Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1888, find Genesee Valley Park, where the Erie Canal, Red Creek, and Genesee River intersect. Visitors can rent kayaks and canoes from the Genesee Waterways Center.
Exploring Genesee Valley Park
The Genesee Riverway Trail is a 24-mile National Recreation Trail that runs alongside a 12-mile stretch of river through Rochester’s urban corridor. This trail is a great way to explore the city’s scenic, historic, and cultural areas. It starts at Lake Ontario and travels south through Turning Point Park, Seneca Park, Maplewood Park, High Falls Historic District, Corn Hill, and the University of Rochester, ending in Genesee Valley Park. Along the way, the GRT crosses eight bridges and three waterfalls. Although it is mainly paved and dedicated, some areas are steep and narrow or require the use of streets, mainly through the city center. The GRT connects with the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail and Erie Canalway Trail in Genesee Valley Park, making the park a great starting point for a hike or bike ride.
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.
Those gorgeous stone bridges!
Enjoy the four beautiful concrete footbridges that connect the park across each waterway. When Olmsted originally designed the landscape, the Erie Canal ran through Rochester over an aqueduct—now the Broad Street Bridge. In 1918, the state changed the canal route to follow the city’s southern border through Genesee Valley Park, leading to the addition of the bridges.
On any given weekend, you can find a variety of fundraising walks and sporting events taking place, like the Head of the Regatta races.
More information about Genesee Valley Park
Located in the City of Rochester (get directions)
More information: monroecounty.gov/parks-geneseevalley
Rent kayaks and canoes from Genesee Waterways Center to explore the water trails. “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.”
Nearly 80% of the upstate population lives within 25 miles of the Erie Canal. Explore the 115-mile stretch between the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and Niagara River.
Paddle your way to peace and quiet along Rochester’s water trails. Use these launches for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.
Where are your favorite spots in Genesee Valley Park?
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