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Cobbs Hill Park
Cobbs Hill Park 

Cobbs Hill Park is a favorite recreational venue. The best view of Rochester's skyline is right here. The park is located in the city's south east area and features 109 acres of beauty, recreation, and scenic trails. At the park's highest point, a walking trail offers one of the best views of the city. At road level, a collection of lilacs and original tree plantings makes this park a horticultural gem. During summer nights, Cobbs Hill Park bustles with players from local softball leagues.  

Washington Grove Park, just east of the Cobbs Hill Reservoir, is a breathtaking, undeveloped 100-acre sanctuary filled with large oaks and wildlife in the heart of the city. Walking trails abound and provide hikers with spectacular views. Dogs are welcome on a leash but bikes are prohibited on the trails in the park.  MORE INFO
Pinnacle Hill is within view of Cobbs Hill. The hill is a favorite spot for sunbathing, and it the winter it's awesome for sledding:
Cobbs Hill Park
Links to City Parks:

Cobbs Hill CX Race 

Cobb's Hill Park - Kite Aerial Video
Lake Riley
Cobbs Hll Park
New bench to enjoy the sunset over the skyline
Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Rochester
Entrance to Washington Grove Park

Washington Grove Park is for the birds!

     After Manhattan's Central Park, it would be hard to name a place in New York where the spectacle of songbird migration is more accessible than Washington Grove in mid-May. What makes this old-growth remnant so special for travelers on the Yucatan-to-Ontario flyway? How much of its attractiveness is owed to what birders call the "central park effect" (beckoning green island in an urban sea)? Much is owed to its hill top prominence. Studies also suggest some eastern migrants prefer mature forest over the miles of younger deciduous growth--mostly dating to the close of World War II--blanketing rural upstate New York. Why?
     Spring warbler-watchers note a fondness of myrtles, black-throated greens, blackburnians, nashvilles and bay-breasted for the soft, unfolding flowers and leaves of oaks--the last of our high-canopy species to flush green. What prey are those insectivores targeting in the oak-tops that make Washington Grove a 5-star stopover?
    In contrast, the Grove is a challenging place for songbirds who dare breed here. Raccoons, squirrels, cats, crows and jays are notorious nest-robbers; less well known is that the chipmunks and mice take an equal share of the smallest eggs and nestlings. Throw in parasitic cowbirds, and displacement by heavy traffic of humans and pets, and you have what ecologists call a "sink''--habitat where more eggs and fledglings are eaten than reared. But migrants, who neither breed nor winter here, are relatively free from these threats. As refueling habitat for a 10-gram warbler on a 3000-mile journey, Washington Grove is without peer.

Washington Grove' Changing Forest

     Two centuries ago the Washington Grove canopy was fairly open. Oak and hickory could withstand frequent ground fires. But when fires were suppressed by settlers, burn-intolerant maple, cherry and tulip tree were "released", growing into mid-and high canopies, filling in the light gaps. The understory became shadier, so fewer shrubs, wildflowers and tree seedlings could grow.
     Sadly, the giant hickories and chestnuts have vanished. By 1932, American chestnut had succumbed to the chestnut blight. In the 1960's and 70's, a wave of shade-tolerant Norway maple invaded the grove. Combined with heavy pressure from squirrels and other herbvivores on tree seeds and seedlings, light-competition from Norway maples almost completely shut down reproduction of native trees. In 2010 the City of Rochester, in collaboration with the Friends of Washington Grove, began a project of removing Norway maples and planting native species, especially under canopy gaps where light remains adequate for growth.
Monroe Ave
City Projects    

Washington Grove is a unique, oak-hickory forest, located on the eastern edge of Cobbs Hill Reservoir in Rochester, New York. It may not look like much, but birds love it. 

Graffiti Art: Some abandoned water tanks serve as a canvas for local graffiti artists. 

Birds: Resident Rochester-area forest-dwelling species, especially woodpeckers. Eastern Screech Owl and Barred Owl are regular. Washington Grove is known mostly as a spring migrant trap for vireos, kinglets, thrashers, warblers, tanagers, sparrows, grosbeaks, and Indigo Bunting. Best times are late April through May. 

Washington Grove May 10, 2020