Getting out on the water is a must when summer arrives in Livingston County - explore tons of ways to enjoy outdoor water recreation in the Genesee River Valley.

Home to two Finger Lakes and the Genesee River, opportunities for water recreation abound in Livingston County, no matter which town or village you happen to be staying in. Boating, fishing, tubing, waterskiing, canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming — it’s all here waiting for you. Even if you don’t quite want to get your hair wet, you can still enjoy the county’s aquatic bounty, thanks to multiple scenic lakeside hikes and plenteous opportunities for waterfront dining. Each water destination around the region offers something different.


Woman Paddleboarding on Conesus



Conesus Lake, also known as the jewel of Livingston County, is the westernmost Finger Lake and offers spectacular fishing and paddling, as well as nature trails and opportunities for wildlife watching and birding. You might even find the beautifully mysterious turtle-like stones, or Conesus stones, as they are known around the world. These stones were formed in the ice age when glacial debris 10,000 feet thick created dams that built the Finger Lakes, and they’ve been found as far away as Siberia and Iceland.

Hemlock Lake is known as the most undeveloped of the Finger Lakes, if you’re looking for seclusion and pristine nature, this is where to go. In the 1970s, the last wild bald eagle in New York State was found nesting at the south end of Hemlock Lake. Since then, diligent work to restore bald eagles has resulted in over 300 nests - with dozens in the area. They are no longer endangered and are now a common sight. While visiting LivCo, check out the mural First Flight in downtown Livonia painted by Rochester native Justin Suarez. The mural depicts two eagles flying over Hemlock Lake in celebration of the ongoing conservation efforts.

The Genesee River travels between Pennsylvania and the Rochester Harbor, offering paddling and sightseeing opportunities aplenty in a peaceful setting. Wind down the Genesee River on a warm summer's day with a group of friends or family, just be sure to check river conditions prior to starting your trip, know your route, and paddle within your abilities.

Embrace the Thrills of Whitewater Rafting

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If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience, book an excursion with Adventure Calls Outfitters. Take a whitewater rafting excursion through Letchworth State Park, “The Grand Canyon of the East”, for five-plus miles of rapids and scenery. In addition to whitewater rafting, Adventure Calls also offers kayaking excursions (when the water’s too low for rafting), and camping and fishing packages. Go ahead and toss a change of clothes into your trunk — you’re gonna get wet.


People Getting into Raft

Boat Along the Waters of the Finger Lakes

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On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better than taking a boat out on the water. Mark’s Leisure Time Marine rents a range of boats on Conesus Lake, from fishing boats to powerboats to pontoons, as well as non-motorized boats and fun extras like water skis. Tropical Creations Boat Rentals offers a range of motorized and non-motorized rentals. Don’t want to actually drive the boat yourself? Tropical Creations also offers daily cruises, private charters, and audio tours. Other places for rentals include Conesus Lake Boat Rentals and Smith Boys Marina.


Two Girls on Boat

Learn How to Fish with the Experts

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As one of the state’s best fishing destinations, LivCo offers multiple waterways for serious anglers to love. But, you don’t need to be a pro to enjoy fishing the area's lakes, thanks to Upstate Anglers Guide Service. The company offers daily fishing charters throughout the region, four to six hours for each experience, and they’ll provide all the equipment you need for a memorable time.


Older Man Fishing

Make a Splash in State Parks

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Longing for some relaxation in the heart of nature? If you’re looking to swim the day away, you can find a spot for a dip at Harvey Pool in Letchworth State Park. Open late June through Labor Day, the Olympic-sized pool, closest to the Mount Morris park entrance, is open to the public.

Covering hundreds of acres of breathtaking natural land, Stony Brook State Park is known for its gorges and waterfalls which flow into a spring-fed natural pool that keeps cool throughout the summer. Not only is the water cool and refreshing, but it's incredibly clear and vibrant with turquoise hues that make this spot a true hidden gem. Stony Brook is also filled with campsites, cabins, picnic tables, restrooms, hiking trails, and a playground for everyone to enjoy.


Stony Brook Waterfall

Paddle Through Nature

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Luckily, there are several outfitters throughout LivCo that can hook you up with whatever you need to paddle along: kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and more. Plus, just as you’ll find numerous rental options, you’ll find just as many potential paddling experiences. 

Spend a day paddling along Conesus Lake or go somewhere quieter on Hemlock Lake to float the day away. Paddle your way through shallower waters on the Genesee River as you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Whatever you choose, Canadice Lake Outfitters can help with canoe, kayak, and life jacket rentals, with convenient delivery to Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Canadice Lake.


Kayaking Down River


No matter where you take to the waters this summer, don’t miss the many celebrations occurring throughout New York State in 2024 to recognize the establishment of the New York State Parks network, a hundred years ago.

Mark your calendars for July 20th in Letchworth State Park. Celebrate the legacy of the “Grand Canyon on the East” at the NYS Parks Legacy Celebration which will include multiple activities throughout the park including a Legacy Ceremony at the Lower Falls Civilian Conservation Corp Statue, a special historical presentation at the Humphrey Nature Center, family-friendly activities at the Highbanks Recreation Area, live music, hot air balloon tethering, and fireworks. If you plan on camping for the event, find the nearest available campsites using Reserve America.

Can’t make it to the NYS Parks Legacy Celebration, but still want to celebrate? Participate in the 2024 Centennial Challenge! The Challenge includes 100 activities that help you explore New York’s State Parks. Complete just 24 of the 100 activities to win a prize.


Letchworth Sunny Day