Flower City Looking Good Series -- Outdoor Wellness Activities

Get Moving with Flower City Looking Good 

The annual Flower City Looking Good series offers many opportunities to get fit and be fascinated around Rochester's neighborhoods and natural areas.

Explore nature and the city’s amazing historic parks and neighborhoods by bike, on foot or in canoes by participating in MVP Health Care Tuesday and Thursday Nature Nights, and more! Walks, jogs and rides are leisurely with slight grade changes, mostly on paths or sidewalks. Call 428-6770 for more information. Read on for the (very) full schedule!  


MVP Health Care Tuesday Night Guided Bicycle Tours  MVP-logo-5-14 

 Tuesdays, June 2-August 25, 6 p.m. 

These guided bike rides are designed to appreciate how the land and waters were before the city was founded, and to revisit the natural and built environments of 1835 Rochester. Cancellations due to weather will be made at start time on site. All rides begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. Helmets required for bike rides. Cancellations due to weather will be made at start time at the site of the ride.

For more information, call 428-8820.

 June 2. High Falls Neighborhood. Meet at the Pont de Rennes Bridge, behind the Centers at High Falls. Travel along the Genesee Riverway Trail and by road into the community. Ride through downtown Rochester, Genesee Valley Park, the Corn Hill neighborhood and Susan B. Anthony neighborhood which contains the Frederick Douglass Resource Center site. A 10-mile ride on flat terrain, city roads, and paved trails. This ride is offered again during River Romance Weekend in October.

 June 9. Genesee Valley Park Neighborhood. Meet at the Genesee Valley Park pool parking lot, 131 Elmwood Avenue. Bike on the Erie CanalGenesee Riverway Trail, Lehigh Valley North, and Genesee Valley Greenway Trails. A 12.5-mile ride on flat terrain, paved and unpaved trails. 

 June 16. South Wedge Neighborhood. Meet at the Genesee Valley Park pool parking lot, 131 Elmwood Ave. Bike on the Genesee Riverway Trail and on the bicycle lane on South Ave. in the Wedge, a neighborhood which is enjoying a rebirth with new housing and businesses. An 11-mile ride on paved trails and city roads.

June 23. Durand Eastman Park and Seabreeze. Meet at Summerville Genesee River parking lot at the end of St. Paul Street. Enjoy the beauty of Durand Eastman Beach, Durand Eastman Park and the Seabreeze neighborhood. A 10.5-mile ride on paved trails and city roads, one hill climb.

June 30. Seneca and Turning Point Parks. Meet at the Seneca Park Zoo parking lot. We cross over to the west side of the Genesee River to ride on the Genesee Riverway Trail north to the Port of Rochester. Spectacular views of the river gorge. Ride on the 4,000 foot boardwalk in Turning Point basin, and under the O'Rorke Bridge. A 12-mile ride on a paved trails with a few moderate hills. This ride is offered again during River Romance Weekend in October.

 July 7. University Ave. Neighborhood of the Arts. Begin at the Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St. Ride along University Ave. to view sidewalk art and enjoy the George Eastman House gardens. A 10-mile ride on flat terrain and city roads. 

July 21. Park Avenue Neighborhood. Meet at  the University Ave. Business Center, 1044 University Ave. Ride along East Ave. to view the beautiful mansions, then through the Cobb's Hill neighborhood. A 10-mile ride on city roads. 

July 28. Charlotte Neighborhood and Lake Ontario State Parkway Trail. Meet at the Abbott’s Charlotte parking lot by Estes St. Great views of Lake Ontario and the ponds along Edgemere Dr. We will walk a short distance along the Lake Ontario beachfront "Secret Sidewalk" in front of beautiful lakeside homes. A 13.6-mile ride on paved trails and roads.

August 11. Corn Hill Neighborhood. Meet at the Genesee Valley Park pool parking lot, 131 Elmwood Ave. Bike on the Genesee Riverway Trail and explore the Corn Hill neighborhood to view the many historic and stately homes. A 10-mile ride on paved trails and city roads.

August 18. Maplewood Neighborhood. Meet at the Rose Garden parking lot, at the corner of Lake & Driving Park Aves. Ride on the Genesee Riverway Trail through Seneca Park. See the stately homes on Seneca Parkway, closeup views of the Lower Falls and the Genesee River Gorge. Ride the El Camino Trail and over the Rochester Gas & Electric Middle Falls Dam Trail Bridge. A 9-mile ride on paved trails and city roads with a few moderate hills.

August 25. Erie Canal Genesee Valley Park to Brighton Town Park. Meet at the Genesee Valley Park pool parking lot, 131 Elmwood Ave.map Bike on the Genesee Riverway Trail and the Erie Canal Trail east to Brighton Town Park. View the University of Rochester Campus, Empire State College Campus and Genesee Valley Park. An 8.5-mile ride on paved trails

Other Bike Events

 May is National Bike Month!
Hop on your bike, enjoy the smell of fresh air and lilacs, and experience the freedom of exploring our community on two wheels. The City of Rochester will
help to launch the 2015 summer biking season with Bike Week. Highlights include:

Ride It: Art and Bicycles in Rochester.
The Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo), 137 East Ave., map presents a diverse exploration of bicycle culture, history, advocacy and creativity in the Rochester Region including photography, graphic artworks, paintings, historical displays and short films.

  • First Friday Ride It Reception
    Friday, May 1, 6-10 p.m.
  • Bicycle Tour of Public Art
    Sunday, May 3, 1 p.m. Meet at RoCo.

 Bike to the Rochester Public Market.
Saturday, May 2, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Show your helmet at the table near the covered bike parking area to receive a free market bag and be entered into a raffle. 
The 3rd Annual Rochester Bicycle Film Festival.
Two evenings of film in conjunction with RoCo’s Ride It exhibition.  For more information, visit www.facebook.com/rochesterbikefilm.

  • Breaking Away. Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m.
    Cinema Theatre, 957 S. Clinton Ave. 
  • The Triplets of Belville. Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m.
    The Little Theatre, 240 East Ave.

Ride for Missing Children.
Friday, May 15. Check-in at 6:45 a.m.; Ride begins at 8:00 a.m.
Meet at Total Sports Experience, 435 Commercial St., East Rochester. 
For complete information, visit ride.missingkids.com/rochester/details 

Bike Safety at the Rochester Public Market.
Saturday, May 16 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Learn about bike safety and enter to win a free bike helmet.

Bike to the Food Truck Rodeo.
Wednesday, May 27, 5-9 p.m. 

MVP Health Care Thursday Night History and Nature Hikes

 June 4-August 20, 6 p.m.

TheseThursday Evening Walks highlight the historical and natural wonders of the City of Rochester.

 June 4. Washington Square Park Meet at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, 181 S. Clinton Ave. Learn about this monument and visit the nearby St. Mary’s and First Universalist churches. Geva Theatre, which was formerly an armory and convention center, is at the south end of the park.

June 11. Washington Grove.
Meet at the top of Reservoir Rd. off Highland Ave. by the pines. Learn about Washington Grove’s old growth forest, its underlying geology, and the restoration projects underway to preserve its majestic appearance.

June 18. Lower and Middle Falls. Meet in upper Maplewood Park near the Rose Garden (opposite the Maplewood YMCA on Driving Park). Explore both Upper and Lower Falls, and learn about the history of the forgotten sites of Carthage and McCrackenville.

June 25. Historic Genesee Valley Park Meet in the south end of the park at the dead end of Hawthorne Dr., close to the East River Rd. entrance. Genesee Valley Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and is the junction of a multitude of trails, bike paths and waterways.

July 9. The Rochester Aqueduct.  Meet on the steps of the Rundel Public Library building, 115 South Ave. Learn about the aqueduct, the Genesee River in the Downtown area and visit the site of Ebenezer Allan’s 1789 mill.

 July 16. The One Hundred Acre Plot. Meet on the NE corner of Broad and Exchange Sts. at the west end of the Rochester Aqueduct. Rochester sprang from this 100 acre plot. Learn the history of this plot, and the significance of the architecture of this area.

 July 23. El Camino Trail. Meet at the corner of Clifford Ave. and Conkey Ave. for a hike to the Seneca Park Zoo and back. This urban trail, initiated by the Genesee Land Trust, follows the former railroad bed through residential and commercial districts.

 July 30. Washington Grove.  Meet at the top of Reservoir Rd. off Highland Ave. by the pines. Learn how invasive plants, insects and climate change may impact our area forests and how the City and Friends of Washington Grove are working to protect and preserve the unique landscape of the grove.

 August 6. Corn Hill. Meet at Ralph Avery Mall located at the intersection of Frederick Douglass St. and Adams St. Explore the early days of the Corn Hill Arts Festival and the rejuvenation of the Old Third Ward.

 August 13. Mt. Hope Cemetery. Meet at the Cemetery Office at South Entrance, Mount Hope Ave. opposite the Distillery Restaurant. Explore the oldest municipally-maintained Victorian cemetery in the United States, including stops at many grave sites of prominent Rochesterians. Please be prepared for hilly terrain.

 August 20. Downtown Heritage Trail. Meet on the north terrace outside the Central Library’s Rundel Memorial Building, on the corner of Broad St. and South Ave. Explore the Rochester Heritage Trail, from the Genesee River west to the Susan B. Anthony Historic District

Activities on the Water

Adult Rowing Classes at the Genesee Waterways Center (GWC). Monday-Saturday, Beginning April 14. Headquartered at 149 Elmwood Ave., in Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee Waterways Center is the gateway to outdoor activities on or near the water in Western New York. GWC is a not-for-profit organization that promotes paddling, rowing and sculling, and related outdoor activities. The Center offers top-notch instructors and growing facilities, extensive rental equipment for canoeing and kayaking, and more. Programs are open to anyone 18 and over. On–the-water sweep and sculling programs for beginners, recreational, intermediate and competitive athletes are held throughout the spring, summer and fall. Join the hundreds of people who row with Genesee Waterways Center. For more information, visit www.geneseewaterways.org.

Kayak and canoe rentals open for the season at the Genesee Waterways Center. Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 23. For more information, visit www.geneseewaterways.org.

Annual National Learn to Row Day. Saturday, June 6, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Adults and kids ages 14 and older are invited to come out and experience the joy of rowing, at the Pittsford Indoor Rowing Center, 2780 Clover St. and the Genesee Waterways Center, 149 Elmwood Ave. Brought to you by the Genesee Waterways Center and sponsored by USRowing and Concept2. For more information, visit www.geneseewaterways.org.

Youth Whitewater Kayaking Clinics. Monday-Friday, beginning June 29. 
The Genesee Waterways Center Lock 32 Whitewater Park, 2797 Clover St. Summer clinics teach kids and teens to excel in one of the fastest growing water sports in the country. For more information, visit www.geneseewaterways.org.

Annual Armond Bassett Canoe and Kayak Race. Saturday, August 8. New York Marathon Canoe Racing, Inc. is an association of canoe racers, and race organizers that exists to improve and increase the activity of marathon canoe & kayak racing. Open to the public. Register at www.geneseewaterways.org.

Annual GWC Lockapalooza. Saturday, August 15. The Genesee Waterways Center Lock 32 Whitewater Course, 2797 Clover St. Free kayaking instruction for participants, organized races and freestyle competition. For more information, call 328-3960 or visit www.lockapalooza.com.

18th Annual Rochester River Challenge. Saturday, September 19. Genesee Waterways Center, 149 Elmwood Ave. in Genesee Valley Park.
This inclusive community and Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports event celebrates the sport of outrigger canoeing. It is a full-day affair attracting paddlers to the Genesee River to compete in 400m sprint races. Team up with family, friends, or co-workers for this unique and fun day on the Genesee River! This event is run by a local nonprofit organization, Cape Ability Outrigger Ohana, which specializes in providing outrigger canoeing opportunities for individuals of all abilities. For more information or to register visit www.adaptivecanoeing.org.

The Head of the Genesee Regatta. October 3-4. This two-day event offers rowing and sculling races for scholastic, collegiate, Masters and corporate crews. The regatta coincides with the City of Rochester’s River Romance Weekend. Spectators welcomed. For more information, visit www.geneseewaterways.org

Rochester River Romance: Celebrating our Love Affair with the Genesee River. Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4. Join this community-wide love affair as we focus the community spotlight on the Genesee River. An entire weekend is dedicated to the beauty and majesty of Rochester’s Genesee River during peak autumn foliage season.
Renew your vows on the Pont de Rennes Bridge in High Falls Historic District. Explore by foot, bike or water, the beauty and historical importance of the Genesee Riverway Trail. Pick up your River Romance Passport for discounts at local restaurants and businesses. Take a romantic cruise on the Mary Jemison or the paddle-wheeled Harbor town Belle. Fish for salmon below the Lower Falls, climb the tower of an 1822 vintage lighthouse. Watch amateurs and high school students compete in the Head of the Genesee Invitational Regatta—whatever floats your boat!

A myriad of opportunities will be offered by the City in partnership with numerous collaborators. The weekend includes more than 40 separate events including historic walking tours, bicycle treks, boat rides and races, nature walks, concerts and lakeside family fun
plus horticultural workshops and festivities all along the river corridor. Look for the full brochure of the full River Romance schedule in September.