On my way up to Michigan, I made a pit stop in Rochester, NY where I easily climbed into what is known as the Rochester Subway tunnel.
The Rochester Subway is actually a series of tunnels in Rochester made originally for underground (or below street level) trolley service. Service for Rochester’s “Subway” opened in 1927 and was only in operation until 1956.
The easiest way to get into the Rochester Subway is via the small park in front of the Blue Cross Facility and directly across the river from Dinosaur BBQ on Court Street. It’s almost as if the city of Rochester welcomes you into the abandoned tunnel because the park adjacent to the tunnel entrance has a ramp that leads right up to one of the openings. There’s no gate and no security and virtually no dangers as far as my senses could tell me. So I jumped in.
The tunnel you see above and in the gallery link below is underneath the W Broad Street roadway. The tunnel sits in a rather nice looking part of Rochester and doesn’t necessarily stick out as an eye-sore because of the fact that it’s completely covered by an active road above. The tunnel extends both East and West of this entrance location but the West end is closed off. If you head East however, the tunnel curves underneath the Rochester Public Library and then continues on (however, I did not venture this far in so I cannot tell you which way it goes from there).
Like many abandoned tunnels, the Rochester Subway is filled with graffiti. The pathway is surprisingly clean and it looks like maintenance or clean-up crews have been in here more than once in the recent past so I guess it’s not completely abandoned. It was nice to be in there and because of the relative small size of the subway system remaining, the exploring was short and sweet.
If you plan on going in, beware of the numerous birds that nest in the tunnel. Wear a hat or be prepared to be poo’d on.
Click below to check out a gallery of photos from the Rochester Subway.