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.
1. Allen Creek
The creek originates in Henrietta, flows under the Erie Canal, and through Corbett’s Glen on its way toward Irondequoit Creek.
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, 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).
3. Honeoye Creek
4. Conesus Creek
5. Thomas Creek
6. Oatka Creek
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.
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.
Water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for kayaks and small motorized watercraft.
9. Taughannock Creek
10. Glen Creek
Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!
11. Buttermilk Creek
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.
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.
Rather than an escape, I prefer to think of these as transcending places that encourage us to transcend space, time, and state of mind.
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.
15. Sandy Creek
You can enjoy Sandy Creek as it flows through Holley Canal Park. From there it flows under the Erie Canal on its way to Lake Ontario through Hamlin.
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.
Pick up your “Hit the Trail Passport” booklet at Wegmans, or print your own! You’ll have everything you need to start your hiking adventure.
Even more creeks around Rochester!
17. Bear Creek through the Maquire Family Wildlife Sanctuary on it’s way to Lake Ontario.
18. Tonawanda Creek through Batavia, over Indian Falls, and merges with the Erie Canal south of Lockport.
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 18 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.
Where are your favorite creeks around Rochester?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!