Oak Orchard River

Oak Orchard River

The Oak Orchard River, often called the Oak Orchard Creek, is a small river located primarily in Orleans County, New York in the United States. The river empties into Lake Ontario at Point Breeze in the Town of Carlton, where Oak Orchard State Marine Park is located.


Oak Orchard River rises south of Oak Orchard Swamp (also called the Alabama Swamp) at the border of Orleans County and Genesee County, New York. The swamp contains a state reserve, Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area, and a national reserve, the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, both of which are known as major stopover points for migratory birds.

The swamp is a result of a partial blockage of the river by glacial drift and an outcrop of limestone and dolostone known as the Lockport formation which forms the Niagara Escarpment. After flowing through the swamp, it flows northward, across the escarpment in a series of waterfalls and rapids at Shelby Center, thence passing through the Village of Medina to the small Glenwood Lake north of the village. The river departs the Town of Ridgeway at its northeast corner, cuts through the northwest corner of the Town of Gaines, and widens before entering the Town of Carlton. The widest part is now known as Waterport Pond (Lake Alice), and the hamlet of Waterport is on the south bank. A dam at the northeast end of the pond controls water flow.

Oak Orchard River narrows again and passes underneath Route 18 and the Lake Ontario State Parkway before entering Lake Ontario at Point Breeze.


The lower part of the river remains relatively ice-free during winters due to heated water released from a power plant.

There is some concern also about pollutants from anti-fouling paint on boat hulls.

porting activities


Several boat launch locations exist in the lower Oak Orchard River. Two are near Point Breeze at the State Park. Three more are near the Route 18 overpass. Boating is limited to a short distance upstream from a point called Toms Landing due to the shallow depth. Most boater enter the river in order to fish.


The state fish hatcheries release brown trout, salmon and steelhead each year into the river. Fishing may be done from boat in the lower part, or by wading in the upper parts, and, of course, from the shore along its length.

Other Activities

The entire area of public lands is open for birdwatching and hiking. Within the Oak Orchard Swamp other activities, such as hunting and trapping can be done by permit. Boating is restrictted to non-powered boats, and picnicking and camping are reststricted to specific areas.

ee also

*List of New York rivers

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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