[ RECREATION ] By Ledwing Hernandez
The Greater Rochester area is packed with outdoor opportunities in every setting, from boating on LakeOntario to snowshoeing through our massive parks, and everything in between. Rochester has a geographic and climatic diversity that is tough to match -- hills, flat stretches, beaches, mountains, rivers, you name it. The only thing getting in the way of many people's desire for outdoor fun and excitement is how to pay for it. It can be tough to cough up thousands of dollars for equipment you won't use 24/7.
But that's no reason to deny yourself. Instead, adventurers may want to look into renting various pieces of recreation equipment. Not only can they experience the joy of operating something they either can't afford or don't want to invest in, but they can rest easy in knowing that once they give it back, they don't have to worry about it. With rentals weekend adventurers can get straight to the point of investing in their free time: fun.
Rochester is hometo many great bicycle shops, as well as the outdoor settings to put their two-wheeled wares to use.Pedallers Bike Shop in Henrietta (2511 E. Henrietta Road, 334-1083, pedallers.com) offers the rental of road bikes, which are designed specifically for a comfortable and fast ride on pavement. RV&E Bike and Skate in Fairport (40 N. Main St., 338-1350, RVEBike.com) also offers road-bike rentals, in addition to mountain bikes, which are more suited to rugged, off-road travel. As a great way to get two things out of the way, the Fairport location is located right on the Erie Canal, so you can just grab your bike and go. You can also rent road bikes at Park Ave Bike Shop, with two locations in Henrietta and Victor (parkavebike.com). If you want to ride through Pittsford you can visit Towpath Bike (3 Schoen Place, 381-2808, TowpathBike.com) and take a leisurely spin through scenic area canal town.
Watercrafts can be an exciting way to diversify your fun past regular ol' swimming. The downsides to owning watercrafts are the transportation, maintenance, and storage costs. Forget about all that and instead, enjoy the area's many waterways by renting. Take in BraddockBay's natural beauty by renting a canoe or other watercraft at Braddock Bay Paddlesports (372 Manitou Road, Hilton, 392-2628, paddlingny.com). You can even launch your rental craft directly from the store's own docks, or you can take it to a different boat launch. Bayside Boat and Tackle (1350 Empire Blvd., 224-8289, baysideboatandtackle.com) is located right on Irondequoit Bay and rents everything from aluminum row boats to small sail boats and even gas-powered motor boats. You can also rent boat trailers if you have a specific watery getaway in mind.
Further east, Mid-Lakes Erie Macedon Landing (1125 Marina Parkway, Macedon, 315-986-3011, macedonlanding.com) offers canoe and kayak rentals, as well as paddleboats. The calmer waters of the Erie Canal should provide a more subdued and relaxed experience than the open waters of the natural water bodies. GeneseeWaterwaysCenter(328-3960, geneseewaterways.org) is a water sports organization whose GeneseeValleyPark boathouse (149 Elmwood Ave) and Lock 32 Whitewater Park (2797 Clover St, Pittsford, 586-4330) locations offer kayak and canoe rentals by appointment. From the boat house you can engage in relaxing kayaking on the GeneseeRiver, and then have a picnic in the adjacent GeneseeValleyPark.
You can also take another step up from renting boats and actually join a boating timeshare club. Webster's Fleet Boat Club (955-3261, fleetboatclub.com) gives its members the ability to make online reservations with their only additional cost being the fuel they use. The club also provides safety equipment and other things such as water skis. All members need to do is attend a short safety course and they are ready to go.
Weather in Rochester may not always be conducive to biking and kayaking. What we can be thankful for is the fact that it isn't just cold here: we get completely buried in snow. Why not make the most of it? Start in Downtown Rochester, where you'll find the Manhattan Square Park Ice Rink (353 Court St., 428-7541, cityofrochester.gov). Ice skate rentals here are very inexpensive, and rink admission is also just a couple bucks. You can also head to Webster Ice Arena (865 Publishers Pkwy, Webster)and Lakeshore Hockey Arena (123 Ling Rd, 865-2801, lakeshorehockeyarena.com).Both rinks are host to hockey leagues spanning all age groups, and Lakeshore Hockey Arena is also home to roller-hockey leagues.
If you want to move away from downtown, Baycreek Paddling Center (1099 Empire Blvd., 288-2830, baycreek.com)provides snowshoe and trekking pole rentals. Snowshoes can also be used next door at the 447-acre EllisonPark. The CummingNatureCenter(6472 Gulick Road, 374-6160, rmsc.org) in Naples offers groomed trails that can be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and has snowshoe and cross-country ski rental packages. EasternMountain Sports (3349 Monroe Ave., 383-1140, ems.com) in Pittsford provides cross-country ski rentals, in addition to snowshoes and kayaks.
If you want to hit the slopes, you can also rent ski and snowboard packages at Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua (5662 State Road 64, 374-6000, bristolmountain.com). These include snowboards and boots, or for skiers, skis, boots and poles. Finally, those up to the challenge can even rent snowmobiles from Wyoming County Snowmobile Rental in Warsaw (3820 Hermitage Rd, 786-3504). You can also rent riding gear to help make your riding experience complete (and a little less chilly).