The Genesee County Park & Forest, known just the “County Park” by locals, is often overlooked because of its location in the more rural Southern part of our county. However, my daily commute consists of traveling past the County Park and therefore I think about it often. My family is active and enjoys getting outdoors and the County Park is the perfect spot to engage in a variety of activities, especially as the weather turns colder.
Regardless of the season, visitors can take part in many of the parks versatile offerings including picnicking at one of their many convenient sites, hiking, walking and running on their miles of wooded trails well-marked for easy navigating as well as scenic cycling on the in-park road. The park is also the perfect spot for bird watching and observing fall foliage. Sledding on one of the two toboggan hills, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are also great activities to try at the park once the snow flies.
As a native of the area I’ve had many memorable experiences at the park and still enjoy visiting every once in a while. I have wonderful childhood memories of sledding down toboggan hill #1 and inevitably hitting a snow ramp built by one of the more adventurous visitors. I’ve also experienced many an impromptu tailgate style picnic with small groups of friends, spending hours charcoal grilling at one of the parks many convenient yet scenic picnic spots.
Nowadays, I enjoy the occasional family reunion, birthday party, or graduation party held at one of the eighteen pavilions available for rent. With on-site fireplaces, grills, electricity, running water and restrooms; the pavilions are a great spot for a casual group gathering that offers visitors the chance to socialize in the great outdoors. This coming winter, I plan to take part in the guided night hike which includes a short snowshoeing expedition followed by refreshments around a fire. Despite the multitude of offerings, the park still strikes the perfect balance of activity and scenic tranquility. It’s a great place to spend a day for people of all ages and I encourage you to stop by this often forgotten gem in Genesee County…maybe I’ll see you there!
Genesee County Park & Forest consists of 431 acres of varied terrain including dense forest, wetlands, and open rolling hills. Three convenient entrances allow for easy access off of Bethany Center Road or Raymond Road. The on-site Interpretive Center offers environmental information, park history, interactive educational displays and meeting space for medium sized groups. The center is located inside the park off the entrance at 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany, NY 14054. Open daily from 9am to 9pm in the summer and 9am to 5pm in the winter.
For more information visit the park website athttp://www.co.genesee.ny.us/dpt/parks or call 585-344-1122 for program schedules.