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Kayaking in Monroe County/Rochester
Kayaking in Monroe County
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For Novice Recreational Kayakers

Being retired and getting on in years, I generally spend my days in search of a quiet and healthy lifestyle. I loved canoeing when I was young and now I'd like to get back into it, but this time around I will try kayaking instead. The kayak I purchased is lightweight and easy enough to transport. Please understand that I am not interested in whitewater kayaking or attempting anything too demanding or dangerous -- like doing rolls or attacking waterfalls. My goal is videotape some of my outings... just for fun and maybe to give other aspiring paddlers a look at some of our local kayaking venues.
Kayak Video  #1 Irondequoit Bay & Wetlands
(May 9, 2018)
Kayak Video  #1: Irondequoit Bay & Wetlands Maiden Voyage 
(May 9, 2018)

I was told LaSalle's Landing Park would be a great place to put my kayak in the water for the first time. I went early to avoid embarrassing myself getting in and out of my kayak without getting wet, which I know can be a bit of a challenge. I arrived at about 6:30 a.m. on a workday and was happy to see no fisherman were present. I certainly did not want to be accused of scaring away all the fish. The water was calm and I really had no problem getting used to paddling a kayak in still waters. I saw several varieties of waterfowl and was surprised to see a huge fish jump out of the water to bid me a bon voyage. I will return to this spot later in the summer. 

LOCATION: Canoe/Kayak Launch: LaSalle's Landing Park located on the south end of Irondequoit Bay and Irondequoit Creek off Empire Boulevard, East of Rochester, New York. Here are are a few photos. 

History of Irondequoit Bay
LaSalle's Landing Park
Kayak rentals are available across the road. Give it a try!

Kayak Video #2: Irondequoit Creek Oxbow in Ellison Park
 (May 14, 2018)

I started at the canoe/kayak launch at the southern end of Ellison Park, then paddled/drifted downstream past the second bridge to a spot on the left bank of the creek. Irondequoit Creek meanders through the park, so I was able to just walk a short distance to my car enabling me to retrieve my kayak without paddling back upstream to the launch. An easy one way ride! Where else can you do that? 

Irondequoit Creek
Irondequoit Creek
Kayak Video #3: Mendon Ponds Park
 (May 17, 2018)

I remember years ago canoeing with my son on Hundred Acre Pond in Mendon Park (south of Rochester). A flock of geese approached us from the south and landed right near us, probably just to honk hello .. and maybe to rest for a while. They were pretty noisy for sure. We quietly watched them float around a bit before resuming their flight north. There were several geese on the pond today (and red winged blackbirds) among the cattails, but nothing as dramatic as an entire flock.

I launched my canoe this morning from the picnic area near Hopkins Point on the western shore of Hundred Acre Pond. There is a boat launch on the opposite shore; go there if you prefer. Paddling is easy in this comparatively small pond, which connects to a second pond via a large pipe. The second pond is called Deep Pond. Both seemed shallow to me. In fact the hull of my kayak scraped a bit going through the pipe. No big deal. Once the water level drops in the summer, I doubt if you'd be able to get through to the other pond. I guess it's always best to kayak in the spring for that reason. Be sure to follow park rules. Here is the link their website: https://www2.monroecounty.gov/parks-mendonponds.php

I got up at 3 AM last night and could not fall back asleep, so I loaded up the kayak at 5:30 and made my way over to the Genesee Waterways Center located in Genesee Valley Park. To get there, enter the swimming pool/ice arena parking lot on Elmwood Avenue, then drive to the back of the lot. I have a cart for my kayak, but the distance to the kayak/canoe launch is not very far. If you go, the dock on the far left is the public dock. The dock on the right is for the Center.

Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day so my video is a bit dark. I hope to go again next week on a sunnier day. I'll probably go in the afternoon if it isn't too hot. Maybe I'll see you there.
Kayak Video #4: The Genesee River, Erie Canal and Red Creek
(August 27, 2018)
Kayak Video #5: Buffalo River/Riverworks/Canalside
(September 2, 2018)
Okay, this website features Rochester, New York, but if you are curious about kayaking opportunities down the road in Buffalo, check out this video. Buffalo has done a great job repurposing it's waterfront and nearby grain elevators. I took extra care strapping my kayak to the roof of my sedan and instead of taking the Thruway, I took Chili Ave to Route 33A, then 33  to Walden Ave in Buffalo to Michigan Avenue, which leads directly to the lift bridge seen in my video and finally to Riverworks on the Buffalo River. Kayaks are available to rent if you want to avoid the hassle of transporting your own kayak. Rates are very reasonable, and they have tandem kayaks if you would like to invite a friend.

Kayak Video #2: Irondequoit Creek Oxbow in Ellison Park
 (May 14, 2018)

I started at the canoe/kayak launch at the southern end of Ellison Park, then paddled/drifted downstream past the second bridge to a spot on the left bank of the creek. Irondequoit Creek meanders through the park, so I was able to just walk a short distance to my car enabling me to retrieve my kayak without paddling back upstream to the launch. An easy one way ride! Where else can you do that? 

Riverworks in Buffalo, New York
Braddock Bay, also known as Braddocks Bay, is a small bay of Lake Ontario located in Monroe County northwest of Rochester, New York in the United States. Braddock Bay is renowned for being an excellent bird-watching location, as raptors and other birds congregate there when migrating north in spring. Significant portions of this video are time-lapsed. 


Kayak Video #6: Braddock Bay
(September 12, 2018)