Little Sodus Bay in New York

by  guest-paddler

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Little Sodus Bay is a protected, natural harbor on Lake Ontario. It is two miles long and approximately 3/4 miles wide with an interesting and protected shoreline. The town of Fair Haven is only a block off the bay and offers shopping, restaurants and lodging along with many campgrounds including Fair Haven Beach State Park.

The 100 year old, Pleasant Beach Hotel is on the southeast corner of the bay and offers food, drink lodging and docking and is very boater friendly. The Little Sodus Inn is just a few doors down, also on the water and a great stop.

On days when the Lake is too rough, the bay offers good protected paddling, on calmer days, you can launch in the bay and head out the inlet to Lake Ontario. Fair Haven Beach State Park is on the east side and the West Barrier Bar Park is on the west side. You can paddle into the pond at the state park and enjoy the abundant wildlife and venture up Sterling Creek to enjoy the wilder side of this beautiful area. The other way to go is to launch on Sterling Creek and paddle down to the park and come into the Bay ending your paddle at the town of Fair Haven.

There is a submerged wreck just inside the bay on the east shore that can be viewed from a canoe or kayak. The bay is lined with summer cottages, the town is small enough to be very walkable and one of the truly great treats is a visit to Fly By Night Cookie Company, just a block away from the Pleasant Beach Hotel.

The season on the bay runs from ice out in April till well into November with high season being July and August. On the weekends boating traffic is a little heavier, but usually not a problem, during the week it is usually much quieter. 4th of July is just crazy, but other weekends are not so bad.


Several Inns, B&B's, motels, cottages and campgrounds including the 100 year old Pleasant Beach Hotel and Fair Haven Beach State Park.


Only the State Park has a daily fee, all other facilities including the West Barrier Bar Park, boat ramps, Pleasant Beach Hotel and Little Sodus Inn have no charge to launch.


Located on 104A, the Seaway Trail.

About 1 hour east of Rochester, 45 minutes west of Syracuse and 40 minutes north of Auburn


Seaway Trail, Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce, The Pleasant Beach Hotel, Fair Haven Beach State Park, Cayuga County Tourism Office


Seaway Trail offer info on their website or in the Journey Magazine (free). A Muskrat Ramble by Susan Peterson Gately gives a great narrative of the paddle down Sterling Creek and into the Pond at Fair Haven Beach State Park. She also wrote a book called the Elizabeth E. Tour that describes the bay itself.

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location