The Falls Trail             falls trail.jpg (16032 bytes)
      Linear Park, Penfield
Directions:    From Route 441 (Penfield Road) turn south on Linear Park Drive. The parking area is at the end of  Linear Park Drive.
Alternate Parking: At the end of North Washington Street
Hiking Time: 45 minutes (east route)         30 minutes (west route)
Length:         1.5 mile loop (east route)     1.0 mile round trip (west route)
Difficulty:      2 boots
Surface:        Dirt paths
Trail Markings: None     
Dogs:             OK on leash
Admission:    Free
Contact:        Town of Penfield Parks & Recreation       
                      1985 Baird Road, Penfield, NY 14526  (716) 340-8655  

This area of Irondequoit Creek is known as “The Falls” or “The Hollow” because the creek drops 90 feet in one mile, creating a series of cascading waterfalls. The indians called this area SGOH-SA-IS-THAH.Daniel Penfield settled the area and built the first mill in 1800. It was soon followed by many mills. If you look closely along the creek banks, you’ll see some foundations that still remain.

The years 1800-1840 were a time of rapid settlement and growth, encouraged by Mr. Penfield’s policy of accepting wheat and other farm products for his mills in lieu of mortgage payments until a farmer had enough time to become established. The businesses built along this section of Irondequoit Creek included flour mills, sawmills, an ashery, an oil mill and soap factory, distilleries, wool and clothing mills, grist mills, a tannery, a blacksmith, and a slaughter house.

Produce from the mills was shipped via Tryon (see Ellison Park on page 176 for more information on Tryon.) to Charlotte, then transported across Lake Ontario to Canada. When the Erie Canal was built it was hauled to the ports at Fairport and Pittsford for shipment to markets in the east. Two trails are described. One heads east of the pedestrian bridge which spans Irondequoit Creek between Linear Park and North Washington Street. It leads past the cascading waterfalls through the Irondequoit Creek valley then loops back via an island within the creek.

The route west of the parking area winds along the creek edge past towering sand cliffs and ends at the Route 441 bridge. Or, combine the two for a 2.5 mile hike. A three-panel information kiosk was installed at the trailhead in 1998.

Trail Directions (east route)
• At the eastern edge of the parking area, look for the “Trail” sign. Walk upstream on the wide dirt path, keeping Irondequoit Creek to your right.
• At 0.3 mile, cross the first of four wooden bridges that span small ravines.
• Reach a “Y” at 0.5 mile and bear left. (Right would take you across a small branch of Irondequoit Creek onto an island. It will be part of your return loop.)
• At 0.7 mile, cross the small branch of Irondequoit Creek.
• At a “T,” turn right. (Left dead ends at the end of the island.)
• For the return trip, keep the main channel of Irondequoit Creek to your left.
• At 1.0 mile, cross the small branch of Irondequoit Creek and bear left.
• Cross the small bridges and return to the parking area.

Trail Directions (west route)
• From the parking area, head south with Irondequoit Creek to your left.
• Bear left to stay near the creek on a dirt trail.
• Pass an island in the creek to your left.
• At 0.2 mile the trail bends right at a sharp bend in the creek. Sand cliffs tower overhead across the creek.
• Follow a chipped stone path for a short distance then bear left to stay along the creek.
• Emerge to mowed grass and bear left.
• At 0.3 mile, cross a small wooden bridge.
• At 0.4 mile, cross a second small wooden bridge.
• The trail ends at the Route 441 bridge. Turn around and retrace your steps along the creek edge.


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View along the trail (west route portion)