Five Arch Bridge Avon

26 Incredible Creeks Around Rochester

These creeks around Rochester, NY impact us in such subtle ways they sometimes disappear into the background of our lives. Our beautiful tributaries are the source of our fresh water and life for our lakes.

They are gathering places in our small towns. Our creeks provide us with opportunities for recreation and relaxation. I have found the creeks listed below to be exceptional, and worth the effort to seek them out.

Corbetts Glen tunnel
Corbetts Glen

1. Allen Creek

The creek originates in Henrietta, flows under the Erie Canal, and through Corbett’s Glen on its way toward Irondequoit Creek.

Channing Philbrick creek
Irondequoit Creek through Channing H Philbrick

2. Irondequoit Creek

Irondequoit Creek drains into Irondequoit Bay, carrying with it waters from Thomas Creek and Allen Creek.

Enjoy the creek as it runs through Powder Mills Park, Channing H. Philbrick Park, Ellison Park, Lucien Moren Park, Tryon Park, Panorama Valley Park (conjunction of Irondequoit & Allen Creeks) and Legion Eyer Park (conjunction of Irondequoit & Thomas Creeks).

Honeoye Falls
Honeoye Falls

3. Honeoye Creek

Spend time on the creek as it leaves Honeoye Lake, flows over Honeoye Falls and through Rotary Park in Mendon, and again over Honeoye Creek Falls in Rush heading for the Genesee River near Golah Road.

Five Arch Bridge Conesus Creek Ashantee Avon
Five Arch Bridge

4. Conesus Creek

Check out the creek as it leaves Conesus Lake, passes over Littleville Falls and Papermill Falls, and under Five Arch Bridge on its way to the Genesee River.

Thomas Creek wetlands
Thomas Creek wetland walk

5. Thomas Creek

Check out Thomas Creek Wetlands Walk which parallels the Erie Canal through Fairport. The creek originates in Penfield and empties into Irondequoit Creek near Legion Eyer Park.

Creeks around Rochester - Oatka Creek Park
Oatka Creek Park

6. Oatka Creek

Enjoy this creek as it runs through LeRoy, Oatka Creek Park, and under the George Bridge in Scottsville where you can jump right in! The Oatka empties into the Genesee River.

Groge Trails Cascadilla Creek Ithaca
Cascadilla Gorge

7. Cascadilla Creek

Take the Cascadilla Gorge Trail between Cornell University and downtown Ithaca to appreciate this powerful creek. Enjoy multiple waterfalls and cascades along a 400 ft. drop in elevation as it flows toward Cayuga Lake.

Monroe County Parks: Kayaking Black Creek Churchville
Black Creek through Churchville Park

8. Black Creek

Black Creek originates near East Bethany, passing through Genesee Country Park & Forest, then Bergen Swamp. Take a paddle on the creek as it widens and passes through Churchville Park and Black Creek Park, emptying into the Genesee River.

Taughannock Falls State Park
Taughannock Falls State Park

9. Taughannock Creek

Enjoy the creek as it courses through Taughannock Falls State Park on the way to Cayuga Lake.

Watkins Glen Cavern Cascade
Watkins Glen

10. Glen Creek

Appreciate the power of the creek as it winds through Watkins Glen State Park on the way to Seneca Lake.

Buttermilk Falls State Park swimming
Buttermilk Falls

11. Buttermilk Creek

Swim in the creek’s natural pool at the base of Buttermilk Falls as it flows through the state park on its way to Cayuga Lake.

Wolf Creek through Letchworth

12. Wolf Creek

The creek originates in Silver Springs. You’ll find Wolf Creek passing through Letchworth State Park as it plummets into the Genesee River gorge, 3.5 miles north of the Glen Iris Inn.

Fall Creek Ithaca Triphammer Falls
Triphammer Falls – Google maps photo

13. Fall Creek

On its journey toward Cayuga Lake, Fall Creek passes through FR Newman Arboretum and Cornell Botanic Gardens, under several spectacular foot bridges, and over many wonderful waterfalls including Triphammer, Rocky, Horseshoe, Forest, and Ithaca Falls.

Greater Rochester Region - Oak Orchard Point Pleasant
Oak Orchard at Point Pleasant

14. Oak Orchard Creek

Enjoy the creek as it passes through Lake Alice, Oak Orchard State Marine Park and Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, under the Erie Canal in Medina, and over Oak Orchard Dam on its way to Lake Ontario.

Holley Canal Falls
Holley Canal Falls Park

15. Sandy Creek

You can enjoy Sandy Creek as it flows through Holley Canal Park and joins with canal runoff flowing over Holley Canal Falls. From there it flows under the Erie Canal on its way to Lake Ontario through Hamlin.

Creeks around Rochester - Crooked Bridge Park Phelps Flint Creek
Crooked Bridge Park in Phelps

16. Flint Creek

Flint Creek has branches that merge in Phelps before making its way to the Erie Canal in Lyons.

The western branch serves as the north-end outlet of Canandaigua Lake, running through Canandaigua, Shortsville, and Manchester.

The eastern branch originates in the Italy Valley, making its run through Gorham and Seneca Castle.

You can hike or bike the Ontario Pathways Trail from, for example, the Rt. 96 trailhead in Clifton Springs to Vogt Rd trailhead in Stanley, roughly 8-miles one way. Or a nice 2-mile hike one way from Rt 96 to the Wheat Hill trailhead. Or just spend the day relaxing at Crooked Bridge Park in Phelps.

Akron Falls
Akron Falls on Murder Creek
Indian Falls
Indian Falls on Tonawanda Creek
Lake Ontario Bear Creek Boat Launch
Bear Creek

Even more creeks around Rochester!

17. Tonawanda Creek through Batavia, over Indian Falls, and merges with the Erie Canal south of Lockport. Follow its tributary, Murder Creek, through Akron Falls Park, too!

18. Bear Creek through the Maquire Family Wildlife Sanctuary on it’s way to Lake Ontario.

19. Ellicott Creek through Ellicott Creek Park

20. Chittenango Creek through Chittenango Falls State Park

21. Fish Creek through Fish Creek State Forest, emptying into Oneida Lake at Syvlan Beach.

22. Cattaraugus Creek originates in Java Lake, through Arcade, the Zoar Valley, and the Cattaraugus Reservation in Irving before emptying into Lake Erie.

23. Canaseraga Creek originates near Swain, merges with Stony Brook, and empties into the Genesee River near Dansville

24. Eighteen Mile Creek empties into Lake Erie next to Graycliff Estate after passing through Eighteen Mile Creek Park.

25. Salmon Creek originates in Claredon, and runs through Northampton Park, under the Erie Canal, emptying into Braddock Bay on Lake Ontario.

26. Fourmile Creek originates in Walworth and courses through Four Mile Creek Preserve on its way to Lake Ontario.

39 Natural Swimming Holes

On a hot day, you can sit under a waterfall, swim in a lake, or jump in a creek at one of these refreshing natural swimming areas.

Read more

32 Roadside Waterfalls Near Rochester

Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails. And for some, you do not need to get out of your car.

Read more

Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

Paddle your way to peace and quiet along Rochester’s water trails. Use these launches for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.

Read more

Geologic History of the Rochester Area

These day trips into Rochester’s geologic history, filled with drumlins, fossils and a meromictic lake, will leave you awe-struck!

Read more

Where are your favorite creeks around Rochester?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.