Kayaking water trails cover

Water Trails: Over 50 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

Paddle along Rochester’s water trails using these launches for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft. Check out the Go Paddling App for comprehensive trail information.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Rent a kayak or canoe

Water Trails: Erie Canal through Fairport
Erie Canal Boat Co., Fairport

In addition to rentals, these businesses may include excursions, tours, and shuttle services upstream. In all cases, call ahead to check on availability, as you may need to make a reservation.

Places to launch your own boat

Black Creek Park Boat Launch

Remember to bring your canoe or kayak, a life vest, food and drink, sunscreen, hat, zip lock bags, and a camera.

State Launch Sites in Monroe County

Erie Canal

  • Route 250 to Ayrault Rd. It is located just before Ayrault Rd. bridge on the right, 20 cars, and trailers
  • The lower side of Lock 32 by the Clover St. Bridge next to Pittsford Rowing Club, 10 cars and trailers

Genesee River

  • On Route 251, 2 miles southeast of Scottsville, 7 cars, hand launch
  • At the end and west of Lake Avenue in the Charlotte Beach area, 40 cars and trailers
  • On County Route 253, 2 miles east of Hamlet of Scottsville, 12 cars, hand launch

Black Creek

  • On Black Creek Road, off Route 252 1/4 miles west of Route 383, 10 cars and trailers

Honeoye Creek

  • On Fishell Road, off US Route 15, 1 mile south of Route 251, 12 cars, hand launch

Irondequoit Bay

  • On Empire Blvd at the southern end of the bay, 6 cars, hand launch
Irondequoit Bay Park boat launch
Irondequoit Marine Park boat launch

Lake Ontario

  • Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park. At the intersection of Route 590 & Culver Road, 28 cars and trailers
  • Westpoint Marina at Braddock Bay. 10 miles west of Rochester off Lake Ontario State Parkway, 50 cars and trailers, 50 cars
  • Town of Greece. On Edgemere Drive, 2 miles west of Genesee River mouth, 80 cars
  • Hamlin Beach State Park. Route 19 and Lake Ontario State Parkway, 3 cars, cartop launch
  • Along Lake Ontario State Parkway near the Route 19 intersection in the Town of Hamlin, 50 cars and trailers
Water Trails Around Rochester NY Thousand Acre Pond in Mendon Ponds
Thousand Acre Pond in Mendon Ponds

Mendon Ponds

  • Off Route 65, one mile south of NYS Thruway. Four launches on three ponds, Adequate parking, hand launch

Oatka Creek

  • At the intersection of Route 36 & Route 383 in Hamlet of Mumford, 6 cars, hand launch
Canadice Lake kayaks
Canadice Lake

State Launch Sites in Greater Rochester

  • Genesee County Launch site in Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area
  • Livingston County Several places on Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, and the Genesee River
  • Ontario County Places include Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Seneca Lake
  • Orleans County Launches along the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, and Glenwood Lake
  • Seneca County Access to Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, and the Seneca River
Lake Ontario Bear Creek Boat Launch
Bear Creek Lake Ontario launch
  • Wayne County Several water trail launches along the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario
  • Wyoming County Launch on Silver Lake
  • Yates County Launches on Guyanoga Creek, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, and West River
Kayaking Black Creek Churchville
Kayaking Black Creek Churchville

Monroe County Parks

Kayak launch Genesee River Petten Street
Petten St. Launch

City of Rochester

Kayak Canal Fairport
Fairport Erie Canal Boat Launch

Canalway Water Trail

The Erie Canalway Water Trail is part of a growing system of water trails across New York State. In addition to the state launches above, from east to west:

  • Widewaters Canal Park Boat Ramp Cars (15) / Cars with Trailer (5)
  • Palmyra Boat Ramp Cars with Trailer (6) (on-road)
  • Port of Palmyra Kayak Launch Cars (30)
  • Palmyra Macedon Aqueduct Park Boat Ramp Cars (20) / Cars with Trailer (10)
  • Lock E30 Canal Park Boat Ramp and Kayak Launch Cars (25) / Cars with Trailer (15)
  • Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 60
  • Fairport Kayak Launch Cars (10)
  • Bushnell’s Basin Kayak Launch Cars (15)
Water trails: Great Embankment Park Pittsford New York
Great Embankment Park in Pittsford
  • Great Embankment Park Cars (20)
  • Brighton Reserve Kayak Launch Cars (30)
  • Henpeck Park Kayak Launch Low wall, Cars (40)
  • Arrowhead Boat Ramp Cars (10) / Cars with Trailer (10)
  • Brockport South Wall Kayak Launch Cars (10)
  • San Soucie Park Boat Ramp Cars (20) / Cars with Trailer (10)
  • Holley South Wall Kayak Launch Cars (20)
Oatka Creek in LeRoy
Oatka Creek in LeRoy

More water trails

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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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Where are your favorite water trails near Rochester?

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 daytrippingroc.com 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.

8 thoughts on “Water Trails: Over 50 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways”

  1. I love kayaking and swimming. and walking/hiking in parks. This has been an eye opener for all of those things. I never knew the Rochester area had so much to offer. Thank you for compiling such extensive lists. Looks like I can be more active at new sites. Thank you!!

  2. Pingback: Finger Lakes Retreat St. Michael's Mission - The Scuba Diving Nomad

  3. Michael Brisson

    As of today’s date (7/30/20) #18 says “Town of Greece. On Edgemere Drive, 2 miles east of Genesee River mouth, 80 cars”

    East of the Genesee River is Irondequoit, not Greece.

    West is probably what was meant to be said.

  4. Christy G Swift

    Black Creek launch off union st in churchville is nice until you get about a mile and a half down stream going towards the Genesee junction. Lots of downed trees. Hard to pass at a certain point.

  5. Clesson Oakes

    FYI the .2 mile carry in at Turning Point is all down hill and really steep so the carry out could be tough depending on what shape you are in.

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