The Genesee River is 157 miles long, flowing northward through the Twin Tiers of Pennsylvania to the shores of Lake Ontario in Rochester, New York. Treeline Outdoor Sports provides guided canoe and kayak excursions on part of the River, from Mount Morris at the tip of picturesque Letchworth Park to Lake Ontario. The entire trek is approximately 80 miles, and takes approximately 29 hours to complete. We've broken the distance into seven segments that even a canoe/kayak beginner can complete in a day.
Here's the challenge: complete a trek from Mount Morris to Lake Ontario with Treeline Outdoor Sports. You can complete your trek over the summer, or over a long weekend. Treeline will track your progress for you, and award you when you complete the trek. Are you up for the Treeline Challenge?
Check out our Tours and Excursions section for details and pricing on each of the sections that make up the Treeline Challenge.
Section 1: Mount Morris to Geneseo
This section of the Genesee River begins at the north end of Letchworth State Park and traverses the farm country of the Genesee Valley. You will pass through the hamlet of Cuylerville and Piffard before arriving in Geneseo. The exit point for this section is the Genesee River bridge of Rte. 63.
Section 2: Geneseo to York
When looking at a map, this section looks short. However, looks can be deceiving! The river zig-zags through this stretch, making for a suprise after each turn. After leaving Geneseo, your journey takes you along the farming area known as 'the flats'. You then go through the town of Piffard, home to the Abbey of the Genesee. The east side of the River here is owned by the Abbey. You may see a monk on the River bank in quiet reflection. Eventually, the River comes to an area called York Landing, the destination for this section. Here, the River joins the Greenway Trail at a park setting with convenient parking.
Section 3: York to Avon
The York to Avon section of the Treeline Challenge is a remote stretch of the river. It is quiet and peaceful, and a wonderful opportunity to contrast the countryside with the urban jungle just a few short hours north from this location.
Section 4: Avon to Scottsville
Shortly after leaving the launch at the River bridge in Avon, you head north past the Barilla pasta plant. There won't be any pasta on this trip!
Section 5: Scottsville to Downtown Rochester
The Scottsville to Downtown Rochester section of the Treeline Challenge is about one mile longer than depicted under Tours and Excursions. The difference is simple: the traditional guided tour ends at Genesee Valley Park - well short of Downtown. The reason for the difference is safety. We don't want inexperienced paddler's anywhere near the waterfall's of downtown! By the time you've worked your way to Section 5, however, you're an experienced paddler who will be confortable on the water!
Section 6: Downtown Rochester to the Driving Park Bridge
Put the paddles away, you're off the water for this stretch! Paddlers get credit for Section Six of the Treeline Challenge by completing Section five of the challenge and portaging their canoe or kayak through downtown Rochester and around the waterfalls, and continuing on to Section 7. During your portage, you will cross Main Street, walking up Exchange Street, State Street, and Lake Avenue. Eventually, you'll arrive north of the Driving Park Bridge where you'll enter the water and get the paddle back in your hand.
Section 7: Driving Park Bridge to Lake Ontario
The end is near, and you can almost hear the waves of Lake Ontario lapping against the shore. Just a few short miles left! You'll pass multiple marinas and Coast Guard Station Rochester before hitting the Lake. Your guide will make the call here: go out into the Lake or stop at the pier. If it's windy, we can't go out into the Lake for safety reasons. If the wind is calm, we'll go out onto the Lake, around the bend and beach our craft at the park.
So, you've completed the Treeline Challenge... You will receive your complimentary 'I completed the Treeline Challenge!' tshirt, and a book of photographs taken along the way. Finally, your picture will be placed on 'The Wall' of Treeline Outdoor Sports signifying you have 'met the challenge'!