Irondequoit Creek meanders through Ellison Park on its way to Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, offering visitors year-round fishing and non-motorized boating opportunities.
Established in 1926, it is our first official Monroe County Park.
Many folks with their own kayaks and canoes launch them here in Ellison Park and paddle to the bay through Lucien Moren & Tryon Park.
On a hill on the eastern portion of the trail is the presumed site of Peter Schuyler’s 1721 Trading Post, known as “Fort Schuyler.” Its purpose was to encourage trade with the Senecas and complete with the French for furs. The plaque reads,
This log blockhouse was built in 1938 to commemorate the colonial trading post that once stood near this site, The original post is believed to have been built in 1721 by British Capt. Peter Schuyler Jr. and a small company of men to encourage trade with the Indians in the region.
Hiking at Ellison Park
Before heading out, download or print the park map. The park is 447-acres, with 5 hiking trails of varying difficulty.
Coyote Den Trail
This trail is an easy to moderate 1.1-mile walk that follows a gradual uphill climb to Penfield Road. Near the Blossom Road trailhead there is a secluded spring pond.
This .6 mile walk overlooks Thomas cove and the stone quarry. This is a moderate to difficult walk, with one very steep section where the trail joins Coyote Den Trail near Irondequoit Creek. You can look uphill here at the steep section to determine how you make the loop, climbing uphill or downhill. On the portion of the trail that follows the Coyote Den Trail, you will be following a creek in a beautiful wooded gully with moss-covered logs, ferns, and wooden bridges.
Mill Race Trail
This .4 mile walk shows the stages between wetlands and a forest. It is an easy walk over level terrine.
Butlers Gap Trail
This .7 mile moderate walk (one way) has many interesting historical features as well as an intersection that overlooks the wetlands. It is a moderate walk over rolling hills, with one short but steep climb.
Indian Landing Trail
This 1.5 mile easy walk over level terrain is full of history, from the location of an old trading post (Fort Schuyler), to the presumed famous Butlers’s Rangers hideout, marked with commemorative plaques.
A plaque placed on a large boulder along Irondequoit Creek commemorates a nearby location of the “Indian Landing” which was used for many years by the indigenous Iroquois as the start of the portage route, which led from Lake Ontario, up Irondequoit Creek, and overland to the Genesee River. It reads,
This is the site of Indian Landing, the most important place in the early history of the Genesee Country, all of whose trails led to Irondequoit Bay, a gateway of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Here were scenes of the adventure and romance for a period of more that three hundred years involving Indian wars: the struggle for empire between the French and English: and the Revolutionary and pioneer periods.
Religion, commerce and war made this territory a famous battleground bringing here many noted priests, traders, and soldiers.
Across the creek is the site of Shcuyler’s Fort and the Lost City of Tryon.
More amenities at Ellison Park
More information about Ellison Park
Located in Penfield (get directions)
More information: monroecounty.gov/parks-ellison
If you don’t own a kayak, you can rent one from BayCreek Paddle Center on Empire Blvd. From their website,
BayCreek Paddling Center offers a canoe/kayak shuttle to the launch site in Ellison Park.
After a short, ten-minute ride, the bus arrives at the launch on the southern edge of the park. From there, paddlers will travel downstream for about two miles as the creek twists and turns through the meadows of the park.
You will pass underneath several wooden pedestrian bridges before exiting the parklands and passing under Browncroft Boulevard. You’ll now have about 2.5 more miles to go.
From this point on, the land is in a much more natural state. Shortly after Browncroft, paddlers enter the “Canopy of Trees” and float beneath a ceiling of green. Beyond that, boaters enter the upper marsh where sightings of beaver, muskrat, deer and numerous birds are common.
About a mile farther, paddlers arrive at the “Narrows” – a spot where the creek squeezes between the hills of Tryon and Lucien Morin Parks. Paddlers then enter the lower marsh and have about 1.5 miles to meander back to BayCreek.
Typical trip time is two to 2.5 hours from the time the bus leaves BayCreek.
Paddle your way to peace and quiet along Rochester’s water trails. Use these launches for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.
Where is your favorite spot in Ellison Park?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!