Channing H Philbrick Park was previously know as, and is sometimes still referred to as, Linear Park. Some call it simply Philbrick Park. Whatever you prefer to call it, there is no denying this is a fantastic and powerful Penfield landscape!
Irondequoit Creek passes through 3 Monroe County Parks, from its origin just outside Powder Mills Park, then through Ellison Park and Lucien Morin Park on its way to Irondequoit Bay. Along the way it picks up more water from tributaries like Thomas Creek, Mill Creek, and Allen’s Creek.
As Irondequoit Creek passes through Channing H Philbrick Park, it drops 90 feet over one mile giving us the cascades that make this park so special. It has everything the perfect park should have: a fast-flowing creek, waterfalls, cascades, and rapids, opportunities for fishing and cooling off in the hot summer months, a pavilion, a playground, picnic tables, and trails that connect them all together.
The parking lot is on Linear Park Dr. making it the perfect dividing line for exploring just the east side or west side of the park. There are about 1.5 miles of trails in the park, so each trail is relatively short.
The Irondequoit Creek Trail runs through the length of the park, and continues outside park boundaries. It crosses through the main parking lots. The trails on the east side of the park include the Honey Creek Trail and Mills Trail, and on the west side is the Fishing Trail.
The Mills Trail
This trail is a short loop leading down to the main cascades. There is an accessible viewing platform here. If mobility is a concern, you can also access this area from N. Washington St. Automobiles are not allowed to cross the bridge, pedestrians only.
20 Monroe County Parks
Irondequoit Creek Trail
The trail consists of narrow, dirt paths that are fairly easy to walk. It crosses over several boardwalks and wooden bridges along the way. The creek is usually in sight, and the tree canopy and ground cover is thick, masking the sounds of surrounding suburbia.
Honey Creek Trail
Honey Creek is a tributary of Irondequoit Creek. The trail connects Penfield Four Corners to Channing H Philbrick Park. There is a waterfall along Honey Creek that cannot be seen from the trail, and is worth going out of the way for only after heavy rains or rapid snow melt. Otherwise, it’s but a trickle over a 30 foot drop. You’ll want to do a bit more research to find the path to the waterfall.
The Fishing Trail
This trail runs along the west/lower half of Irondequoit Creek, very close to water level making it great for fishing, but not so after heavy rains. The creek widens in a place that feels very different from the east-side rapids. A sandy cliff that resembles Chimney Bluffs walls off one side, and the bend creates a perfect fishing and swimming hole.
More information about Channing H Philbrick Park
- Cost: Free
- Located in Penfield, 10 minutes / 7 miles from Rochester (get directions)
- More Information: penfieldrec.org + trail map
A lovely, descriptive quote from NY Falls, “The big draw here is the class III whitewater. Twisting, bouncing and spraying around the limestone mottled creek bed, Irondequoit Creek displays tremendous power for such a small waterway. The porous nature of the rock layers here acts as an amplifier as the water drums upon it, creating a thumping roar of water that fills the glen. It’s both relaxing and exhilarating at the same time, and well worth at least a quick stop.”