park through the southern entrance, you will pass underneath a large stone arch. This arch forms a railway bridge that was built in the 1800’s. It is believed to be the largest of its kind in upstate NY. It is also a great spot for a family photo session and its not uncommon to see photographers in the area!
Without a doubt the most beautiful part of Corbett’s Glenn! Allens Creek, which runs along the southern edge of the park, flows over several picturesque rocky drops within the park like the one you see below.
Between the waterfalls are shallow creek beds which are the perfect spot for dogs and their family members to splash around and cool off. The current of the creek is typically pretty slow and safe except after a heavy spring-time rain, when the volume of water is greater and extra care should be taken. When we go with the boys, we like to wear water shoes and play in the creek right alongside them. If you are a regular reader, or simply have ever met a Golden Retriever in your life, you know that they are water dogs!! This is by far our boys’ favorite place to play. When they aren’t retrieving sticks, they are cleaning up the creek bed (removing all “errant” rocks and piling them up on the shore). The boys would stay here all day if we let them!
Harley doing his part and “cleaning up” the creek bed!
Taking a Dip in the Swimming Hole
At one of the last creek access spots before the trail diverges, there is a large swimming hole. Until recently there was a rope swing that people would swing and jump off of. Unfortunately, the tree holding the swing was recently cut down, but don’t let this stop you. The water is cool and deep…I dare you to find a more refreshing experience than taking a dip in this swimming hole! Harley and Charlie love to come here and stretch their sea legs. This is also where Charlie learned how to swim!!
Hiking The Perimeter Trail
After leaving the waterfalls you will find yourself on the Perimeter Trail. The Perimeter Trail is just that…a trail that surrounds the main park area. This trail is an easy hike in terms of difficulty, but changes in composition several times depending on where you are. As you pass the creek and waterfalls it is stone dust and easily passable for all. As you walk through the marsh and other wet areas the trail is filled with wood chips to help with flooding and small foot bridges. Through the woods, the trail is packed dirt with some roots and stones to watch out for. While the trail is easy to hike, parts of the trail may not be easy for strollers/wheelchairs, etc. Harley loves to trot along the Perimeter Trail, especially after a swim. This is what happens next….Dirty, Dirty Dog!!!
Stretching our Legs in the Fields
After some time spent wading/swimming in Allens Creek and rolling on the Perimeter Trail, the fields are a great place to end up. Here the dogs can roll in some grass, dry off, and magically become clean again (seriously how do they do it?). When in the fields you will occasionally see some people walking by on the Perimeter Trail with their dogs, but for the most part the tall grasses and mowed sections make it feel very private. This is a great spot to picnic or just have the dogs/kids run around! So what do our two big dogs do in the fields? Well, Harley loves to roll in the grass (and dirt) and watch nature. Charlie on the other hand likes to find all the sticks that ever were, and play fetch/chase Harley around.
Why MyDogLikes Corbett’s Glen Nature Park
We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Corbett’s Glen!!! It is a beautiful gem tucked in the suburbs that has been lovingly maintained and advocated for by a dedicated group of individuals. While I love that not many people know about Corbett’s and the experience is so peaceful and beautiful, this is a place that should be enjoyed by all! Whether you are looking to take your family or your pets (I have done both), you will have a great time!
Maybe the best part…at the end of the day, you will end up with some pooped pups!