High Falls State Park Design Study

Working with partners at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP), Fisher Associates created the conceptual framework for a new state park in downtown Rochester. The park will establish a significant new greenspace with access to the premier destination of High Falls, serving as a draw for regional tourists and day-to-day visitors from surrounding neighborhoods.

The proposed concept will provide access to portions of the Genesee River and spectacular views of High Falls, which were previously unavailable to the public as large-scale industrial and power generation facilities operated on the site and dominated the viewshed. Both sides of the river will be connected at the lower river level in the gorge. New trail segments will expand the Genesee Riverway Trail network and connect a series of restorative ecologically-focused spaces and active park areas.

The concept will interpret the site’s recovering ecology and its cultural significance as the original power source for the rich legacy of milling that led to the growth of the City of Rochester itself. The creation of High Falls State Park will strengthen the existing Browns Race District as a tourism hub and a catalyst for new development.