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November 2, 2010

Corbett’s Glen

Filed under: Fall,Parks — Judy @ 6:19 pm

About a week ago, one of my sisters and I visited Corbett’s Glen again. It’s a beautiful area near where my grandmother used to live and we both remember following the old trolley bed behind her house with our Dad to the Glen. This, of course, was way before the trolley line became an expressway! While we were there, a train went by and brought more memories of waking up in the night to the trains rumbling by her house on the railway embankment.

Corbett's Glen sign

Corbett’s Glen is an 18 acre hollow along Allens Creek (note: there is no apostrophe in Allens) which is now, after much inertia and politicking and pressure from developers, part of a larger 52 acre tract in the Allens Creek Valley under the umbrella of “Corbett’s Glen Nature Park.” Located just outside of Rochester, NY, in the towns of Brighton and Penfield, this valley is of environmental and historical importance.

Environment: “The Glen is surrounded on three sides by sandy ridges deposited as the glaciers that once covered the area melted and receded. It has wonderful waterfalls and features a variety of habitats, including a marsh, open fields, and mature woodlands on the surrounding hills forming the valley. Remnants of its previously forested state are located on the higher elevations of the Glen, where some oaks are estimated to be over 150 years old.”

History: “A major foot trail of the Seneca people traversed the valley, and a sacred burial site was documented in the 1800s. Sixteenth-century traders established ties with local natives at nearby Indian Landing long before Rochester was founded. In the 19th century, European settlers farmed the fertile valley lands and constructed mills to harness the manageable power of Allens Creek. The Glen is also the previous home to a pre-Civil War powder mill. It has been reported that powder from this mill was carted as far as Lockport and used to blast out larger locks when the Erie Canal was being enlarged.”

That embankment that I mentioned above was built in 1882 and crosses over Allens Creek in Corbett’s Glen by way of a vaulted arch bridge, probably the largest in upstate New York. The south entrance to the park is under this historic overpass and you feel like you are entering a secret world once you walk through.

Railroad overpass

The stone for the arch was quarried from bedrock at the edge of the Glen and you can still see square blocks lying in the creek with traces of the quarrying on the banks.


There are two miles of well-maintained trails through the park passing through all manner of habitat along Allens Creek. Check out these twin twisted vines we saw!

Twisty vines

This little pool at the base of Postcard Falls probably has some nice trout hanging around in it.


Postcard Falls is very pretty and was probably named that because it was used on postcards sent from Rochester back in the day. Apparently, the Glen was a popular private park and picnic site back in the late 1800s – early 1900s.

Postcard Falls

The day that we visited was cloudy and a little cool, but the fall colors warmed things up.

Allens Creek

Corbett’s Glen is a jewel and we will be visiting again soon. You can find more information here:
Genesee Land Trust
Allens Creek/Corbett’s Glen Preservation Group
Town of Brighton info
More pictures and info here from Upstate NY Waterfalls

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