Persimmon – The Other Neighborhood Park

Sitting area in Persimmon Park

One of the nicest things about having an apartment or townhouse at Elmwood Manor is how close we are to Highland Park. While it’s a wonderful park and home to Rochester’s annual Lilac Festival, it’s not the only nearby option. If you take Highland Avenue toward South Clinton, just before you get to the corner, Persimmon Park will be on your right. While it’s walkable, there are also few parking spots on Eldridge Avenue – a side street just before South Clinton.

About the ParkSign at the entrance to Persimmon Park

Persimmon Park is operated by the Town of Brighton and covers 10 acres. While it’s mostly wooded, there is a sitting area near the main entrance. Since the park has few amenities, you should think of it as a great place to take a walk and enjoy nature.

Persimmon Park was created on land that had been acquired by the State of New York for an expressway that would have connected Interstate 390 directly with downtown Rochester. The project never happened and the land was converted into a park. Part of the property had historic homes on it and you can still find remnants of their stone foundations in the woods.

Persimmon Trees and FruitPersimmon fruit on the tree

The park is named for the beautiful persimmon trees that grow there. While not a commonly consumed fruit in the U.S., persimmons are known for their glossy red-orange skin. They can be eaten fresh, like an apple. But in Asia where they’re more popular, they are often dried and eaten as a snack or used in desserts.

The persimmon tree is easy to identify based on its bark. It forms thick square blocks that resemble alligator skin. The strong and resilient wood is prized for making billiard cues and golf club heads. In fall, the trees’ leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow and orange.

Now that fall is upon us, you might want to get out of your apartment and enjoy a nature walk. Why not take a blanket, lunch and a good book with you? And if you typically go to Highland Park, try Persimmon Park. At this point in the year, the lilacs of Highland are long gone, but the persimmon fruit in Persimmon Park is ripe.