Genesee Riverway Trail

New York

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Genesee Riverway Trail Facts

States: New York
Counties: Monroe
Length: 22.8 miles
Trail end points: Ontario Beach Park (Irondequoit) and I-390 and Erie Canal (Brighton)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6241741
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Genesee Riverway Trail Description

The Genesee Riverway Trail links the area's vast array of recreational, historical, and cultural attractions. The Genesee Riverway Trail is popular for walking, jogging, bicycling, inline skating, and cross-country skiing. You can also access the river for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, and bird-watching.

The paved trail begins in Irondequoit's Ontario Beach Park at the mouth of the Genesee River. There, you'll find a long boardwalk providing outstanding views of vast Lake Ontario. The trail heads south from the lake shoreline towards downtown Rochester. A few pull-outs offer stunning views of the high waterfalls along the river. Farther south, the trail ends in the suburb of Brighton, where it meets the Erie Canalway Trail and the Genesee Valley Greenway.

You'll find signs along the way at major access points for directions, mileage, and trail precautions. Most of the trail is accessible, although there are some steep, rough, or narrow areas with limited passage for those with mobility concerns. Check with the city of Rochester for more details.

Parking and Trail Access

There are numerous access points throughout the city of Rochester. The best parking is available at:

* Genesee Valley Park
* Bausch & Lomb Park
* downtown garages (fee)
* High Falls District
* Maplewood Park
* Seneca Park
* Turning Point Park
* Ontario Beach Park

Genesee Riverway Trail Reviews

We arrived from Chicago and did a twilight ride of this trail. We started out in Rochester at the big falls. We found that the trail once found was very nice however signage we though was very confusing and could be better for the non locals. Great scenery of a trail that offers so much. We unfortunately only made it to Maple Park before the sun was setting. Better information in my opinion is needed for this trail.

Nice review of this great trail. But, there are a few errors here. The northern end of the trail does begin at Ontario Beach Park. But this is in the City of Rochester, not the Town of Irondequoit. The southern end of the trail is near the Erie Canal, also in the City of Rochester, not the Town of Brighton. This is a wonderful urban trail that is fully within the City. It is not in the suburbs as reported here.

My friend and I did a circular trip starting in Fairport, NY. Went along the Erie Canal to Niagara Falls and then back along Lake Ontario. Picking it up at the north it was an enjoyable ride for the first few miles. Loved the long wooden bridge over the water. However, when we arrived near downtown Rochester it became very difficult to navigate. We spent much time in downtown Rochester dodging cars and trying to reconnect with the southern section. It would be great if they continued the bike lane near the Kodak plant but it ended abruptly. We took to a parallel road that wasn't as dangerous, and asked a mailman for directions to get back on the paved part. He was most helpful. We followed directions and then got back on the path in downtown Rochester (after bringing fully loaded bikes down a few steps) only to go half a city block to have to climb another set of steps and see a sign that the trail went right on the road and then left along another busy road. We finally got back on the very nice paved southern part.
If they could do something with the center part of the ride it would be a great trail. The bike lane was great but wonder why they did away with it when the road became really busy.


I thought I had rated this trail previously but don't see it on the site. We did half of this trail, from Lake Ontario Park to Maplewood Park. I saw some road bikes but hybrids are a great fit for this trail. Signage was very good, a bit hard to find the trail at the beginning but the trail hugs the river bank, you don't stay confused for long. The trail is simply gorgeous and yes, some of the trails are city side walks but not a lot. You have a wonderful boardwalk right over the river for a bit. We chose to start our ride at my favorite childhood restaurant, The Char Pit, retro place to the 50's and 60's for a great burger. We also chose to park in the Abbott's Ice Cream Parking Lot vs the Lake Ontario Parking Lot for car security purposes. Lots of historical features on the trail, learn about Rochester History! Imagine our surprise when we got to Maplewood Park (at Driving Park Bridge) to find their was the Rose Festival going on, roses were in their prime. We chose to stop here as we had things to do. A brief comment about the remainder of the trail, as you approach city center you will briefly be going through part of Rochester's disadvantaged neighborhoods. You might consider not going through late/early hours. I might also recommend riding with a buddy.

I plan to head back to my hometown Rochester this summer and I am elated that there are so many biking options. I know my old city well and it may be one of the most cycle-able cities ever!

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