At 350 acres, Delaware Park was the largest of the three original parks and was a landscape that Olmsted and Vaux called a “country park”.
Designed: 1868-1870 by Olmsted & Vaux | Location: Bordered by Delaware, Elmwood & Parkside Avenues, Amherst Street, Nottingham Terrace, Rte. 198 & Rumsey Road.
The park was a setting for passive recreation in surroundings that evoked an ideal rural world. A rolling meadow dotted with trees and surrounded by woods formed the eastern portion. “There is no more beautiful picture than that of a beautiful meadow, over which level-armed sheltering trees cast broad shadows,” thought Olmsted. Visitors would find refreshment in simply contemplating its broad expanse of green space, strolling its rolling surface, or spreading a blanket on the ground to enjoy a picnic. Walking paths, a carriage drive, and bridle paths offered other possibilities to commune with nature. West of Delaware Avenue, Olmsted and Vaux created a picturesque lake for boating in summer and skating in winter by damning Scajaquada Creek that flowed through the site.
Although today’s park still offers much in the way of original features, many others have yet to be restored. These include Spire Head House (an exotic gazebo designed by Vaux), a quarry garden, bridle paths, and pedestrian pathways.
Olmsted had predicted that Delaware Park was destined to take a “distinguished position among the parks of the world.” Known as many Buffalonians’ favorite Olmsted park, it is also nationally recognized; it was named one of the Great Places in America by the American Planning Association in 2014 and one of the top 10 parks in the world by The Guardian in 2015.
Explore Hoyt Lake on a row boat! — 2022 SEASON OPENS MAY 27, 2022
Online reservations are highly recommended. Walk ups are allowed at a first-come first-served basis. Wooden rowboats are $10 per 30 minutes or $15 per hour. Each boat can hold 4 to 5 adults. This activity is open every day from noon to 8:00 p.m. (NOTE: Last boat rental at 7:oo p.m.). For most recent opening hours and summer schedule, please click here.
This park activity is managed by the Buffalo Maritime Center. Follow @Hoyt_Lake_Rowboats on Instagram for regular updates or contact Paul Koessler at 716-227-0333.
Self-Guided Mobile Audio Tours
Enjoy your historic Olmsted Parks with the free self-guided mobile audio tours of Delaware Park’s lake, meadow and Japanese Garden. From the Ivy Bridge to the Zoo Paddock, there are several points of interest to learn from.
Delaware Park Audio Tour presented by M&T Bank
Japanese Garden Audio Tour presented by Wegmans
Support Your Parks
Our members are the core of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. With your unrestricted gift to the annual fund, our dedicated team takes care of the 850 acres of Olmsted green spaces in Buffalo. We count on your financial support to keep the Olmsted Parks clean, open spaces where Buffalonians continue to play, exercise and enjoy nature together.
Planning Your Visit
(1) 18 hole Golf Course
(3) Baseball/Softball Diamonds
(6) Football/Soccer/Rugby Fields
(2) Lawn Bowling Courts
(17) Tennis Courts
(4) Basketball Courts
(17) Picnic Tables
(1) Picnic Shelter
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is responsible for the rental of the Parkside Lodge, the fenced picnic area next to the Parkside Lodge, croquet courts in Delaware Park, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park and the Crotty Casino in Cazenovia Park.
The Marcy Casino and Rose Garden in Delaware Park is rented through Magnolia Events.
FINDING YOUR WAY TO THE PARK
Photos of Delaware Park