Situated on the southern shore of the enormous Lake Ontario, Rochester is one of the biggest cities in the state of New York and has a rich history as one of the country's first ever boomtowns. With beautiful natural surroundings all around, Rochester offers a peaceful, tranquil setting, a far cry from the hustle and bustle of New York City itself, and is also nicknamed "The Flower City" due to its horticultural heritage and wide array of beautiful plants and flowers all around.
With Lake Ontario right nearby, the Genesee River flowing through the center of the city, and several other lakes and waterways in and around the Rochester, NY area, this is a great place for outdoor and water-based activities of all kinds, including kayaking. Kayaking in Rochester, NY is especially enjoyable due to the stunning scenery and huge variety of options available to the average kayaker. Things to Do in Rochester
Best Kayaking Locations in Rochester, NY
There are plenty of great spots to enjoy some kayaking in Rochester, NY, with both calm and choppy waters just waiting to be found in and around the city. So whether you’re looking to enjoy a relaxing paddle along flat waters while appreciating the scenery or a more intense battle against a choppy current, you’ll be able to find a whole bunch of kayaking trails and spots to suit your needs. Here are some of the most popular kayaking locations in and around Rochester.
- Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is one of the city's most beloved recreational areas. Kayakers can simply let themselves float along this historic, picturesque waterway, paddling past old historic houses and gardens, as well as more natural areas with lots of wildlife to spot.
- Genesee River
The Genesee River flows right through Rochester and actually provides hydroelectric power for some parts of the city. It's a historic river that played a big part in the development of the city and offers a nice mixture of calm sections and choppier waters, suitable for every kind of kayaker.
- Lake Ontario
No mention of kayaking in Rochester could be complete without talking about Lake Ontario. Situated right by the city, this is one of the five Great Lakes and a true natural wonder of the world. Offering stunning views and so many exciting kayaking exploration opportunities, Lake Ontario is a must-visit spot for every kayaker.
- Finger Lakes
The eleven Finger Lakes of Rochester are some of the area's most popular tourist hotspots. Named for their long, thin resemblance to human fingers, these glacial lakes as some of the deepest in the entire US and offer some stunning kayaking opportunities.
Kayak Tours and Rentals in Rochester, NY
There are several great kayaking tour and rental companies to find around the Rochester area. Each of these companies provides unique kayak-based services to help your Rochester kayaking session be as fun and enjoyable as possible.
1. BayCreek Paddling Center - 5943, 1099 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY 14609, Phone: 585-288-2830
One of the only kayak companies in the Rochester area to provide guided kayaking tours, Bay Creek runs a two-hour tour of the "Secret Wilderness". With possibilities of muskrat, mink, beaver, turtle, and heron sightings, as well as the possibility to view many other species and learn more about them from your friendly guide, this is a terrific Rochester kayaking tour to take if you're interested in wildlife. BayCreek also runs lessons, kids’ camps, rentals, shuttle services, special events, kayak races, and more.
2. Oak Orchard Canoe Kayak Experts - 1350 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY 14609, Phone: 585-288-5550
Oak Orchard Canoe Kayak Experts is a family owned and operated company that has been running for several decades now. Open all year long, this company provides kayak sales and rentals at great prices, as well as providing lessons that last from 60-90 minutes. Kayak repairs, outfitting, and many other kayak-based services are provided by this highly rated company, and they even run a scheduled river trip with shuttle services to and from the launch sites.
3. Genesee Waterways Center - 149 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14611, Phone: 585-328-3960
This non-profit organization provides all you need to enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and other water-based activities on the lakes and rivers of the Rochester and surrounding Genesee area. Providing kayak and canoe rentals at low costs, as well as guidance and advice for kayakers of all kinds. With huge docks and many easily accessible launch sites, this is a great place to begin your Rochester kayaking session. This location even runs an annual whitewater kayaking event called Lockapalooza, involving two full days of activities and tournaments for experienced kayakers to enjoy.