Genesee Valley Park winter cover bridge

Genesee Valley Park

Genesee Valley Park is a Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park located at the intersection of the Erie Canal and Genesee River. The 800 acre park was designed to connect the various green spaces and waterways together using a series of winding pathways.

Genesee Valley Park Rochester
Genesee Valley Park
Genesee Valley Park
Genesee Valley Park
30 day trips within 30 minutes of Rochester: Genesee Valley Park Rochester
Genesee Valley Park
Genesee Valley Park Rochester

Wandering around Genesee Valley Park

The Genesee Riverway Trail connects with the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail and Erie Canalway Trail here in the park making it a perfect place to kick off a hike or bike ride.

Genesee Valley Park

The Tree of Life

This magnificent, 150-year-old White Oak was struck by lightning on July 4, 2010. It is believed that the tree pre-dates Olmsted’s park designing, so that Olmsted himself would have admired the tree and made it part of his vision.

Genesee Valley Park Rochester
stone bridges
Erie Canal through GVP
Genesee Valley Park

Those gorgeous stone bridges!

Both picturesque and functional, GVP has 4 concrete foot bridges that connect the park across the Erie Canal, Genesee River, and Red Creek near East River Road.

They feel like they’ve always been there, but they were not originally part of Olmsted’s design. That is because in 1888, when Olmsted designed Genesee Valley Park, the Erie Canal was running through Center City Rochester over an aqueduct which is now the Broad Street Bridge.

The canal was finished in 1825, but was enlarged in 1918 to become New York State Barge Canal System. As a result, the canal was re-routed to run south of the city through the park where you’ll find it today.

boats on the river
Erie Canal Conference
Head of the Regatta

Special events

These were taken during the Head of the Regatta and the Erie Canal Conference. You’ll also find all varieties of fundraising walks and sporting events taking place on weeknights and ends.

Genesee Waterways Center
Genesee Waterways Center

More information about Genesee Valley Park

Cost: Free

Located in the City of Rochester (get directions)

More information:

You can also rent canoes & kayaks from Genesee Waterways Center. “Whether an avid outdoor adventurer or a novice ready to hit the water for the first time, we are the perfect place to host your paddle outing.  Our rental package comes with everything you need to enjoy a day on Rochester’s rivers and creeks.”

Exploring the Erie Canal

The Erie Canal spans 100-miles between Lockport and Lyons, with Rochester located right in the middle. Choose just 15 miles to explore for a great day trip!

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13 Places in the City to Enjoy the Genesee River

At Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee River begins her journey through the city, racing over a dam and three waterfalls before emptying into Lake Ontario.

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23 City of Rochester Parks

Many of our City of Rochester parks have beginnings embedded in Rochester’s youth. Some were even designed by notable landscape architects.

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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.

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Where are your favorite spots in Genesee Valley Park?

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


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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.