When you enter Mendon Ponds Park, the enormity of the park hits you, along with the rich sounds of nature – even in winter – and its rolling, lush landscape. By winter, it’s a marshmallow world, by summer, a land of emerald forests, deep ponds and grassy meadows.
Mendon Ponds Park is a glacially-carved landform of ponds, woodlands and wetlands straddling some 2500 acres across the towns of both Pittsford and Mendon. This year-round recreational playground offers local residents and visitors a wide variety of activities… biking, birdwatching, non-motorized boating, camping, cross-country skiing, fishing (for those 16 years or older who have a fishing license), geo-caching, hiking and running, kayaking and canoeing, orienteering, sledding and snowshoeing. There are also lodges and shelters for rent, picnic areas, multi-use athletic fields and children’s playgrounds.
The Park has been a National Natural Historic Landmark since 1969 and there is a 550 acre nature preserve, as well as 30 miles of self guided trails full of wildlife. Because it is part of a preserve, the chickadee population there does not feel threatened by humans and will eat out of your hand! Laurie Kash, who generously allowed me to use her video clip shown here, shares, “I go for long walks all year round in Mendon Ponds Park and the Chickadees follow everyone – but I feel they know me in particular.”
Mendon Ponds Park has two very special features seldom found elsewhere….
Wild Wings is a not-for-profit educational organization that is home to a variety of permanently injured birds of prey (raptors), which are unable to survive on their own in the wild. Because of their fragile hollow bone structure, raptors often fall victim to accidents that leave them with serious injuries. Volunteers at Wild Wings care for a variety of owls, several Mississippi Kites, a golden eagle, a bald eagle, several hawks,a turkey vulture, a pergrine falcon and even a bobcat mascot named Tara. I was sad to learn that one of my favorites, a golden eagle named Zeus, passed away last year at the age of 17. It’s amazing how you can get attached to these wondrous creatures when you visit. Wild Wings, including its Cottage Store, is open to the public every day except Wednesday and Thursday from 10 AM to 2 PM.
Sharon’s Sensory Garden is the second unique facilities within the park. It was created to provide persons with visual or physical disabilities a greater opportunity to enjoy nature and the outdoors through interactions with plants selected specifically for their diversity of color, texture, fragrances, and form. The flowerbeds are raised and pathways through the garden are graded to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs. Plant listings and labels are in Braille and raised lettering.
Both Wild Wings and Sharon’s Sensory Garden are located adjacent to the Nature Center off Williams Road. Click here for a
From April 1 until October 31, Mendon Ponds Park is open everyday from 7 AM to 11 PM. Lodges and shelters are available to rent from 10:00 AM. From November 1 until March 31, Monday through Thursday the park is open 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m and Lodges are available at 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. From Friday through Sunday, it’s open from 7:00 AM until 11:00 PM and lodges are available from 10 AM – 10:30 PM.
P.S. Pets are allowed in this park, on leash, but they are not allowed at the nature center, Wild Wings or Sharon’s Sensory Garden.
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