These Fairy Houses in Tinker Nature Park near Rochester began popping up in 2014 and line a magical little trail in the woods.
by Chris Clemens
In March 2019, the town of Henrietta had the fairy trail at Tinker Nature Park removed. Citing higher than expected foot traffic and vandalism, the Tinker Nature Park volunteers were not able to properly maintain the trail.
In June 2019, the artist that created the trail worked with the Monroe County Parks Department and found a new home for the trail. The Fairy Trail can now be found in Mendon Ponds Park.
Tinker Park Fairy Trail
Tinker Nature Park is somewhat of a ‘living museum’ that sprawls out on 68 acres of land that was donated to the Town of Henrietta in Monroe County by a private resident. It features a nature center with rotating exhibits, a taxidermy collection, beekeeping exhibits, outdoor wildlife watching and a 1.2 mile handicapped accessible trail that has physical fitness stations located throughout. On the property there is the Tinker Homestead Museum in a historic cobblestone house. There is an outdoor meditation maze, boardwalk with seating and all kinds of special events geared toward learning about nature and conservancy for all ages. It’s a really great space to visit any time of year.
And, that’s probably why a band of fairies decided to move in during the fall of 2014.
Somewhere around that time, small doors and miniature homesteads began popping up on a certain section of the walking trail. With the human artists who’ve helped install the happy homes remaining anonymous, visitors are invited to wonder at just exactly who calls each one home and exactly how they got there.
The village is made up of a range of fairy homes from a simple door on a tree trunk, to more elaborate dwellings with ladders and swings. Some are awfully low to the ground, which seems more suitable for trolls, and some were well above my head, assuming a winged-creature would have no problem gaining access.
I’ve seen reports that there are 21 total, but I was only able to find 20–which is quite a neighborhood of nymphs! If ‘fairy villages’ is your thing, you’ll definitely want to make the hike out to Lily Dale in the summer months where the sprite population has hundreds of dwellings!
Sources and Additional Reading
Chris Clemens is the Founder/Publisher of Exploring Upstate. From his hometown in Rochester, he spends as much time as possible connecting with the history, culture, and places that make Upstate New York a land of discovery. Follow him on Twitter at @cpclemens