Kayaking water trails cover

Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

Paddle your way to peace and quiet along Rochester’s water trails.

Depending on your definition, water trails are either formally marked routes along a navigable waterway, or simply any waterway suitable for canoes, kayaks, and small motorized watercraft.

COVID-19 NOTE: Many motorized boat launches are closed right now, including state park and DEC launches. This may also effect access for car top boats. Please check before you go.

Water trails can also be referred to as blue highways, or paddling trails limiting access to non-motorized watercraft.

Rent a kayak or canoe

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.

1. Erie Canal Boat Company with locations in Fairport & Lockport. In addition to traditional watercraft, the ECBC partners with Rochester Accessible Adventures to offer water experiences for people for all abilities. This makes for a great opportunity for families to paddle together. Learn more about their Adaptive Paddling and Cycling Center.

2. Genesee Waterways Genesee River in Genesee Valley Park and Lock 32. Lock 32 Whitewater Park offers several events including A Taste of Kayaking in June and Lock-a-Palooza Whitewater Festival in August.

3. BayCreek Paddling Center Penfield at Irondequoit Bay, with shuttle service to Ellison Park, 3-4 hour paddle downstream to BayCreek

4. Oak Orchard Canoe & Kayak with locations in Waterport on Oak Orchard Creek, and Penfield at Irondequoit Bay. In Waterport, there is a shuttle service upstream. In Penfield, launch into I-Bay and paddle the bay or the Irondequoit Creek wetlands in Lucien Moren Park.

Places to launch your own boat

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

Black Creek Park Boat Launch

State launch sites on water trails in Monroe County

Erie Canal

5. Route 250 to Ayrault Rd. Located just before Ayrault Rd. bridge on right, 20 cars and trailers

6. Lower side of Lock 32 by the Clover St. Bridge next to Pittsford Rowing Club, 10 cars and trailers

Genesee River

7. On Route 251, 2 miles southeast of Scottsville, 7 cars, hand launch

8. At the end and west of Lake Avenue in Charlotte Beach area, 40 cars and trailers

9. On County Route 253, 2 miles east of Hamlet of Scottsville, 12 cars, hand launch

Black Creek

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

Honeoye Creek

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

Irondequoit Bay

12. On Empire Blvd at southern end of bay, 6 cars, hand launch

Irondequoit Bay Park boat launch
Irondequoit Marine Park boat launch

Lake Ontario

13. Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park. At intersection of Route 590 & Culver Road, 28 cars and trailers

14. Westpoint Marina at Braddock Bay. 10 miles west of Rochester off Lake Ontario State Parkway, 50 cars and trailers, 50 cars

15. Town of Greece. On Edgemere Drive, 2 miles west of Genesee River mouth, 80 cars

16. Hamlin Beach State Park. Route 19 and Lake Ontario State Parkway, 3 cars, cartop launch

17. Along Lake Ontario State Parkway near Route 19 intersection in 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

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

Oatka Creek

19. At intersection of Route 36 & Route 383 in Hamlet of Mumford, 6 cars, hand launch

Canadice Lake kayaks
Canadice Lake

State launch sites for water trails in Rochester’s
9-county region

20. Genesee County Launch site in Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area

21. Livingston County Several places on Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, and the Genesee River

22. Ontario County Places include Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Seneca Lake

23. Orleans County Launches along the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, and Glenwood Lake

24. Seneca County Access to Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, and the Seneca River

Lake Ontario Bear Creek Boat Launch
Bear Creek Lake Ontario launch

25. Wayne County Several water trail launches along the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario

26. Wyoming County Launch on Silver Lake

27. Yates County Launches on Guyanoga Creek, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, and West River

Kayaking Black Creek Churchville
Kayaking Black Creek Churchville

Monroe County Parks

28. Durand Eastman Park kayak both Durand Lake and Eastman Lake

29. Ellison Park access to Irondequoit located near Circle Shelter

30. Lucien Moren Park kayak along canals meandering through wetlands (previously known as Ellison Park Wetlands)

31. Churchville Park access Black Creek from the launch located towards the end of Park Road, at Tim Quayle Circle.

32. Irondequoit Bay Park West parking lot, with parking along the Bay Front S

33. Black Creek Park launch near Sunnyside Lodge

Kayak launch Genesee River Petten Street
Petten St. Launch

City of Rochester

34. Petten Street launch off Lake Ave.

35. Turning Point Park off Lake Ave. Requires 0.2 mile carry-in down a steep, paved trail

36. River Commons Park Mount Hope at Gregory Street. Carry-in from parking lot.

37. Corn Hill Landing, carry-in from parking lot. Great spot to tie up and enjoy a meal before heading back upstream.

Water Trails: Erie Canal through 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:

38. Widewaters Canal Park Boat Ramp Cars (15) / Cars with Trailer (5)

39. Palmyra Boat Ramp Cars with Trailer (6) (on road)

40. Port of Palmyra Kayak Launch Cars (30)

41. Palmyra Macedon Aqueduct Park Boat Ramp Cars (20) / Cars with Trailer (10)

42. Lock E30 Canal Park Boat Ramp and Kayak Launch Cars (25) / Cars with Trailer (15)

43. Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 60

44. Fairport Kayak Launch Cars (10)

45. Bushnell’s Basin Kayak Launch Cars (15)

Water trails: Great Embankment Park Pittsford New York
Great Embankment Park in Pittsford

46. Great Embankment Park Cars (20)

47. Brighton Reserve Kayak Launch Cars (30)

48. Henpeck Park Kayak Launch Low wall, Cars (40)

49. Arrowhead Boat Ramp Cars (10) / Cars with Trailer (10)

50. Brockport South Wall Kayak Launch Cars (10)

51. San Soucie Park Boat Ramp Cars (20) / Cars with Trailer (10)

52. Holley South Wall Kayak Launch Cars (20)

Oatka Creek in LeRoy
Oatka Creek in LeRoy

More water trails

53. Canoe trails map Greece

54. Genesee River Wilds upstream toward Belmont, NY. They are advocates for the Upper Genesee River. Join in their 10th annual River Float on Sunday, June 3, 2018. This float is open to everyone, however participants must be a member of GRW. Memberships will be available on-site for the one-day only, bargain price of $20. Proceeds from the float help Genesee River Wilds expand recreational access to the river and protect the health of the overall watershed.

55. Heritage Park Ogden

56. Panorama Valley Park Penfield

57. Salmon Creek Preserve There are no trails on the preserve – it is accessible by water only. Launch at Braddock Bay Tavern & Grill on Manitou Beach Road. Rentals are also available here.

58. Oatka Creek Leroy on either side of the Munson St. dam

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Where are your favorite water trails near Rochester?

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

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6 thoughts on “Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways”

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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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.