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Canadice Lake - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Destination Report
Nearest City: Rochester, NY
Difficulty: Easy
Submitted by: James


Hemlock and Canadice Lakes can almost be taken as one body of water. The only real differences between the two are that Hemlock is almost twice as large as Canadice, and Hemlock contains Land-locked Salmon. These two lakes are fairly unique in my experience. I would like to focus on Canadice, since this is really my favorite of the two. Once you reach the lake, you will immediately notice that there are no houses anywhere on the shoreline. Since both lakes are the water supply for Rochester, NY, no houses are allowed on the lake. In fact, boats are limited to 16 feet LOA, and 10HP motors. They recently extended the size limitation to canoes, so you folks out there with extended trippers may not be able to bring the big paddle.

The lakes are shielded from heavy winds by high hills on either side, so you'll rarely encounter heavy weather. Fishermen will be able to fish for a wide variety of species, including cold weather fish such as Rainbow and Brown Trout, Lake Trout. Warm Weather species include Pickerel, Small/Large mouth Bass, sunfish, perch, etc.

Touring the lake can be great fun because there are numerous small gravel beaches and points to ground on and take in the sights. There are also golden eagles, some egrets, loons, etc. to keep you busy. I stayed after dark one day and was treated to hundreds of bats hunting in the bay I was drifting. I take the big boat up to Lake Ontario, and I have to say that Canadice is a miracle that I never get tired of. Instead of dodging 4-foot wakes, I bump over tiny wakes and dodge angry starlings. Hemlock and Canadice are terrific and timeless paddling opportunities, open to the public, and easily accessible to even the newest novice. A great place to try out that new sailing rig ;-)

The water authority takes the restrictions on the permit seriously since these lakes are the primary water supply for Rochester.


Unfinished Ramps at north and south ends of each lake. The northern ramps are by far the easiest to access. Porta-pottis at both northern ramps.


Free permit required. You can pick one up from a self-serve Kiosk at the Northern end of Hemlock Lake.


From Rochester, NY: 15A S for 20 minutes. After the town of Hemlock, Hemlock Lake will be on your Right, Canadice is over the hill to your left.



A very useful trail and water map is included with the free permit.

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