F.T. Proctor Park - Though F.T. Proctor Park is the smallest of Utica's Parks and Parkway System at 62 acres, it is considered the "crown jewel" of the city's parks. It was originally designed by Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects as a "country" park, renowned for its open vistas and "borrowed views" as seen from its Grand Entrance, Grand Lawn, Ravine, Lower Meadow, and Upper Field. All of these features remain today, thanks to the restoration and preservation undertaken by the Central New York Conservancy and the City of Utica.
Other features have been added or restored over the years, including the Lily Pond and Bathhouses, Butterfly Garden, and stone staircases. Many of the stone structures in the park were added during the WPA era.
Starch Factory Creek flows through F.T. Proctor Park and during the spring and summer months, it attracts crowds of children who enjoy diving and swimming in its waters.
F.T. Proctor Park contains a number of stately trees. Silver maple, red oaks, Norway maple, red maple, sugar maple, hawthorn, flowering crabapple, catalpa, locust, and spruce may all be seen in the park. Wooded areas of the park contain a vast array of trees, including ash, American beech, linden, witch hazel, hop hornbeam, birches, hemlock, arborvitae, pine, black cherry, and oak. A variety of native shrubs, perennials and both native and non-native grasses may be found in the park's woods and open marshes. The Grand Entrance to the park has spectacular seasonal flowers that have been planted by garden club and Conservancy volunteers.
T.R. Proctor Park - Fredrick Law Olmsted, Jr., and Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects designed T.R. Proctor Park as the "reform park" of the Utica Parks and Parkway System. It was designed as a sanctuary for citizens of the city, where they might engage in organized and spontaneous recreational activities.
Today, sports and recreation opportunities continue to abound in T.R. Proctor Park. This active park contains 2 basketball courts, 4 baseball fields, 2 soccer fields and a running trail. The park is in continual use by local schools, colleges, neighborhood teams and families.
Each September thousands of runners and spectators flock to Proctor Park for the annual E.J. Herrmann Cross Country Invitational. Beginning in 1941, the Herrmann is the second oldest invitational in the State.
Roscoe Conkling Park - Roscoe Conkling Park was the first park developed by the Proctor family. Within its borders are several Utica attractions, including the Parkway Recreation Center, Val Bialis Ski and Sled Center, the Eagle Monument and Picnic Area, Utica Zoo, Valley View Golf Course (designed by Robert Trent Jones), and the South Woods/Switchback multi-use trails.
The Park also contains several different buildings that serve visitors:
The South Woods and Switchback area of the park still retain areas of vegetation much like what early settlers to the region would have seen – ironwood, basswood, viburnum, and other early trees & shrubs.
Addison Miller Park - (York Street and Old Burrstone Road)
Chancellor Park - (Bleecker Street at First Street)
Seymour Park - (Euclid Road and School Road)
Wankel Playground - (Rugby Road and Gilmore Place)
Pixley Playground - (Noyes Street and Mathews Avenue)
Lincoln Playground - (Lincoln Ave and Watson Place)
Hirt Playground - (Corner of Sunset Avenue and Warren Street)
O'Connor Park - (Mohawk Street and Arthur Street)
Quinn Playground - (St. Vincent Street & Rutger Street)
North Utica Park - (Fairwood Drive)
Swimming Lessons are offered Monday-Friday from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Addison Miller Pool. Classes available range from beginner to advanced swimmer levels.
Open Swim at all 3 city pools is available Monday – Saturday 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Val Bialas Ski Center
Since 1954, Val Bialas Recreation Center has offered winter fun to local residents. The ski center is located in Roscoe Conkling Park on Memorial Parkway. The center was named after local 3 time Olympian ice skater Valentine Bialas. This hill is a true asset to the community.
The facility is open on Saturday’s and Sunday’s in the winter months when there is adequate snowfall. Val Bialas offers a rope tow, chairlift, night skiing, ice rink and chalet complete with snack bar. There are 5 trails at different degrees of difficulty as well as a separate sledding hill. In addition to downhill skiing, the winter sports complex offers over 7 miles of groomed cross country trails.
John Mott Tennis Courts
Tennis enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the john Mott Tennis Courts in Roscoe Conkling Park on the Memorial Parkway. Offering 18 courts, one will never have to worry about reserving a spot! Looking to teach your children the fundamentals of the game? The city Youth Bureau offers summer lessons on site. The Mott Tennis Courts have ample parking from the Oneida Street side or the Memorial Parkway.
Parkway Recreation Center
The Edward A. Hanna Recreation center is a multi-purpose recreational facility managed by the City of Utica Youth Bureau. This building contains 2 modified basketball courts, weight training station, exercise equipment, walking track, tennis courts, computer room, conference area, and also contains the Utica Sport Hall of Fame.
To help provide additional services, the Utica Boys & Girls Club and the Parkway Senior Center are housed in the center as well. The Parkway Recreation Center is located at 220 Memorial Parkway in Roscoe Conkling Park. For more information, please call 315-223-4320.
The Utica Zoo is located on the grounds of Utica’s Roscoe Conkling Park. The Zoo features a collection of over 200 animals on 40 acres. It’s newest and most popular addition is the lion exhibit. Throughout the year, Utica Zoo is host to many social events/fundraisers for the entire family and include: Eggstravaganza, Wine in the Wilderness, Brewfest and Spooktacular.
South Woods Trails
This area is located on the southslope of the Mohawk Valley and is almost completely forested. A wide trail meanders through the forest all the way to the top of the slope and provides for an excellent natural experience. The trail is used by runners, walkers, cross country skiers and snowshoers. With many species of birds and routine deer sightings, this is a great place for a family walk!