SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Suggested Itineraries

Canandaigua Lake offers paddling routes for a diverse set of paddlers, ranging from a novice paddler who would like to get out on the water for a couple of hours to very experienced long-distance paddlers.  The following routes are simply suggestions for paddlers, but does not provide a list of all of the paddling routes available.

The Vine Valley Paddle

water accessPicnicDestination Site Educational SignageInvasive Species Restrooms web Water

Out-and-back with a destination point

The Vine Valley Paddle is excellent for those who want to spend an afternoon on the lake. This is an out-and-back paddle along the southeastern shoreline, starting at Vine Valley Town Park and ending at the primitive beach at the Finger Lakes Land Trust East Shore Preserve at Bare Hill. A trail is proposed on the Finger Lakes Land Trust property, so this area will be great for a paddle and hike in the future.

Paddler Level:  Appropriate for all paddling levels

Paddling Directions (see the map):

  1. Launch at the Vine Valley Town Park
  2. Paddle north along the eastern shoreline of the lake
  3. Stop for a rest and picnic at the Finger Lakes Land Trust East Shore Preserve at Bare Hill
  4. Paddle south back to the Vine Valley Town Park launch

The North End Loop

Loop with destination points

The northern end of Canandaigua Lake offers a concentration of launching and destination sites, including Lagoon Park, Kershaw Park, City Pier, Squaw Island and Atwater Meadows. Paddlers can access walking paths, a public swimming beach, a primitive shoreline park, and local eateries from this loop. Paddlers can start at any of the launching sites and complete the loop in either direction. This is a great paddle for those who want to be able to get on and off of the water, with numerous launching and destination locations to explore, stop for a rest, or access facilities.

Paddler Level:  Appropriate for all paddling levels

Approximate Distance: 3.5 miles (± depending on your launching location)

Paddling Directions (see the map):

  1. Launch at any of the north end sites and paddle east towards the Canandaigua Outlet
  2. Paddle up the Canandaigua Outlet and into the calm waters of Lagoon Park. While paddling, stay away from the outlet gates on the eastern side of the park. Enjoy a walk along the Lagoon Park’s trails (boat storage at the Canandaigua Outlet)
  3. Paddle back to Canandaigua Lake
  4. Head west past Kershaw Park and City Pier.  Be sure to stay beyond the buoys near the swim beach.  Use caution when crossing the channels near City Pier with the high motorized boat traffic through this area.
  5. Paddle around the cultural site Squaw Island.
  6. Paddle north east to Atwater Meadows Park and take a rest on the beach (unimproved area with no water or bathroom facilities).
  7. Paddle back to your launch site

The South End/West River Paddle

Out-and-back

The South End/West River Paddle offers paddlers a variety of natural landscapes from the rolling hills to a natural wetland complex. This paddle includes both the open waters of the lake and the sheltered waters of West River.

Paddler Level:  Appropriate for all paddling levels

Paddling Directions (see the map):

  1. Launch at the Woodville State Boat Launch. Paddle southeast along the southern shoreline of the lake
  2. Head south onto West River, paddling upstream on West River through the High Tor Wetland Complex to the Sunnyside Road bridge/ West River DEC State Fishing Access Site
  3. Optional – Take out your boat and walk ½ mile north up Sunnyside Road to the Finger Lakes Land Trust West River Preserve, where you can enjoy bird watching in grassland habitat.
  4. Paddle back down West River to Canandaigua Lake. 
  5. Head west to the Woodville State Boat Launch

Lake End to End Paddle

Point to point paddle

The Lake End to End Paddle offers advanced paddlers a multi-hour paddle. Paddlers can choose to start at either the north or south end of the lake. The east side of the lake offers more options to rest than the west side of the lake, but paddlers can opt to paddle along either side of the lake.

Paddler Level: Advanced paddlers only
Paddling Directions:
1. Launch at north end of the lake shown in yellow (Kershaw Park Small Boat Launch, Kershaw Park Western Launch, Canandaigua Outlet Launch, or Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park)
2. Stop at any of the rest areas shown. Paddling south along the east side of the lake, rest areas are available at Ontario Beach Park (potable water and restrooms), Finger Lakes Land Trust East Shore Preserve at Bare Hill (no amenities), and Vine Valley Public Boat Launch (potable water and restrooms). Paddling along the west side of the lake, Onanda Park (potable water and restroom) is the only rest area.
3. Land at the Woodville State Boat Launch.
4. This route can also be done south to north.

Lake Circumference Paddle

Loop paddle

The Lake Circumference Paddle offers advanced paddlers the longest distance paddle on the lake. Paddlers can choose to start at any of the launch points along the lake and paddle in either direction. This paddle is only for the most advanced paddlers given the distance and open water conditions.

1. Launch at north end of the lake (Kershaw Park Small Boat Launch, Kershaw Park Western Launch, Canandaigua Outlet Launch, or Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park)
2. Stop at any of the rest areas. Paddling south along the east side of the lake, rest areas are available at Ontario Beach Park (potable water and restrooms), Finger Lakes Land Trust East Shore Preserve at Bare Hill (no amenities), and Vine Valley Public Boat Launch (potable water and restrooms). Paddling along the west side of the lake, Onanda Park (potable water and restroom) is the only rest area.

Vine Valley Maps
(click to enlarge)

North End Map
(click to enlarge)

South End Map
(click to enlarge)

Partners

Contact:

For water trail information contact:
Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council
205 Saltonstall Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424
Phone: 585.396.3630 (Fax) 585.396.5002
Email: klo@canandaiguanewyork.gov

For tourism information contact:
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection
25 Gorham Street

Canandaigua, NY 14424
Phone: 877-FUN-IN-NY (877) 386-4669
Email: info@visitfingerlakes.com