July is National Park and Recreation month, which makes it the perfect time to grab a picnic basket, some sunscreen and your sturdy shoes and head out to visit your area’s local parks. If you live in Erie County, NY, you have your prime pick of places, says Lynda Marino, Marketing Director for Canterbury Woods Williamsville.
“The Erie County park system is one of the finest in the nation, and in Williamsville itself, we have six local parks within one square mile,” she says. “Summer really is the best time to enjoy them because there’s so much going on, whether it’s sports, swimming, events and more.”
We’ve put together a list of all the parks in the Williamsville area, as well as some standouts in the greater Erie County system. Whether you’re a local, a transplant or are brand new to the area, you’re sure to find a new favorite green spot to make summertime memories.
This park – actually a small island with Ellicott Creek running through it – is located behind Town Hall and is the scene of many favorite Williamsville functions, including Old Home Days, Oktoberfest, the Music in the Park series and Christmas Caroling in the Pines. The park is home to a great playground, barbecue grills and picnic shelters.
Cute and kid-friendly, Garrison Park is equipped with a splash pad, swings, slides and a climbing apparatus. There’s also a large sandbox complete with a plethora of toys to keep little diggers happy and entertained. Adults can unwind and watch the action from the park’s small gazebo.
Located near picturesque Glen Falls, Glen Park is jointly owned by the Village of Williamsville and the Town of Amherst. It was built in 1976 with funds obtained from a federal grant and includes many interconnecting ponds which are now home for many ducks. It’s a popular site for wedding photos, as well as fishing and nature walks. Glen Park is also located near many shops and eateries, making it a place to spend an afternoon.
Lehigh Memory Trail
The newest addition to the Williamsville park system was once a railroad track. Its depot was constructed in 1896 and is only one of three original mainline Lehigh Valley stations that still exist in New York State in their original locations. The Lehigh Memory Trail is a one mile stretch that runs from South Cayuga Road to South Long Street in the Southwest section of the Village. The paved trail is great for riding a bike, walking a dog, rollerblading and or more.
Village Pocket Park
Village Pocket Park is located between Williamsville Village Hall and the Williamsville Library. Formerly a driveway that was used for vehicles to exit onto Main Street, the park now includes seating areas and a variety of garden flowers, especially pollinators. The park’s crowning glory is a 1,700-square-foot mural titled “A Butterfly’s View of the Garden,” created by Buffalo artist Chris Piontkowski. Although it doesn’t take long to walk through this park, it’s a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy a relaxing lunch or meditative moment.
South Long Park
This beautiful park includes a softball diamond that was greatly improved in 2010 in cooperation with the Amherst Girls Softball League, a soccer field with nets supplied via a cooperative agreement with the Amherst Soccer Association, a basketball court, tennis courts, children’s play pieces and a recently installed gazebo.
Parks in Erie County, NY
Once you’ve explored the little gems that Williamsville has to offer, strike out to see some of the other spectacular parks in the region.
Akron Falls in Akron is a perfect place to experience wildlife, bicycle through the woods, fish in the streams and, of course, enjoy the beautiful falls.
Bennett Beach in Angola is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in Erie County, perfect for resting, relaxing and watching the gorgeous sunsets.
Black Rock Canal in Buffalo offers a paved trail that dog-walkers, rollerbladers and strollers will enjoy. Bring your boat – there’s a free boat launch.
Boston Forest in Boston is a 701-acre stretch of undeveloped land that offers hiking and horseback riding in a densely wooded location.
Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park has many great outdoor activities to experience in all seasons. There is an outdoor athletic sports field, family picnic grills and the remote but well-worth-the-hike “Eternal Flame Falls.”
Como Lake in Lancaster boasts that it’s the best family picnic area in the Buffalo area, and contains many different types of wildlife, plants and flowers.
Eighteen Mile Creek in Hamburg is a 466-acre undeveloped park dramatically marked by a 60′ deep gorge cut by Eighteen Mile Creek.
Ellicott Creek in Tonawanda offers a wide variety of activities. Visitors can walk along the creek banks or rollerblade and bicycle along the paved trails, or cross over the footbridge to Ellicott Island Bark Park.
Emery Park in South Wales combines natural beauty and solitude and is a perfect environment for family gatherings.
Franklin Gulf in Eden and North Collins, formerly known as Larkin Woods, provides great outdoor activities to experience in all seasons with wooded ravines, creeks, ledge outcroppings and waterfalls.
Isle View in Tonawanda is a popular destination for anglers year-round due to its location along Niagara River. All sorts of activity is available from rollerblading to boat launch to waterskiing to biking and more.
Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park in Buffalo consists of approximately 15 acres of riparian floodplain located in a heavily urbanized area along the Buffalo River.
Sprague Brook in Glenwood is a park of hidden treasures, filled with hiking trails as well as wildflowers, migratory birds, and deer.
Tow Path in Buffalo offers opportunities for fishing, biking and walking along the Riverwalk Trail.
Wendt Park in Derby holds a panorama of cropped lawns, picnic tables and a playground, making it a great picnic location.
Find Your Fulfillment
Canterbury Woods Williamsville is a Continuing Care Retirement Community like you’ve never seen. Canterbury Woods Williamsville is not only the perfect location for rest and relaxation, thanks to 62 tranquil acres, but there’s also easy access to Buffalo’s urban location. Offering the highest quality independent living lifestyle and security, you’ll be part of a welcoming community consisting of both friends and neighbors while experiencing gracious living, first-class health care and the freedom to create the lifestyle you desire.
Continuum of Care
As a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Canterbury Woods Communities provide a comfortable environment and first-rate services to support every level of need. Assisted living apartments allow Williamsville residents to benefit from additional support while maintaining their independent lifestyle. If skilled nursing, rehabilitation or memory care is ever needed, residents can experience the support they require. They can also enjoy all this and more at our sister community in Buffalo.
Contact us today to discover more about Canterbury Woods Williamsville!