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Is there anything more magical than a tour through some backyard mini paradises? Hidden in Rochester, New York, there is a perfect opportunity to experience some pristine gardens on this whimsical hidden sidewalk tour along the Lake Ontario coast. This scenic route will have wanderers feel like they may be trespassing, but it is perfectly legal and welcome for visitors and tourists to stroll through these beautiful homes and gardens. It is said this may even be Rochester's "best-kept secret"! Here is everything you need to know about Rochester's crisp little hidden sidewalk adventure.


About Rochester, New York

When traveling to Upstate New York, there are a number of scenic routes and magical places to explore. Rochester is a charming town in upstate New York located on the gorgeous southern coast of Lake Ontario, about ninety miles west of Syracuse. Known as "The Flower City", Rochester was actually ranked one of the top five places to live in New York and is surely just as special of a place to visit as well.

With many cultural festivals, stunning parks, and proximity to the water, Rochester is a wonderful place for both day visits and full vacations. Rochester is actually famous for its photography community, which, makes sense with the gorgeous coastal landscapes, sunrises, and sunsets able to be captured from the beaches of Lake Ontario.

Upstate New York has plenty of treasure troves and hidden gems throughout its vast landscapes, and this sidewalk is one of those pleasant and eye-catching adventures

Related: The World's Oldest Forest Is In This Upstate New York Quarry

Where To Begin & Things to Know About The Secret Sidewalk

This magical sidewalk can be found west of Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte. Main entrances can be found across from both Clematis Street and Coverdale Street, with smaller entryways in between.

One way to find this hidden sidewalk is to park at the locally-owned and delicious Abbotts Custard (and be sure to grab a delightful treat before your walk or after!). From Beach Avenue, walk toward the sidewalk entrance just across the street from Clematis St. For directions, click here.

Please keep in mind this path is designated for pedestrians only. This means there are no wheels, roller skates, skateboards, or bikes allowed. It is, however, dog friendly, so visitors can feel free to bring their furry friends along!

When To Visit

The weather of Upstate New York can have a big impact on what a traveler will experience during their time visiting. Summer will, of course, give the best opportunity for great weather and warmth, but also provide a getaway from the heat of the city to enjoy the cool breeze off of the water. On this particular sidewalk, Fall and Spring may provide some gorgeous views of flowers and foliage amongst the quaint backyard gardens. Winter may bring with it some snow and cold, but can also provide a place to enjoy the quiet that winter brings. Visitors may even see some wildlife activity on or near the lake, and perhaps get to enjoy some Christmas lights and decor in this charming town!

Time of day is another factor in when to visit this Secret Sidewalk. This pathway definitely provides a great view of Lake Ontario and, since it is on the southern coast, this makes it an amazing place to watch both the sunrise and the sunset. Travelers can buy a coffee in town or a treat and enjoy it while prancing down this stunning viewpoint!

This hidden sidewalk goes behind the gardens and backyards of some of Rochester's most beautiful homes and highest-selling real estate. Visitors will see the scenic views of these homes along their gorgeous waterfront properties that include sailboats, flowers, gazebos, and an array of birds. Along the path will also be found a statue of the Virgin Mary. It is rumored that a structure nearby once belonged to nuns, but is no longer standing. However, the statue remains, adding charm and mystery to this pleasant path.

Related: When To Visit Upstate New York Based On The Season

When visitors have finished their time on this quaint and inviting sidewalk, they can go into town to enjoy some other amazing views and unique local businesses that Rochester has to offer! Enjoy the Dentzel Menagerie Carousel or check out the Port of Rochester Ferry Building. Support local and eat at Swan Market or The Owl House. If travelers want to experience more of the beauty of Upstate New York, they can head west to Buffalo or east to Syracuse! There are sure to be many other charming surprises and hidden gems along the way.