Barnes Creek; A Hidden Gem in Canandaigua, NY

Last weekend was hot and muggy but I had the itch to get out and do something physical. I managed to convince Cathy to join me for a short hike. We didn’t really feel like walking around Mendon Ponds Park so I fired up AllTrails on my iPhone and looked for something interesting but on the shorter side. I came across a listing for the Barnes Creek Trail but comments suggested ditching the trail and walking up the creek itself. Doing so provided us with a 2 mile shaded hike up the shallow creek with a prime view of it’s 3 waterfalls. The majority of the hike is relatively easy. There are a few slick sections but almost anyone can reach the first waterfall.

There’s no easy way past the first waterfall but it is passable. During our visit the safest way up was just to the right of the water coming down the falls. It was quite slick and there were no solid footholds but I was able to proceed without much fanfare. Cathy elected to stay behind while I pushed a bit further. A word of caution — getting up this waterfall was the easy part. Coming down without going for a ride on you bottom is the hard part. Those of you that elect to proceed will be rewarded with two more waterfalls. One smaller than the first, one larger.

Barnes Creek continues some ways past this third waterfall but the locals I spoke with claimed this was the last of the waterfalls. Unlike the first waterfall this point is not passable. I couldn’t find a way past this point that didn’t require scaling this waterfall (not possible without climbing gear) or scaling steep inclines comprised of loose dirt. Perhaps I’ll find an easier way past this point on a future visit. In any event I’d definitely recommend checking out this hike if you’re looking to kill an hour or two and you’re near Canandaigua, NY. If you’re looking to cool off you can even go for a dip in the wading pool at the base of the lower waterfall! Oh, I almost forgot…when you drive in there are two sections of the adjoining park. A day use area along the waterfront of Canandaigua Lake which has a use fee and a parking area that provides access to the section of the park adjacent to the waterfront. You want to park in the latter to avoid the use fee. A map of the hike can be found below.



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