Highland Park is a 150 acre park in Rochester, New York. According to Monroecounty.gov, “In addition to over 1200 lilac shrubs, the park boasts a Japanese Maple collection, 35 varieties of sweet-smelling magnolias, a barberry collection, a rock garden with dwarf evergreens, 700 varieties of rhododendron, azaleas, mountain laurel and andromeda, horse chestnuts, spring bulbs and wildflowers and a large number of trees. The park’s pansy bed features 10,000 plants, designed into an oval floral “carpet” with a new pattern each year” (monroecounty.gov, 2013).
The park is the site of Rochester’s annual Lilac Festival. This festival occurs every May, and visitors come from all over the world to attend. The lilac collection was started in 1892.
Highland Park is called a “tree garden”. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1880’s. The park occupies most of a glacial moraine. There is a natural amphitheater inside the park along with a castle, a sunken garden, and a greenhouse or conservatory. There is a statue of Frederick Douglass overlooking the amphitheather. Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838 and became a leader of the abolitionist movement. I remember writing a book report on Frederick Douglass in grammar school!
Highland Park is a beautiful place to visit, and with its many hills and valleys you get a great workout walking through it. Included here are some photos taken in the park last week. I only managed to see some of the sights available and plan to return soon.
One of my favorite parts of the park was Warner Castle. Built by Horatio Gates Warner in 1854 as a private residence, today it houses the Rochester Civic Garden Center and can be rented out for parties and events. The sunken garden behind the castle is available for wedding photographs. I saw it during the off-season, but I understand it’s beautiful in bloom.