Rochester’s ROC the Riverway Weekend (previously known as Genesee River Romance) is held every October. It is a celebration of life along the river, with City-sponsored activities, tours, and events centered on the Genesee.
Take a look at the full schedule at cityofrochester.gov to start planning your weekend. Here are a few highlights!
Kodak Tower Commons Tour
Featuring Kodak’s Corporate Headquarters in the High Falls Historical District, visit the first two floors and view exhibits capturing the essence of the iconic one million square foot tower.
Visitors can view two short films in the Little Theater on the 1st floor and explore the Executive Board Room, the President’s Room and the Experience Kodak Room.
Insider Walk to High Falls
Join Genesee River Alliance Coordinator, Helen Dumas and Ken Parulski of Tour Blend, for a tour of the High Falls starting from the Pont de Rennes Bridge at Platt Street and Brown’s Race down the access road close to the base of the falls.
Along the way, learn about the industrial and cultural heritage of this vibrant, sustainable live and work eco-district.
Free. Recommended for 12 and up. Appropriate footwear required (no open toed shoes, heels or flip flops) for safety. Limited on- street metered parking or park at High Falls Garage.
Sturgeon Excursion on the Harbor Town Belle
Celebrate the renewed health of the Genesee River with Dr. Jeff Wyatt, sturgeon scientist from Seneca Park Zoo & University of Rochester. Passengers will learn about the successful reintroduction of 7,000 lake sturgeon back to the Genesee River over the past 16 years.
We will have an aquarium of baby sturgeon and a 6 foot fiberglass replica, named Seth Green, on board to share your family’s excursion up the scenic Lower Genesee River.
Departures from Voyager Boat Sales at the end of Marina Dr., Irondequoit. Tickets are $18.00 for adults, and $10.00 for youth under 10 years. Call (585) 342-1810.
Head of the Genesee Regatta
BOTH DAYS 8am-4:30pm
At the Genesee Waterways Center at 149 Elmwood Avenue. The two-day event is one of New York State’s premier rowing regattas and is expected to draw more than 350 racing entries.
Viewing on the foot bridge over the Genesee River and along the east river bank, as well as under the 390 Flyover Bridge, accessed from Genesee Valley Park.
Glide and Ride Adventure
BOTH DAYS: Saturday 9-11:30, Sunday 8:30-11:00
Put your bike on the Sam Patch boat at Schoen Place and enjoy a 2.5 hour cruise that travels through 2 locks on the Erie Canal, all the way up the Genesee to Corn Hill Landing. Enjoy food and events along the river, then hop on your bike for a 10 mile ride back along the Genesee River and Erie Canal Trails.
Tickets: $25 per person, $12 children 12 and under. Registration required. For more information visit Sam Patch.
A Tip from Day Trips Around Rochester: If you don’t want to ride a bike, park a second vehicle downtown and drive back to Pittsford after your day in the city. Or Uber for about $15.
Guided Paddle Along the Genesee from Seth Green Island
Join the City of Rochester for an enjoyable and educational row along the Genesee River. Paddle trip is $20.00 per adult; $10.00 for kids under 18. Canoes and Kayaks available through the Genesee Waterways Center. Maximum two adults per canoe. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Pre-registration required. Call 328-3960 to register. Meet in the Petten St. parking lot for shuttle to Seth Green.
Kodak Visitor Center
Offering a portal through which to view the far-reaching impact of the company, exhibits celebrate Kodak’s transformative history while embracing the excitement of its future. It’s a welcoming home for those who have been a part of Kodak history.
Enjoy the café, retail store, and new exhibit gallery featuring different photography shows throughout the year.
‘Nathaniel Rochester’s Battle to Create a City’ Walking Tour
BOTH DAYS: Saturday 10-11am, Sunday 3-4pm
Join Corn Hill historian Jim DeVinney for a walking tour that highlights the story of men who challenged Nathaniel Rochester’s goal of creating a city in the wilderness and the dramatic events that determined the outcome.
This tour starts at Corn Hill Landing by the Water Spirits Sculpture where S. Plymouth meets Exchange St.
Tours of the Lower Falls and Gorge
Join docents from the Maplewood Neighborhood Association and learn about the five bridges over the gorge, the rivalry between Carthage and Rochester and the river’s transformation from a place of industry to recreation.
Tours are about 45 minutes long with the last tour starting around 1 p.m.
Roads Less Traveled By – A Mount Hope Cemetery Theme Tour
Meet 19th century Rochesterians – pivotal leaders, entrepreneurs and heroes – in sections not often visited on other Mount Hope Cemetery tours. Tours are $10 per person, free for members, SNAP recipients, and children under 16 who are accompanied by a paying adult.
Meet at the North Gatehouse at 791 Mount Hope Avenue, opposite Robinson Drive. Tour guide is Joanne Mitchell.
Broad Street Bridge
Closed to car traffic from Exchange St. to South Ave., enjoy fun for the whole family with a pop-up skate park, food trucks, and street performers.
Attendees can learn about the City’s ambitious plans to improve our River’s downtown waterfront, as well as a chance to share your own vision through a community chalk art installation led by artist Chloe Smith.
Introduction to the Genesee River Boat Tours
Climb aboard the Sam Patch for a guided tour on the Genesee River from Corn Hill Landing to Brooks Landing, and back. See some wildlife and learn a bit about local history.
Tours leaving every hour on the hour from 12’noon to 3 p.m. $10 adults, $5 children under 12. For details and reservations please visit sampatch.org.
Charlotte Village Cemetery Tour
Meet tour guides Mike Parker and Marie Poinan on River St. for a guided tour of the old Village Cemetery. This is the final resting place of the daredevil Sam Patch, Charlotte’s first settler, a lighthouse keeper, the first doctor, its Custom Collector and a Navy veteran of the War of 1812.
Admire the restoration work done by the Navy Seabee Veterans of America, Island X-12, to reset and repair damaged headstones. Parking on River St. Sponsored by the Charlotte Community Development Corporation and the Charlotte High School Archivist.
Guided Walk in Turning Point
Join retired City of Rochester Senior Landscape Architect and Olmsted Parks Alliance Chairwoman JoAnn Beck for a tour highlighting the forests, overlooks, and award-winning boardwalk along the Genesee.
Meet at the Turning Point Park parking lot at the end of Boxart Street.
Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse Tours
ALL THREE DAYS 1-5pm
Tour the oldest active surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario (1822); climb the Octagonal Tower for great views of Lake Ontario, explore the Keeper’s House, see the new 4th Order Fresnel Lens, view the display of Ontario Beach Park from the 1870s to 1920s, and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden.
Admission $5.00 (18 years & older); $2.00 (5-17 years old), and FREE (4 and under). For further information call 585-621-6179 or visit their web site.
Full River/Erie Canal Boat Tour
Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Genesee River and along the Erie Canal with live narration detailing Rochester’s history and the role the waterways played in the development of the City.
Registration required. For more information visit Sam Patch.
Live Music Sunset Cruise on the Genesee River
Come aboard the Sam Patch and enjoy the groovy tunes from members of local favorite -Backyard Chemistry – while basking in the sunset on the glorious Genesee River. Sip your favorite beverage as you experience a scenic river cruise.
Registration required. For more information visit Sam Patch.
Grand Torch Light Tours at Mount Hope Cemetery
Groups go out every 15 minutes. Guides will take you to unique stops and share stories from Rochester’s history, by moonlight and torchlight.
$15 Advance Tickets on sale at all Wegmans beginning September 16. NOTE: You must pick a date and start time when you purchase your ticket. Tickets are $20 at the door. Meet at the North Gatehouse at 791 Mount Hope Ave.
Note: No parking in the cemetery, parking available on Robinson Drive or on neighborhood streets.
Celebrate the Port of Rochester
Enjoy the fall views of the marina and enjoy a day of family friendly fun including: performances by CirqOvation’s amazing acrobats and aerial performers, (free shows at 1, 2 and 3 pm), live music from the Daryl Parker Trio, the U.S. Coast Guard’s latest ships and equipment on display, fire equipment, hayrides, wood carving demonstrations, free pumpkin decorating, Rec On The Move, and wine and craft brew tasting in a large outdoor tent. Charlotte history books and merchandise will be available for purchase.
Enjoy the Port of Rochester’s numerous eateries. Sponsored by the Ontario Beach Park Program Committee. Events will take place at Ontario Beach Park and inside/around the Port of Rochester Terminal.
Guided Bike Ride from Seneca Park to the Port of Rochester
This scenic tour with spectacular views of the river gorge will take riders along the Genesee Riverway Trail, through Turning Point Park and under the O’Rorke Bridge.
This is a 12-mile ride on a paved trail with a few moderate hills. Helmets required. Meet at Seneca Park Zoo parking lot.
Mount Hope Cemetery Walking Tour
This overview tour is a two-hour walk of approximately one mile. It includes the graves of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Tickets are $10 per person at the door, free for members, SNAP recipients, and children under 16 who are accompanied by a paying adult.
Meet at the North Gatehouse at 791 Mount Hope Ave, opposite Robinson Drive. Tour guide is Chris Grooms.
I’ve been gathering Rochester’s fun facts for several years and am so excited to have them all together here! Just some of what makes Rochester special!
What are your favorite activities during ROC the Riverway Weekend?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!