Black Creek (Chili)
Chili, Monroe County
From I-390 take exit 17 to Route 383 (Scottsville Road) heading south. Pass Route 252A. Turn right onto an unmarked road immediately before 84 Lumber for the Little Black Creek launch. For the Black Creek launch, continue south on Route 383, and turn right onto Route 252 (Ballantyne Road). After the ARC building, turn right onto Black Creek Road. At the end turn right, again on Black Creek Road. The launch area is on the left at the end of the road, marked by a brown and yellow DEC sign �Black Creek Fishing Access Site.�
Little Black Creek Access Site: An 8-car parking area off Route 383 with picnic tables and a paved ramp (hand launch only) into the creek.
Black Creek Access Site: A large parking area off Black Creek Road with a Porta-potty, a paved boat ramp and dock and a gravel hand launch area.
Best Season to Visit:
Summer or fall
Paddling Distance: Total: ~16 miles, round trip
Little Black Creek launch to Black Creek launch: 1 mile (45 minutes upstream, 15 minutes downstream)
Black Creek launch to tunnel under Genesee Valley Greenway: 0.5 mile
Tunnel to railroad bridge: 1.6 miles
Railroad bridge to Route 252: 2.0 miles
Route 252 to Route 386: 3.5 miles
Estimated Time to Paddle: Up Black Creek: 2-3 hours each way
3 paddles (current in Genesee River, low arched tunnel to paddle through or portage over)
Fish, bird watch, hike the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail
The Little Black Creek launch has picnic tables. The Black Creek launch has a
DEC, Region 8, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414
Ah, the power of a chain saw and hard work! Every account we read about paddling upstream on Black Creek from the Genesee River mentioned that you couldn't go much farther than the railroad crossing before encountering downed trees and logjams. So, we headed out one summer morning expecting an easy but short paddle. We passed the railroad bridge and kept going, and going. We got almost to Route 386 before our energy waned and the stream got shallow. The entire route was wide open and evidence of chainsaw work abounded. We heard this was the handiwork of the Town of Chili. Thanks for a job well done, Chili.
You have several options for paddling this area. Launch and/or take-out into either Little Black Creek or Black Creek. There is current in the Genesee River but it's easy to paddle upstream (and a fast return downstream). Little Black Creek is a narrow channel with water vegetation and islands of purple loosestrife. Explore the nooks and crannies, paddle under a low arched stone bridge and continue upstream a short distance before encountering logjams.
Black Creek is the prettier stream. It has no discernable current (in summer) and is wide and deep. You can paddle this area as a leisurely poke-about or go for distance. The lower stretches are dotted with islands and many side channels to explore. Paddle through a lush area with a remote feel, punctuated occasionally by a jet taking off from the nearby airport. The channel winds mercilessly. With no current, it can be a challenge to pick the main channel. When in doubt, select the widest channel with the least surface vegetation. The only obstacle is the low, arched, stone tunnel under what is now the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail. We were able to paddle under it (Rich had to duck, but Sue didn't). If water level or your tolerance for confined spaces dictates, you can portage over it from the left bank. We saw evidence of tree stubs chewed by beavers and watched a kingfisher leave a tree and dive head-first into the water on a fishing spree. The banks were ablaze in yellow flowers and the red of cardinal flower - unusual to see in its native habitat.
For a more strenuous paddle, follow the main channel and see how far you can get before you run out of energy or water (shallow). There is no access from the Routes 252 or 386 bridges. Upstream of the railroad bridge, the noises of civilization disappear. After the Route 252 bridge you'll begin to discern a current and the banks will become muddy.
Paddling Directions (between launches):
- From the Little Black Creek launch (off Route 383) head left to explore upstream. You may have to push through downed trees and brush.
- Shortly, reach a low, arched, stone tunnel under Genesee Valley Greenway. If it's passable, paddle through it, otherwise turn around. (Past the tunnel you'll paddle under the Beahan Road bridge then down a winding channel only a short way before reaching a logjam.) Return down Little Black Creek.
- Continue downstream, under the cement Route 383 bridge to the Genesee River and head right, upstream.
- Paddle under an active, but rusted railroad trestle.
- Turn right and paddle under a green highway bridge into wide Black Creek.
- Bear left to the Black Creek access site.
Paddling Directions (upstream on Black Creek):
- From the DEC launch, head left, upstream. Explore around islands and into side channels at will. The main channel will be wide and have the least duckweed and seaweed.
- Paddle through the arched, stone tunnel under Genesee Valley Greenway or portage from the left bank.
- Pass under the high cement bridge with green, red and silver rails. This is an active rail line.
- Pass a wide channel to your right.
- Paddle under the green Route 252 highway bridge.
- Turnaround whenever you get tired or no longer want to paddle against the shallow water or current.
- Return downstream to either launch.