Kayakers and canoeists have a new and safe access site on the Lower Genesee. The ADA-compliant dock is on the west side of the river at the foot of Petten Street, just south of the O’Rourke Bridge. It allows cartop boaters to launch and land their boats out of the way of the powerboat wakes and lake swells prevalent north of the bridge. It also replaces the current, informal, riverbank site that requires boaters to wade into the river from a Brownfield area.
The new dock was built by the City of Rochester with funding help from Genesee RiverWatch donors. It is the realization of a dream that began with both City planners and RiverWatch volunteers in 2016 and supports the public access goals of the City’s Harbor Management Plan. The City was seeking ways to capitalize on the beauty of the Genesee and expand recreational opportunities on the river. Genesee RiverWatch seeks to connect people to the river and had direct experience using the power boat launch ramp next to the Marina and the muddy informal bank site at Petten Street. It was clear that a dock facility dedicated to paddlers would be safer and could be a focal point for recreational boating, aquatic education programs, and potential river-based events. With this in mind, City Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Norman Jones, earmarked funds in the City’s capital budget for the project. Genesee RiverWatch received a major donation from Genesee Brewery and significant additional funding from Rochester Gas & Electric, the Popli Design Group, and individual supporters.
Using the new dock, recreational boaters can paddle upriver to Turning Point Park, Seth Green Island and Lower Falls; exploring the Genesee’s “wilderness in the city” – an area that can only be fully appreciated from a boat. When we are past the current COVID emergency, the rapidly expanding Waterways Center/Genesee RiverWatch program of guided paddles in the lower river will have a proper facility for their Seth Green-to-harbor trips. In addition, K-12 and college students in aquatic education programs and potential canoe/kayak races will have a dedicated dock available for their activities. More information about canoe/kayak access points on the river is available on the newly updated Genesee River Blueway Map
The dock is open now for use. Please be considerate of other paddlers and the boaters who rent slips in the immediate area. After unloading your boat, park your car at the back side of the lot and away from the spaces marked for boat trailers.