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Hemlock-Canadice State Forest

We ask visitors to respect this very sensitive area as a source of public drinking water by following the special regulations for Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.

hikingpaddlingboatingfishinghuntingtrappingbikingsnowmobilingaccessibleboat launchparkinghand launchicon key

Hemlock-Canadice State Forest locator map

The 6,849-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest surrounds Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, which have provided drinking water for the City of Rochester (leaves DEC website) and adjacent communities for more than 100 years. In order to protect water quality, the City acquired much of the watershed property around the lakes. Over the decades, the land was planted and/or naturally reverted to forest, with few remaining traces of its former uses except for stone walls.

Hemlock Park - located at the north end of Hemlock Lake, is owned and managed by the Town of Livonia. (leaves DEC website)

Featured Activities

Please follow the specific regulations developed for Hemlock-Canadice State Forest which allow many recreational activities, but prohibit uses that could threaten water quality.

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. There are approximately 14 miles of marked hiking trails on Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. Please respect all posted boundary lines.

Paddling & Boating

paddling
boating

General information on paddling, general information on boating, and general information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations and lists of DEC boat launches by county.

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Boating and fishing is allowed in most locations on Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, however it is unlawful to possess or operate a boat, to ice fish, to traverse the ice or water, or to fish from shore on:

  • Hemlock Lake: north of the northerly boat launch, and between Boat Launch Road and Hemlock Lake.
  • Canadice Lake: within the northernmost 500 feet of the lake (marked with buoys).

On Hemlock and Canadice Lakes a non-mechanically propelled vessel must be less than 24 feet in length. Mechanically propelled vessels must be less than 17 feet in length, and any motors must be 10HP or less. Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, check, clean, drain, dry and disinfect your equipment. No cleaning, gutting or depositing entrails within 100 feet of any water.

Fishing

fishing

Fishing is allowed in most locations on Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, however it is unlawful to possess or operate a boat, to ice fish, to traverse the ice or water, or to fish from shore on:

  • Hemlock Lake: north of the northerly boat launch, and between Boat Launch Road and Hemlock Lake.
  • Canadice Lake: within the northernmost 500 feet of the lake (marked with buoys). Do not clean, gut or deposit entrails within 100 feet of any water.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

General Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations. No cleaning, gutting or depositing entrails within 100 feet of any water.

Biking

biking

General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. On Hemlock-Canadice State Forest snowmobiles are only allowed on designated trails, after big game season ends and with sufficient snow cover. The Hemlock Snowmobile Trail and Bur Oak Trail are designated snowmobile trails, maintenance is done by the volunteers of the Hill and Valley Riders Snowmobile Club (leaves DEC website) under a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Forested hills, blue sky and clouds over lake.
Canadice Lake

Although there are no facilities developed for viewing wildlife, like many places in the New York State you are likely to see wildlife on this land. New York's Finger Lakes encompasses a wide variety of habitats and landscapes made up of mountainous hills, forests, grasslands and wetlands. Everything from black bear to black-throated blue warblers and brook trout to wild turkey reside and call it home here in the Finger Lakes. The grasslands are home to a variety of bird species including northern harriers and state endangered Henslow's sparrows. White-tailed deer and fisher thrive in the forested hills, while beaver and mink flourish in the wetlands. Outdoorsmen and women from across New York State flock to this area year round for its exquisite wildlife watching and unbeatable hunting.

Accessible Features

accessible

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access. Individuals with qualifying disabilities may apply for a permit to operate a motor vehicle on trails designated by the NYS DEC. This program is known as the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD). On Hemlock-Canadice State Forest the North Hemlock Haul Road and South Hemlock Haul Road are part of the MAPPWD system.

Directions

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boat launch
hand launch

Park in provided spaces. Do not block roads, trails or boat launches.

  • North Hemlock Boat Launch - Located at the north end of Hemlock Lake, accessed from State Highway 15A, with room for vehicles with trailers to park. (42.763448°N, 77.611218°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • South Hemlock Boat Launch - Located at the south end of Hemlock Lake, accessed from State Highway 15A, with room for vehicles with trailers to park. (42.676575°N, 77.592317°W ) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
  • Purcell Hill Road Parking Lot - Located north of Canadice Lake, accessed from Purcell Hill Road. (42.744292°N, 77.573654°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
  • Canadice Boat Launch - Located on the east shore of Canadice Lake, accessed from Canadice Lake Road, park along Canadice Lake Road. (42.724192°N, 77.563742°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
  • Canadice Canoe Launch - Located on the south end of Canadice Lake, a short walk from Canadice Lake Road, with room for vehicles to park. (42.702501°N, 77.565464°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Hemlock-Canadice State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Specific Rules

Specific regulations - 6 NYCRR 190.26 (leaves DEC website) - have been developed by DEC, mirroring those established by the City of Rochester, allow many recreational activities on Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, but prohibit uses that could threaten water quality.

  • No cleaning, gutting or depositing entrails within 100 feet of any water.
  • Do not transport or introduce any aquatic plants or animals into the water.
  • It is unlawful to possess or operate a boat, to ice fish, to traverse the ice or water, or to fish from shore:
    • On Hemlock Lake: north of the northerly boat launch, and between Boat Launch Road and Hemlock Lake.
    • On Canadice Lake; within the northernmost 500 feet of the lake
  • Camping is not allowed on this property.
  • No campfires or charcoal fires.
  • No swimming, bathing, water skiing, or tubing.
  • No campfires or charcoal fires.
  • No target shooting.
  • No possession or riding of horses

How We Manage Hemlock-Canadice State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan. The Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan was prepared by a committee of DEC Professionals at the Region 8 DEC office in 2015. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at r8.ump@dec.ny.gov

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.