Hamlin Beach State Park
Location: West of Rochester in the town of Hamlin; Monroe County; New York
- Park entrance: N 43.35882 / W 77.94536
- Yanty Creek Nature trailhead: N 43.36115 / W 77.94048
- Devil’s Nose: N 43.36850 / W 77.97658
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 Maps.
Parking: Hamlin can accommodate over a hundred cars in its various lots along the main park road.
Information / Accessibility / Accommodations
Seasons/Hours: Year round. Swimming from late June through Labor Day. Beach rarely closes due to pollution. Campsites are available early May through Columbus day.
Best time to visit: Spring through fall.
Time: Enjoying this park can easily take up a whole day.
$9 per vehicle.
Tip: fees are not collected before 9 am and usually not Oct through April/
Handicap accessibility: Yes, on paved walkways and to pavilions/restrooms.
Swimming: Yes. Memorial Day through Labor Day. Call (585) 964-2462 for more beach closure 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 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.
For Monroe County and surrounding area residents, Hamlin Beach offers a few attractions that other area parks just can’t. The large, developed beach gives visitors an opportunity to swim in cleaner, guarded waters that are rarely closed due to contamination. Although officially only a few sections of beach are open for swimming during the summer, the expansive sandy shore is always available for sunbathing, sandcastles, strolling and relaxing. On sunny, hot days the beach is usually packed, even with all available sections opened, but there is plenty more to do along this lakefront park.
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.
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.
Hamlin Beach Media
Hiking / Walking Trails
Markings: Paved walkways and marked nature trails.
Trail Guide: 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 totaling 0.9 miles. Along the way, and observation area looks over Yanty Marsh for a bird-watching opportunity. Informational placards are provided along the way.
The Beach Boardwalk Trail is a paved trail that runs along the lake east to west, passing by the beaches and pavilions. It’s paved and a great path for biking and runs for about 1.8 miles one way.
The Devil’s Nose trail is on the west end of the park (and west terminus of the Shoreline Trail). It’s a 0.65 mile lone loop through the woods and up and down the hillside.
Hamlin Beach State Park Interactive Map
Fishing is allowed at the park. Prime spots are along the breakwaters, specifically the concrete one near Shelter 1.
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).
- The sand here is a coarser grain than typical sandy beaches. A large part of it is made up of finely ground zebra mussel shells. It makes for interesting macro shots.
- The west end of the park doesn’t draw big crowds and swimming isn’t allowed there. It’s your best bet for unobstructed shots of the Lake. Try to include the limestone rocks in the foreground.
Who to Contact
Hamlin Beach State Park
1 Camp Road
Hamlin, NY 14464