Keuka Lake Paddle and Hike from Branchport

August 9, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Finger Lakes Museum
3369 Guyanoga Road

Please note – boat rentals are available for this event, but we need advance notice by the end of the day Thursday the 6th. See rental details below.

August 9 looks like a good day for a serene paddle at the northwest corner of Keuka Lake , or a hike along the shore.  Our starting point will be the Finger Lakes Museum site, accessible from Guyanoga Road or from Route 54, both close to the flashing light at the center of Branchport.  The Finger Lakes Museum is a former elementary school which is being gradually converted to a regional museum.    They have an active boat launch site at the rear bordering Sugar Creek, the main tributary into the west branch of Keuka Lake. 

Bring your own kayak or canoe and there is no charge – just show up at 3:30 to unload your boat and launch from their floating dock. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours for paddling and another half hour for takeout and loading. Please use a mask while using the boat launch in both directions.

This is a self-guided paddle with three distinctly different environments. Heading upstream in Sugar Creek takes you winding through a woodland waterway. Heading downstream to the lake you pass the adjacent marshland owned by the Isaak Walton League, with two waterway entrances a short distance west on the lake. Cattails, water lilies and waterfowl are abundant in the marsh waterways.  On the lake you can head west to explore the marinas of Branchport or east toward Keuka Lake State Park. Even if it’s a bit choppy on the lake, the stream and marsh will be calm.

For Hikers: For those who prefer to explore the Keuka shoreline on foot, we will hike from the Museum to the lakefront, first on the west side of Sugar Creek to an observation platform overlooking the march and the lake, and then to the Museum’s lakefront pavilion on the west side of Sugar Creek, including a dock where we can dangle our feet in the lake or change places with one of the boaters. This will be a short hike of 2.5 miles or less.

Social:  Bring your own snack or picnic to enjoy at the Museum’s Creekside Center.

Boat Rental details:   If you want to rent a boat from the museum, let Saralinda know by the end of the day on Thursday the 6th at  Boat rental is $30 per boat. There are two tandem kayaks and two tandem canoes available, plus lots of single kayaks.  If you have your own life preserver and paddles, bring them along (this is preferred for sanitation reasons); otherwise they will be provided with the rental.  Payment is by check or cash at the start of the event.  You will need to sign a liability waiver. The Museum’s Covid-safety protocols, can be found at:


From Springwater and Wayland – Take Route 15 south and then Route 21 north to Naples. Coming into Naples, go right on Route 53 toward Prattsburgh. In 1.2 miles make a left on Italy Valley Road. You will remain on Italy Valley  Road for about 8.7 miles, although the county road number changes from 21 to 18 to 34 en route. At the end of Italy Valley Road, go left for .3 miles on Italy Hill Road (CR 35), then follow Itlaly Hill Road as it curves to the right and becomes CR32. In another 4.7 miles you will be at the flashing light in the center of Branchport.  Go straight on Route 54A toward Penn Yan for .2 miles, and turn left into the Finger Lakes Museum across from the Library, and before the Fire Station. Look for the driveway toward the new barn on your right.

From Canandaigua and 5&20:  Take East Lake Road south to County Road 1, or Route 247 from Reed’s Corners into Rushville. Continue South through Rushville toward Penn Yan. Route 247 will become Route 364 shortly before Potter. Continue for 4.5 miles past Potter and make a right on Guyanoga Road (CR 29). Go another 6.5 miles to Branchport. Turn left into the Finger Lakes Museum at 3369 Guyanoga Road, or if you miss it, go left at the flashing light and then left into the FLM drive. If you come in from Guyanoga Road, go to the right around the building and parking lot, and follow the signs to the Creekside Center (a new barn). Park on the grass near the boat rack. If you take the side entrance in from Route 54A heading east toward Penn Yan, turn in to the left, across from the library, and then right into the Creekside Center.

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