Genesee Valley Park was designed by the firm of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City. Olmsted designed the park to highlight the natural, rolling fields of the area. He also introduced a flock of 80 sheep, which added to the pastoral scene while helping to keep the grass trimmed.
In Genesee Valley Park, the Genesee River meets the Erie Canal. The original Erie Canal was just 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and it flowed through downtown Rochester. In 1918, the canal was enlarged to fit wider and deeper boats, and rerouted here. However, after the St. Lawrence Seaway was completed in 1959, use of the canal declined abruptly. The Seaway allowed much larger ships to enter the Great Lakes directly from the Atlantic Ocean.
In 2000, the Erie Canal was designated a National Heritage Corridor, to help preserve this historic waterway. Today, Genesee Valley Park, and the Erie Canal, provide recreational activities for everyone.
Tap this link for a map of Genesee Valley Park.
To visit downtown Rochester, you can take the Genesee Riverway Trail. Download the free Tour Blend app, or tap the graphic below for a free, audio-narrated tour describing over 100 locations along the Genesee River.
The Genesee Riverway Trail is a scenic multi-use trail which runs through Rochester from the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario. It is a designated National Recreational Trail, and connects to both the statewide Erie Canal Heritage Trail and the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail, which continues south along the Genesee River.
There are many parks and historic districts to enjoy along the Genesee Riverway Trail.
This website was created by the Genesee River Alliance. Be the first to learn about events and activities along the river by signing up for the Genesee River Alliance Enews.