From fishing, to hiking, to the playground, nature center, fairy trail and birds of prey facility, Mendon Ponds Park can supply a full day of fun! There is plenty to do and unlimited opportunities to connect with nature in all seasons. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day.
Note: Mendon Ponds Park is very large and many of the attractions listed below are separated by driving distance. Read each description for directions. Dogs are not allowed on the fairy trail and in the Wild Wings areas.
27 Pond Rd, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472
Take Me There
Kristin Bergholtz of Canalside Speech has provided two FREE worksheets to be used at Wild Wings Bird of Prey Facility and the Nature Center. Each worksheet provides ideas to build speech and language during your visit:
The Nature Center
The Nature Center was renovated in November 2020 and completely taken over by Wild Wings Inc. It is located at 27 Pond Rd, Honeoye Falls. The space is beautiful and makes for a wonderful educational stop! There are shelves lined with microscopes, binoculars and books as well as a coloring station, puzzle station and please touch station!
There are also live animals including small snakes, tortoise, tarantula and hissing cockroach. You will also see a hallway in the back for nocturnal animals including flying squirrels and opossums. The staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. It is free to enter the Nature Center but donations are heavily encouraged as Wild Wings is a not-for-profit organization. A year round bathroom can be found here on the outside of the building.
The Bird of Prey Facility
This facility houses and cares for permanently injured, non-releasable birds (and some mammals). They are open to the public every day (except Wednesdays & Thursdays) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You walk through a small gift shop building to enter the outdoor enclosures. You can visit the Wild Wings website or contact them at 585-334-7790 for more information. This is a great spot in Rochester to see some animals! The Bird of Prey Facility is located right next to the above mentioned Nature Center.
The Fairy Trail
There are many hiking options within this park but the Fairy Trail is by far the most popular amongst the little ones. It is on flat terrain and jogger stroller friendly. The Fairy Trail trailhead is in the back corner opposite of Wild Wings. Use the address above or “Wild Wings” in your GPS to get to the Fairy Trail, Nature Center and Birds of Prey Facility. You will see a sign for the Birdsong Fairy Trail in the southeast corner of the woodline. The Fairy Houses end about 1/4 mile into the trail. A Little Free Library can be found near the beginning. When you reach the end, you can turn around to see the houses for a second time or turn left to loop back to the parking lot. The entire loop is about 1/2 mile. Note, dogs are not allowed on this trail or in the Nature Center and Birds of Prey Facility area.
Fairy houses aren’t the only thing you will see here! If you pack some bird seed or purchase some from the Nature Center during open hours, you may get the opportunity to feed the birds from your hands! At the very least you will catch glimpses of song birds and hear them as you walk down the peaceful path. The birds tend to be most active just beyond the last fairy house on the trail (near the owl shed of the loop back to the parking lot) but we also had success by the first bench on the trail. Getting a bird to eat from your hand is more likely in the winter months and with children that can stay still for a couple of minutes! Good luck!
A small natural play area can be found in front of the Birdsong Fairy Trail and a short walk from the Nature Center and Birds of Prey Facility. There are log tunnels and stairs amongst some wide open space. If you explore further past the birdsong fairy trail, some truly natural playgrounds can be found amongst the fallen trees.
The playground is off of Douglas Rd. by the Hundred Acre Pond. It has a spring car, typical swings, baby swings and fun train structure. There are two separate structures for the young and old. There is a seasonal restrooms here as well as a big pond to explore just over the hill.
There are many trails at Mendon Ponds Park! Check the Trail Map for descriptions on each. Pictured below is Devil’s Bathtub featuring pond views, boardwalk and stairs. You can use “Devil’s Bathtub” in the gps to find the trailhead! After the hike, check for ticks!
Two designated sledding hills can be found at Mendon Ponds. One (pictured below) is located near Stewart Lodge and the Playground off of Douglas Road. Another is located next to the East and West Lodges on Canfield Road. This one near Steward Lodge is great for all ages as there are several hills to choose from. The main path is long and thrilling and oh so fun! What makes this hill unique is that it is located in a valley. Therefore the trek back is a bit easier!
“Mendon Ponds Park has six lodges and seven open air shelters. The six enclosed lodges come with picnic tables, 4-burner stove tops, a wood burning stove, a grill and water/bathrooms outside nearby. The Cobblestone House has a refrigerator and an oven plus indoor bathrooms, and the Stewart Lodge has a refrigerator. The open-air shelters have picnic tables, grills, and bathrooms nearby. For information and reservations please call 585 753-PARK (7275) or go to our Online Lodge & Shelter Reservation System.“