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.
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.
5. Lighthouse Kayak & Canoe Rental Churchville on Black Creek. Shuttle service to Route 19 in Bergen, 2-3 hour paddle downstream to Lighthouse.
Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!
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.
6. On Black Creek Road, off Route 252 1/4 miles west of Route 383, 10 cars and trailers
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
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
12. On Fishell Road, off US Route 15, 1 mile south of Route 251, 12 cars, hand launch
13. On Empire Blvd at southern end of bay, 6 cars, hand launch
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
19. Off Route 65, one mile south of NYS Thruway. Four launches on three ponds, Adequate parking, hand launch
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
22. Livingston County Several places on Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, and the Genesee River
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
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
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.
37. Corn Hill Landing, carry-in from parking lot. Great spot to tie up and enjoy a meal before heading back upstream.
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)
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.
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)
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
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.