Photo Credit: @outside.emily

Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling 

With calm bays, scenic canals, and nautical thrills, Rochester, NY is an ideal place to make a splash. Those looking to use muscle instead of motors will be delighted by the myriad of paddling options, so secure a vessel, grab your personal floatation device, and head off on your marvelous maritime journey.  

A Wonderland Of Waterways Await

The Erie Canal is the perfect place for paddlers to get on the water in Rochester. Getting on the water is one of the best ways to experience and enjoy the Erie Canal, a 200-year-old engineering marvel. Kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals are available at outfitters in the towns and villages surrounding the canal. 

With a coast that includes natural sand beaches and acres of parks and wilderness, it’s easy to see why visitors flock to majestic Lake Ontario and the Port of Rochester Marina. While rowing farther out is best reserved for more experienced paddlers, novice boaters will find plenty of room to play closer to shore. 

Paddle up or down the Genesee River to discover natural serenity right in the city. Glide through this tributary and coast past marshy shores and impressive cliffs before ending at the base of one of Rochester’s three waterfalls. 

Take a 15-minute drive to Irondequoit Bay, where you’ll find gentle currents and gorgeous views. Stop paddling every so often to observe impressive wetlands and wildlife. 

No matter where you paddle, you’re welcome to bring your own kayak, canoe, or paddleboard,  or rent one from one of the many area providers. And, with ADA-accessible ramps, gear, and classes available, paddlers of all abilities can get in on the action.  

A Wonderland Of Waterways Await

Take advantage of warmer weather from June through October, when water temperatures rarely dip below the 50s. While milder water temps and calmer currents make summer and early fall clear winners for paddlers of all skill levels, it’s best to leave winter and early spring to the experts, as water conditions can be unpredictable and water can become quite frigid.