Finger Lakes Waterways

Finger Lakes Waterways offer visitors a variety of options to explore the Finger Lakes Central Region and Seneca County. Centrally located in the Finger Lakes Region, nestled between the two largest Finger Lakes: Seneca Lake to the West and Cayuga Lake to the East, it is no wonder why this picturesque area is known as Finger Lakes Central. Together, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake contain over 6.6 trillion gallons of fresh water. While all of the Finger Lakes were formed by glaciers, Indian legend believed the Finger Lakes were the result of the great spirit placing his hands upon the region. The imprint left behind gave the area its namesake and blessed our region with fertile ground and resources. No matter how they were formed, the Seneca County is fortunate to have two of the eleven Finger Lakes located within its borders — making it the ideal visitor destination to enjoy Finger Lakes waterways.

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As the deepest of all Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake is also the deepest lake within New York State – with a maximum depth of just over 618 feet. Seneca Lake is the second longest lake in the Finger Lakes, measuring 38 miles long from end to end. Seneca Lake is home to a variety of finger lakes water activities like: boating, fishing, swimming and more. Anglers of all ages wet their lines in pursuit of many fish species like: salmon, bass, yellow perch, and northern pike – but Seneca Lake is billed as the ‘Lake Trout Capital of the World’ and fisherman of all ages have delighted in the opportunity to catch one of the many Finger Lakes Lake trout, Rainbow Trout and Brown trout.

Skilled commercial fishing guides are available to lend a hand when it comes to fishing on either Seneca Lake or Cayuga Lake. In addition to several annual fishing & boat-based tournaments, fishing is permitted at the following locations (with a NYS fishing license):

  • Cayuga Lake State Park
  • Dean’s Cove State Marine Park
  • Waterloo Harbor Campground
  • Kingtown Beach Campground
  • Lodi Point State Marine Park
  • Oak Island Village Park
  • Sampson State Park
  • Seneca Lake State Park

Cayuga Lake is the longest of all the Finger Lakes – stretching just under 40 miles long and approximately three and a half miles wide at it’s peak. Cayuga Lake measures approximately 435 feet in depth and is the second deepest of the Finger Lakes. Cayuga Lake is home to one of two islands in all the Finger Lakes (Canandaigua Lake is home to the other). The northern end of Cayuga Lake features shallow marsh and mudflats — perfect for aquatic vegetation and migratory birds. Montezuma Wildlife Refuge is located on the northern end of Cayuga Lake.

While the two main Finger Lakes in Seneca County’s Finger Lakes Central provide a majority of the water recreational activities, another of the major Finger Lakes waterways is the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Part of the New York State Erie Canal system, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal supports a significant warm water fishery, connects Seneca Lake to Cayuga Lake and provides a host of recreational activities.