Geology and Geography



Link to interactive




RRMSEA is in the heart of the upper Irondequoit Creek Valley. Irondequoit flows north, and continues to meander through Powder Mill and Ellison Parks into Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario. This is the ancient valley of the Genesee River, which coursed through this area for many millions of years until it was rerouted to its current location to the west by glacial deposits some 12,000 years ago.

The geology of this area is the ultimate reason for the exceptional biodiversity. The mixture of broad floodplain, and the nearby rolling topography of kettles and eskers contribute to the tremendous mix of habitats. The valley corridor is critically important as a refuge for an astonishing variety of wildlife, birds, and plants. A patchwork of public and private lands, this Upper Irondequoit Creek Valley preserves and protects some of the foremost biodiversity in our region.

To help visualize the importance of this RRMSEA, and this part of the Auburn Trail Extension, a terrain map and satellite view can be helpful. The first map shows the unique terrain of this valley. (Zoom out and see the surrounding area.) The proximity of the wild lands to the developing area seen on the satellite map (second map) further highlight the area's ecological importance.