Channing H Philbrick Linear Park cover

Channing H. Philbrick (Linear) Park

Irondequoit Creek drops 90 feet over one mile through this town park, creating the cascades that make it unique. While the Irondequoit Creek Trail spans the park’s length and beyond, the most exciting section lies east of Linear Park Drive. Near the kiosk next to the upper parking lot, find the easy-to-walk dirt path that follows the creek toward an unusual series of wooden footbridges.

Or, walk across the pedestrian bridge that connects Linear Park Drive with North Washington Street to find the Mills Trail—a quick path that leads to the cascades along the creek’s south bank. Follow the Fishing Trail downstream to see the sandy cliff resembling Chimney Bluffs, complete with bank swallow nests.

Channing H Philbrick Park PKA Linear Park Map
Google Map view of Irondequoit Creek Trail

Irondequoit Creek originates in West Bloomfield, coursing through the Village of Mendon and three Monroe County ParksPowder Mills, Ellison, and Lucien Morin—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.

Channing H Philbrick heavy rains cover

It has everything the perfect park should have: a fast-flowing creek, waterfalls, cascades, and rapids, opportunities for fishing, a pavilion, a playground, picnic tables, and trails that connect them all together.

The Irondequoit Creek Trail runs through the length of the park, and continues on 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, with the Fishing Trail on the west side.

Channing H Philbrick Park PKA Linear Park
Channing Philbrick Linear Park bridge
Channing Philbrick winter
Channing H Philbrick Park Linear Park

The Mills Trail

This trail is a short loop leading down to the main cascades. There is also 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.

Channing Philbrick Linear Park sunrise
Channing Philbrick Linear Park boardwalk low
Channing Philbrick Linear Park trail
Channing Philbrick Linear Park fishing
Channing Philbrick Linear Park boardwalk creek
Channing H Philbrick Park Trail

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.

Channing Philbrick Park
Channing Philbrick Park
Channing Philbrick Park
Channing Philbrick Park

Irondequoit Creek Trail in Wintertime

Aside from ice, the creek path is lovely in the winter. The rush of the creek is amplified without leaves on the trees to dampen the sound. Look for unique ice formations in the creek as well.

Honey Creek
Channing H Philbrick Honey Creek fall
Channing H Philbrick Honey Creek fall

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 on Honey Creek that cannot be seen from this trail. Rather, you’ll find it along the Irondequoit Creek Trail closer to where Honey Creek merges with Irondequoit Creek. On that trail you’ll notice that the main creek is on one side of you, and a smaller creek (Honey Creek) is on the other side. Where Honey Creek begins to veer away, let your eyes follow it 30-ft up to the first fall. The second fall is about 20-ft above it to the right. It’s most noticeable after heavy rains or snow melt.

There is a small, unmarked trail that you can use to climb up to both waterfalls. It’s worth checking out because it resembles a water slide.

Channing H Philbrick Park Linear Park
Channing Philbrick fishing Irondequoit Creek
Channing Philbrick trail
Irondequoit creek
Fishing beneath the sandy bluffs

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 hole.

Irondequoit creek

The big draw here is the class III whitewater. Irondequoit Creek displays tremendous power for such a small waterway by twisting, bouncing, and spraying around the limestone-mottled creek bed. The porous nature of the rock layers here is an amplifier as the water drums upon it, creating a thumping roar of water that fills the glen. It’s both relaxing and exhilarating simultaneously and well worth at least a quick stop.

NY Falls
Channing H Philbrick Park PKA Linear Park

More information about Channing H. Philbrick (Linear) Park

Cost: Free

Located in Penfield, 10 minutes / 7 miles from Rochester (get directions). The parking lot is on Linear Park Drive making it the perfect dividing line for exploring just the east side or west side of the park. The park has about 1.5 miles of trails, so each trail is relatively short.

More Information: + trail map

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What is your favorite part about Channing H. Philbrick Park (Linear Park)?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of and author of the book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.


2 thoughts on “Channing H. Philbrick (Linear) Park”

  1. Kris Chatterton

    This is a beautiful park, however- the last time I was here a couple of years ago, it was so crowded, noisy ( speakers blasting), and COVERED in litter, that I am hesitant to go back.

    1. Kris, you must go back! Try to go at an off-time, when there are not parties/gatherings in the pavilions. An early morning perhaps. Or Spring/Fall. But don’t give up on her! The creek through here is beautiful as are the trails.

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