Elevation Gain
126.00 ft (38.40 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
4.25 mi (6.84 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Upon first glance, Rochester, New York, appears unremarkable. Don't be fooled. For the outdoor community, the number of easily accessible trails stuffed and hidden around the region's various pockets of parks and forests is a huge attraction. Webster's Whiting Road Nature Preserve is one of these. Maintained to the highest standards by the Friends of Webster Trails, you can rely on easy wayfinding and healthy trails. 

Whiting Road Nature Preserve is situated a few hundred yards off of Ontario Lake (yes, a Great Lake), but you don't see it much due to the forests. The color-coded trail network offers choices on mileage, difficulty level, and ecosystems. Meadows, forests, and wetlands predominate. 

On any given winter day, expect to cross paths with Nordic skiers, fat tire mountain bikers, snowshoers, runners, hikers, a few deer, the occasional turkey, and possibly, an elusive owl or fox.

It's a fantastic place for winter trail running. The hills will challenge you aerobically and strengthen your muscles. It's a great fitness workout to keep you in shape for your other winter athletic endeavors. In winter, microspikes are recommended as there can be a lot of icy roots and slippery spots under the snow near the wetland areas. Plus it gives you that extra traction for confidently opening up your stride on the downhill.

From the parking lot, there are two trailheads, both leading to the blue trail. Start out to the trail entrance on your right (north) end of the parking lot. The wide flat path starts in the woods and takes you around a large meadow. Follow this for 0.3 mile. At the first junction, turn right onto the brown trail. The path narrows up a bit and takes you away from the meadow. Follow this for 0.4 mile.

The next junction is one of two spots where the brown trail meets up with the green trail. Turn right onto the green trail at this first junction. To the uninitiated, the green trail can be a bit confusing. This is only because it's a loop with a there-and-back extension. Even the loop is not entirely green and uses portions of the brown and red trails to complete it. But no need to be complicated: Just follow the green trail.

Soon you will come to a trail intersection with all green options. Just go straight. You've now entered the there-and-back portion of the green trail. The end of this singletrack trail takes you up a small, gentle slope. On top, you can see Lake Ontario. Granted, you're sharing the view with a couple of houses and some electric lines, but it's always neat to see a Great Lake. Go back the way you came. This section is about a half-mile.

This time, when you get to the green junction, go to the right. Now you're on the green loop portion. Follow this 0.8-mile rambling singletrack through wetlands, over bridges, and small hills. When you get to the next trail junction, turn right on red. This portion gives you a lot of roots (run mindfully) and some up and down portions to remind you that you are indeed in the middle of a workout. It's about a mile long.

At the next section, turn right (another right!) onto the orange trail. This portion is pretty mellow and flat and sweeps you around a different meadow. Stay on the orange trail (about 1.2 miles) until you get to an intersection that is the meeting point of yellow, orange, and blue. Turn right on blue for about 0.15 mile back to the parking lot.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Summer
Fall
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Interesting trails. Easy accessibility. Good workout. Well maintained.

Cons

Sometimes busy. Can get muddy.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

190.00 ft (57.91 m)

Highest point

274.00 ft (83.52 m)

Net Elevation Gain

84.00 ft (25.60 m)

Features

Family friendly
Wildlife
Near lake or river
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Snowmobiles allowed

No

Location

Field Guide

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