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GPS: Park entrance: N 43.35882 / W 77.94536
Directions: 30 minutes west of Rochester on Lake Ontario. The Lake Ontario State Parkway runs through this state park and has its own dedicated exit.
Or use Google Directions.
Parking: Hamlin can accommodate over a hundred cars in its various lots along the main park road.
Best time to visit: Spring through fall.
Time: Enjoying this park can easily take up a whole day.
Handicap accessibility: Yes, on paved walkways and to pavilions/restrooms.
Swimming: Yes. Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call (585) 964-2462 for more information.
Pets: Yes, on leash, with proof of inoculation. Not allowed on beach.
Accommodations: Restrooms; picnic areas; drinking fountains; beach access; swimming; lifeguards; grills; showers; snack bars; nature trails; pavilions; 264 electrical camping sites with showers; laundromat; convenience store.
Boating: Hand launch from the beach; car top from the launch on the eastern end of the beach.
Camping: Book a campsite at this park
Hamlin Beach State Park
1 Camp Road
Hamlin, NY 14464
Hamlin Beach is a favorite recreational spot for thousands of Rochesterians. Its large guarded beach, excellent fishing access, hundreds of campsites and numerous trails offer a full day’s worth of activities.
Unlike other Monroe County parks, Hamlin Beach offers developed camping facilities. There are 264 electric sites, with restrooms, hot showers, a laundromat, hiking trails, a convenience store and recreation hall. Book well ahead of time to ensure a decent location.
Enclosed picnic shelters are a hot-spot for parties and weddings, while smaller get-togethers crowd around the shaded picnic tables and grills. For those who leave their BBQ supplies at home, or need to cool off a bit, two snack bars offer up various chips, cold drinks and ice-cream.
The eastern-most end features a less crowded wooded nature trail along Yanty Creek in the Yanty Marsh. This well-developed trail is a great opportunity to spot wildlife or to escape the crowds. One could then walk the lakeside trail past the pavilions, fishing pier and swimming beaches to the west end of the park. Open fields along gently rolling hills overlook unguarded beaches and pristine views of the lake. The landscaping on this side is excellent, and it is no surprise there’s often a wedding or other large event going on. You will also find this spot ideal for throwing a football or baseball around.
Markings: Paved walkways, and marked nature trails.
Description: The Yanty Creek Nature Trail is on the eastern end of the park and the trailhead is accessible by the park road. There is parking for about 6 cars at the trailhead. The trail is stone or mulch and winds around in a loop. You simply cannot get lost. Informational placards are provided along the way.
The Shoreline Trail is a paved trail that runs along the lake east to west, passing by the beaches. It’s a great path for biking. There are several other small trails within the campgrounds and other wooded areas.
Map: Park Map
View Hamlin Beach State Park in a larger map
Like many other upstate parks, plenty of evidence of the Civilian Conservation Corp’s handiwork is apparent with their characteristic stone-work on barriers and pavilions. Their work on the park spanned 6 years and was responsible for 6 buildings and the reclamation of swampland on the eastern end.
During Word War II, the site was used as a POW camp, housing up to 336 prisoners by 1946. The camp served as a labor hub, providing cheap, much-needed workers to local farms and food processing plants in the Hamlin area. The camp was dismantled when the war was over.
The site became a state park in 1938 and development began to expand it even further. The Lake Ontario State Parkway was extended through the park, drastically increasing the influx of visitors. The parking lot was expanded to handle the capacity, and the campgrounds were built.
During the 70’s, the park, specifically the beach, was suffering from large amounts of erosion from storms. State and Federal funding was provided and the beaches were rebuilt and jetties were added to help prevent further damage. Development on the Yanty Creek Nature trail began as well. It is now a mile-long trail with educational markers along the way.
The Devil’s Nose is a small dirt bluff on the western most end of the park. It most likely got its name from the the danger it posed for passing ships when Lake Ontario was a popular shipping route. The tree-covered bluff is just a small fraction of the massive sand and clay shoal that extends out under the lake, which can easily trap a large vessel. The above-water section of the Nose used to be much larger, but rising lake levels and erosion has drastically reduced the size. Because of its unstable, steep cliffs this section of the park is closed to visitors. (Bird’s eye view of Devil’s nose).
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