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Whitewater in the Finger Lakes

Whitewater at the Cascade Falls on the Keuka Outlet.

If you enjoy the challenge and exhilaration of whitewater, you've come to the right place. The Finger Lakes has nearly two dozen whitewater locations from which to choose. But whitewater rafting and kayaking are seasonal activities, dependent on winter snows and late summer rains. Only one location, the Genesee River at Rock Park, can be considered a year-round whitewater opportunity. The best times to whitewater are in March just after the winter snows have melted and in September just after the summer rains in late August. But don't despair, the Finger Lakes gets plenty of rain in the spring and summer, and after a downpour you may find there's just enough to fill your favorite creek or river for yet another trip through the rapids.


For information about renting equipment, click here.


Using the GPS coordinates: You can use these coordinates easily by going to Google Maps, click on "satellite" on the map, paste the entire coordinate into the search box, and click "Search Maps." Google should show you the exact site. You can click other buttons to see area roads and get directions.


See also: American Whitewater and RiverFacts.com


Letchworth State Park

Adventure Calls Outfitters

P.O. Box 391

LeRoy, NY 14482



Canandaigua Outlet (Littleville to Manchester)

Class: II-III

Distance: 2.3 mi./3.7 km.

Put-in Location: 42.93947ºN 77.22207ºW

Take-out Location: 42.95964ºN 77.22616ºW

Note: This is a dammed waterway with controlled releases.

Canaseraga Creek

Class: IV-V

Distance: 8 mi./12.8 km.

Put-in Location: 42.46277ºN 77.77084ºW

Take-out Location: 42.54777ºN 77.7064ºW

Nearby: Sugar Creek, Keshegua Creek

Canisteo River

Two canoers take out from the Canisteo River near the Route 119 bridge in South Cameron. Watch for bald eagles along this river.Class: I-II

Distance: 20 mi./32 km.

Put-in Location: 42.27569ºN 77.6017ºW

Take-out Location: 42.10649ºN 77.2333ºW

Note: This waterway is dammed by the Arkport Dam in Arkport, New York and has controlled releases. For more information about the river, click here.

Cascadilla Creek

Class: V

Distance: 2 mi./3.2 km.

Put-in Location: 42.44319ºN 76.4767ºW

Take-out Location: 42.45059ºN 76.50461ºW

Nearby: Fall Creek, Six Mile Creek, Salmon Creek, Taughannock Creek

Lock 32 White Water Park

Class: II+

Distance: .5 mi./.8 km.

Put-in Location: 43.09099ºN 77.54551ºW

Take-out Location: 43.0909ºN 77.54441ºW

Note: This is a constructed course designed for use by the U. S. Olympic kayaking team. It is short but challenging, a good course for practicing technique. Water is available only during the regular canal season, which is determined every year by the New York State Canal Corporation and may vary slightly from year to year but usually from the beginning of May to mid-November. Since it is right next to the Erie Canal, once finished with the course, you can take a leisurely paddle on the Canal.

Nearby: Irondequoit Creek


The practice whitewater course at Lock 32 along the Erie Canal in Pittsford, New York, short but challenging.

Fall Creek (Etna to Forest Home)

Class: II-III

Distance: 8 mi./12.8 km.

Put-in Location: 42.4886ºN 76.37723ºW

Take-out Location: 42.45083ºN 76.46889ºW

Note: Fall Creek runs through the towns of Dryden and Ithaca and the City of Ithaca before flowing into Cayuga Lake.

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Six Mile Creek, Salmon Creek, Taughannock Creek

Fall Creek (Route 13 Bridge to Cornell Plantations)

Class: II

Distance: 6 mi./9.6 km.

Put-in Location: 42.47138ºN 76.41834ºW

Take-out Location: 42.45055ºN 76.46667ºW

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Six Mile Creek, Salmon Creek, Taughannock Creek

Fall Creek (Cornell Plantations to Beebe Lake)

Class: IV-V 

Distance: 1 mi./1.6 km.

Put-in Location: 42.45479ºN 76.4555ºW

Take-out Location: 42.45149ºN 76.4734ºW

Note #1: http://americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/2911/

Note #2 from P.R.: "Lover's Falls isn't really very difficult but you have to seriously hug the river right side or there will be serious consequences, definitely scout it."

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Six Mile Creek, Salmon Creek, Taughannock Creek


A spot on FallCreek between the Plantations and Beebe Lake in Ithaca, New York, USA called Broken Dam several days after highwater.

Flint Creek (Phelps Run)

Class: II-II+ (IV)

Distance: 3 mi./4.8 km.

Put-in Location: 42.93864ºN 77.10038ºW

Take-out Location: 42.9603ºN 77.05694ºW

Nearby: Canandaigua Outlet

Genesee River (Lee's Landing to St. Helena)

Class: II-III

Distance: 4.5 mi./7.2 km.

Put-in Location: 42.59419ºN 78.00493ºW

Take-out Location: 42.62024ºN 77.98797ºW

Note: Located in Letchworth State Park. Canoers and kayakers must register with the park. Participants must be experienced whitewater paddlers and good swimmers. Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. See also: http://www.letchworthpark.com/generalinfo.htm and http://www.ilovethefingerlakes.com/rivers/genesee-part2.htm.

Nearby: Keshagua Creek


Lee's Landing in Letchworth State Park during a dry spell. Make sure you contact the park before coming, so you won't be disappointed.

Genesee River (Rock Park)

Class: I-III+

Distance: .5 mi./8 km.

Put-in Location: 43.18673°N 77.62611°W

Take-out Location: Same as above

Note: This site of located below (in elevation) the parking area on Seth Green Dr. in the City of Rochester. You will need to park and carry your equipment down a paved road to the water's edge. Physically situated just below (north) of the Lower Falls, this spot provides year-round whitewater. You can continue to paddle all the way downstream (north) to Lake Ontario if you choose. For more information about this section of the Genesee, click here.

Nearby: Irondequoit Creek


Honeyoe Creek

Class: II-III

Distance: 4 mi./6.4 km.

Put-in Location: 42.54ºN 77.33001ºW

Take-out Location: 42.94527ºN 77.58354ºW

Irondequoit Creek

Class: II (III)

Distance: .5 mi./.8 km.

Put-in Location: 43.12612ºN 77.48165ºW

Take-out Location: 43.12735ºN 77.49029ºW

Nearby: Erie Canal

Keshegua Creek

Class: II+

Distance: 7 mi./11.2 km.

Put-in Location: 42.63752ºN 77.86632ºW

Take-out Location: 42.68252ºN 77.82837ºW

Nearby: Genesee River in Letchworth State Park, Canasaraga Creek

Keuka Outlet Creek

Class: I-III (V+)

Distance: 7.5 mi./12 km.

Put-in Location: 42.65861ºN 77.05389ºW

Take-out Location: 42.68249ºN 76.9564ºW

Note: The Keuka Outlet Creek runs between Keuka and Seneca lakes, dropping 270 ft. along the way. This is a dammed waterway with controlled releases. There is a hiking and biking trail that runs along the creek. The entire outlet area is quite scenic will provide a wealth of recreational opportunities. The put-in location is a small park with no amenities at the intersection of Liberty and East Main steets. For more information about the Outlet Trail, see http://www.keukaoutlettrail.net/index.cfm.

Nearby: Sugar Creek, Genesee River in Letchworth State Park


The Keuka Outlet in October provides both colorful foliage and great whitewater.

Oatka Creek

Class: II-III

Distance: 3 mi./4.8 km.

Put-in Location: 42.68252ºN 77.82837ºW

Take-out Location: 43.01576ºN 77.96544ºW

Owasco River

Class: II (III)

Distance: 3 mi./4.8 km.

Put-in Location: 42.93759ºN 76.59401ºW

Take-out Location: 42.9728ºN 76.6002ºW

Note: Owasco River is the outlet of Owasco Lake and runs through the City of Auburn.


The Ludlowville Falls and Salmon Creek in Lansing, New York, USA on the first day of spring. High water lasts only a few days to a week, so you must take advantage of it when it's there. Watch for bald eagles along this creek.

Salmon Creek (Ludlowville Falls to Cayuga Lake)

Class: II

Distance: 2 mi./3.2 km.

Put-in Location: 42.55472ºN 76.53723ºW

Take-out Location: 42.5373ºN 76.5494ºW

Note: Park at the Ludlowville Falls Park and portage down a narrow and sometimes slippery path. Exit at Myers (Point) Park just before the creek enters Cayuga Lake. For more information on this location, click here.

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Fall Creek, Six Mile Creek, Taughannock Creek

Six Mile Creek (Rt. 79 to Brooktondale)

Six Mile Creek in winter as it runs through Brooktondale, New York, USA.Class: V

Distance: 3 mi./4.8 km.

Put-in Location: 42.40259ºN 76.43561ºW

Take-out Location: 42.38199ºN 76.38701ºW

Note: For more information about this location, click here.

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek, Taughannock Creek

Sugar Creek

Class: IV-V

Distance: 1.7 mi./2.7 km.

Put-in Location: 42.5511ºN 77.83001ºW

Take-out Location: 42.48222ºN 77.73723ºW

Note: Sugar Creek is the headwaters to Canaseraga Creek.

Nearby: Canaseraga Creek, Keshegua Creek

Taughannock Creek (Podunk Rd. to Rt. 96 Bridge)

Class: II-III+ (IV)

Distance: 2 mi./3.2 km.

Put-in Location: 42.52909ºN 76.6605ºW

Take-out Location: 42.52959ºN 76.6373ºW

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek, Six Mile Creek

Taughannock Creek (Rt. 96 to Upper Falls)

Class: II-III

Distance:1 mi./1.6 km.

Put-in Location: 42.52909ºN 76.63111ºW

Take-out Location: 42.53499ºN 76.6121ºW

Note: This part of the creek is located in Taughannock Falls State Park. For more information about the park, click here.

Nearby: Cascadilla Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek, Six Mile Creek


Updated 16 August 2011








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