A little outside of the city of Rochester, New York there is a magical fairy trail that is great for families. Tinker Nature Park has family friendly hiking trails in Rochester, NY that wind through green scenery and woods. As you near the end you enter a magical path that is lined with fairy houses. It is a hidden gem in the Rochester area and is a must visit for anyone visiting the area. Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the magical fairy trails at Tinker Nature Park.
The first time I visited Tinker Nature Park was in 2014 on a field trip with my daughter’s kindergarten class. We were new to the Rochester area and I didn’t realize the park even existed. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a great trail and we ended up visiting again that same year. This year I chaperoned my son’s kindergarten field trip and it was still an amazing hike. Recently they added a fairy trail that has over a dozen fairy houses hidden within tree trunks and tree stumps.
I am not a serious hiker but Tinker Nature Park is the perfect hike for me and the kids. It offers a 1.2 mile hike that passes through a boardwalk surrounded by cotton tails and a pond, a nature center, a Touch Trail where they can touch fur of different animals, a marsh, and the fairy trail. At the end of the hike there is a playground and a pavilion with picnic benches. If you are looking for things to do in Rochester, NY with kids it is a perfect mix of nature and family time.
We always park at the playground. The perimeter trail starts to the right of the parking lot. I like to finish at the playground so the kids have enough energy for the walk. I also like that the nature center offers a nice stop to use the bathroom and cool off a little. It is a little less than half way through the trail. I packed a backpack with waters and granola bars. I did not notice too many bugs along the way but we did wear long pants and used bug spray.
From the perimeter we walked along the boardwalk. It was a beautiful walk today because the cotton tails have grown huge. When I visited in the spring they were much lower and we were able to see the water from the pond. Due to the dry season the pond edge and the marsh were mostly dried up. In the spring the marsh is a great place to spot frogs. After the boardwalk we turned to the left and walked along the Touch Trail that has the interactive boxes. It horseshoes around back to the trail and is not very long.
The nature center was the next spot on our walk. It has a lot of taxidermy animals. They also have a few aquariums of turtles and snakes. This is where we found the nature bingo. (Bring a crayon or pencil along so the kids can do this while you walk.)
We stopped along the benches outside to have a snack and water break. The kids went through our BINGO boards and we got ready to continue our hike. We were really excited to make our way to the fairy trails.
Once we spotted our first fairy doors the kids were so excited to discover them all. We were hoping to spot a fairy but sadly they were out dancing in the garden! Some doors can be opened and have little trinkets in them. Others have pictures or are painted on. Every time there is something new to discover. The trail is so magical. I love walking around and finding something new on every walk.
At the end of the trail we enjoyed our picnic at the playground. The trails are so inspirational. The kids want to make their own fairy houses at home. Have you visited the fairy trails? Spend an entire day checking out the outdoor attractions in Rochester by making a full day of outdoor fun.