Five Arch Bridge Avon

Freshwater Creeks Around Rochester

The creeks coursing through the Greater Rochester region have a subtle but significant impact on our lives, often blending into the background. These freshwater streams offer abundant opportunities for recreation and relaxation. You can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and hiking along the creek trails. These activities provide a chance for physical exercise and outdoor adventure and encourage a deeper appreciation and understanding of our natural environment.

Moreover, freshwater creeks serve as gathering places, bringing people together for community events, festivals, and celebrations. The banks of these creeks can serve as ideal locations for picnics, outdoor concerts, and other social activities that help to strengthen our community bonds.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

Corbetts Glen tunnel
Corbetts Glen

Allen Creek

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

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Corbett’s Glen

Corbett’s Glen is a glorious green space in a suburban jungle. As overused as this statement may be, Corbett’s Glen is truly a hidden gem.

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Channing Philbrick creek
Irondequoit Creek through Channing H Philbrick

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).

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Channing H. Philbrick Park

Irondequoit Creek drops 90 feet over one mile through Channing H Philbrick Park, creating the cascades that make it unique.

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Ellison Park

Ellison Park is a popular spot to launch a kayak or canoe and paddle downstream on Irondequoit Creek toward Irondequoit Bay.

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Powder Mills Park

Powder Mills Park favorites include the fish hatchery, Daffodil Meadow Trail in early May, The Mushroom House, and fishing Irondequoit Creek.

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Honeoye Falls
Honeoye Falls

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

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

Thomas Creek

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

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Thomas Creek Wetland Walk

Most folks when visiting Fairport walk along the canal path not knowing that the Thomas Creek Wetland Walk is running parallel to them.

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Creeks around Rochester - Oatka Creek Park
Oatka Creek Park

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, unsupervised, of course. The Oatka empties into the Genesee River.

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Oatka Creek Park

Oatka Creek Park in Wheatland is one of the more strollable in the Monroe County Park system, with little change in elevation along the 3.3 mile loop trail.

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Oatka Creek in LeRoy

Oatka Creek is a clear centerpiece for the Village of LeRoy, with a waterfall, 2 dams, and an 8 foot Statue of Liberty replica on her shoreline.

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Water: Cascadilla Gorge Ithaca
Cascadilla Gorge Ithaca

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.

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Cascadilla Gorge in Ithaca

Cascadilla Creek produces 8 waterfalls as it descends 400 feet through Cascadilla Gorge. The trail consists of stone steps, pathways, and bridges.

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Explore Ithaca

Spend a day in the City of Ithaca, exploring the waterfalls, restaurants, shops, and festivals that make this Ivy League college town unique.

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

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.

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Black Creek Park

Black Creek Park features a variety of trails with varying lengths. Enjoy a walk around the pond or launch a kayak onto Black Creek.

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Taughannock Falls State Park
Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Creek

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

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Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls’s 0.75-mile hard-packed gravel gorge trail leads to the base of the falls and is open year-round.

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Watkins Glen Cavern Cascade
Watkins Glen

Glen Creek

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

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Explore Watkins Glen

The heart of the village of Watkins Glen is the 1.5-mile-long gorge, a truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring showcase of nature’s beauty.

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Buttermilk Falls State Park swimming
Buttermilk Falls

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.

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Buttermilk Falls State Park

In Buttermilk Falls State Park, like most of the Finger Lakes gorge parks, stairs are the primary walkway along Buttermilk Creek; challenging but worth it!

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Wolf Creek through Letchworth

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.

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Explore Letchworth State Park

Letchworth has something for everyone, from hiking one of the park’s 29 trails and picnicking beside a waterfall to taking a scenic drive.

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Fall Creek Ithaca Triphammer Falls
Triphammer Falls – Google Maps photo

Fall Creek

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

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Cornell Botanic Gardens

The 4,000 acres that make up Cornell Botanic Gardens are free to explore and are full of opportunities to learn about plants and conservation.

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

Oak Orchard River

Enjoy the waterway 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.

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Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

At 10,828 acres, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is the state’s largest refuge. Alabama Swaps amasses 19,000-acres designated for wildlife.

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Holley Canal Falls
Holley Canal Falls Park

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.

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Holley Canal Falls

Holley Canal Falls is located in the heart of the Village of Holley. The water that flows into the glen is overflow from the Erie Canal.

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

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 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!

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

Bear Creek through the Maquire Family Wildlife Sanctuary on its way to Lake Ontario.

Ellicott Creek through Ellicott Creek Park

Chittenango Creek through Chittenango Falls State Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Easy Waterfalls

Not all waterfalls are hidden in dark ravines. Many of the region’s most stunning waterfalls can be viewed from the road or a short walk.

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H2O Heritage: Exploring Rochester’s Freshwater Resources

Rochesterians are fortunate to be surrounded by abundant freshwater resources that present us with unique stewardship opportunities.

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Paddle, Pedal, and Trek Along Rochester’s Waterways

With parks, preserved wetlands, historic neighborhoods, and miles of trails, Rochester has no shortage of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts.

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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.

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Water Trails: Over 50 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.

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Geologic History of the Rochester Area

These day trips into Rochester’s geologic history will remind you just how amazing our corner of the Earth is.

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9 Lake Ontario Lighthouses in New York

These lighthouses along Lake Ontario in New York are within a two-hour drive of Rochester. And where there’s a light there’s a sweeping view!

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39 Other Great Lakes Near Rochester

Rochester is well-known for its 11 Finger Lakes and two beautiful Great Lakes. But there are even more fresh-water lakes to enjoy.

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Unlock the Wonder: 12 Ways to Fully Experience the Erie Canal

Experience the beauty, history, and community of the Erie Canal through activities that offer a unique perspective of life along the canal.

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Take a Paddle: Quiet Water for Canoes and Kayaks in New York’s Finger Lakes
by Rich and Sue Freeman

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Which are your favorite creeks?

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 award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

4 thoughts on “Freshwater Creeks Around Rochester”

  1. Thank you for your website and all your work to gather this information. A helpful addition would be to include which creeks are walkable with public access.

    1. Very few are walkable, especially in the immediate area. These creeks are walkable:
      • Barnes Creek Gully, Canandaigua
      • Conklin Gully, Naples
      • Eternal Flame Falls, Orchard Park
      • Grimes Glen , Naples
      • Gully Preserve, Dansville
      • Havana Glen, Montour Falls
      • Royalton Ravine, Gasport
      • Tannery Creek, Naples

  2. Living in Greece N. Y. 16 years ago on Venetia View Drive …….never realized to ask” what was the name of the creek that runs through the street property.

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