Kayaking water trails cover

Water Trails: 58 Places to Explore Rochester’s Waterways

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.

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.

Erie Canal through Fairport

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.

Water Trails Around Rochester NY Genesee River through Genesee Valley Park
Genesee River through Genesee Valley Park

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.

Water Trails: Black Creek in Churchville
Lighthouse Kayak and Canoe Rental

5. Lighthouse Kayak & Canoe Rental Churchville on Black Creek. Shuttle service to Route 19 in Bergen, 2-3 hour paddle downstream to Lighthouse.

49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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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.

State launch sites on water trails in Monroe County

Black Creek

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

Erie Canal

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

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

Genesee River

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

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

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

Honeoye Creek

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

Irondequoit Bay

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

Irondequoit Bay Park boat launch
Irondequoit Marine Park boat launch

Lake Ontario

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

15. Braddock Bay State Park. 10 miles west of Rochester off Lake Ontario State Parkway, 50 cars and trailers, 50 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

18. Town of Greece. On Edgemere Drive, 2 miles east of Genesee River mouth, 80 cars

77 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

Here are a few less populated, rustic, or unusual trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail-trails, waterside trails, and inland trails.

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Water Trails Around Rochester NY Thousand Acre Pond in Mendon Ponds
Thousand Acre Pond in Mendon Ponds

Mendon Ponds

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

Water Trails Around Rochester NY Oatka Creek through Oatka Creek Park Scottsville
Oatka Creek through Oatka Creek Park Scottsville

Oatka Creek

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

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

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

Water Trails: Conesus Lake
Conesus Creek launch for Conesus Lake

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

Canadice Lake kayaks

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

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

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

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

27. Wyoming County Launch on Silver Lake

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

Monroe County Parks

Water Trails Around Rochester NY Irondequoit Creek through Ellison Park
Irondequoit Creek through Ellison Park

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)

Kayaking Black Creek Churchville
Kayaking Black Creek Churchville

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

Black Creek Park Boat Launch

33. Black Creek Park launch near Sunnyside Lodge

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

City of Rochester

35. Turning Point Park off Lake Ave. Requires 0.2 mile carry-in

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

Water Trails: Corn Hill Landing Kayak Launch

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

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)

Water Trails: Port of Palmyra
Port of Palmyra

40. Port of Palmyra Kayak Launch Cars (30)

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

Water Trails: Lock 30 Boat Launch
Lock 30 Boat Launch and Camping Area

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

43. Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 60

Water Trails: Erie Canal through Fairport
Fairport Erie Canal Boat Launch

44. Fairport Kayak Launch Cars (10)

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

48 Nature Centers, Preserves, Refuges, and Observatories Around Rochester

Our nature centers, wildlife preserves, management areas, etc., all serve to protect and sustain life, while making nature accessible to people to enjoy and learn from.

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

46. Great Embankment Park Cars (20)

Water trails: Meridian Center
Brighton Reserve / Meridian Center

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)

39 Natural Swimming Areas

On a hot day, you can sit under a waterfall, swim in a lake, or jump in a creek at one of these refreshing natural swimming areas.

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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.

Oatka Creek in LeRoy
Oatka Creek in LeRoy

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

Water Trails Around Rochester NY Genesee River through Genesee Valley Park
Genesee River through Genesee Valley Park

Where are your favorite water trails near Rochester?

Share with us in the comments! We’d love to add to our list and your insight is invaluable.

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