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Genesee River above the downtown falls
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Rapids in downtown Rochester
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Animation or interaction Upper Falls
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Middle Falls

Animation or interactionLower Falls

Location Downtown Rochester


You can see the rapids above downtown from the Court St. bridge. You can probably find a parking spot on the bridge. South of the bridge is a dam with a fall of about 15 feet north of the Court St. bridge you can see the rapids, the downtown skyline, and the Broad Street bridge.

View the Upper Falls (High Falls) from the Pont du Rennes (formerly the Platt St. bridge) which is a pedestrian only bridge. Don't miss the overlook on the east side upstream from the bridge which has the best view. Also, be sure to visit the Brown's Race area on the west side for a close-up view of the crest and the remains of the water-powered era of Rochester's industrial past.

There is no easy access to the Middle Falls, and for most of the year the water is diverted to an RG&E generator. You may be able to catch a glimpse of the Middle Falls from the east end of the Driving Park Bridge or from the newly opened (2001) Lower Falls Park.

You can see the Lower Falls from the Driving Park bridge. For a closer look, there is a short, improved trail from Maplewood Park to an overlook, and the Lower Falls Park on the south side of Driving Park. You can also find an access road off of Seth Green near St. Paul Blvd. on which you can take a short hike down to the bottom of the gorge.

Hiking You can see everything except the Middle Falls from your car. Or, you can take a nice urban hike or bike/hike and see the best of the Genesee gorge. Allow 2 hours for a leisurely car/walk tour of these falls, 3 or 4 hours for a hike. If you catch the Upper and Lower falls in the spring or after some rain they are really quite impressive. But they are also quite beautiful even in low water since the flow is spread across the entire crest by small erosion control dams.
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