The Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes is a group of 11 long, narrow lakes located in central New York. They were formed by glacial carving of old stream valleys. Early map-makers thought they looked like human fingers, and that’s how they got their name. The lakes are Otisco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Owasco Lake, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake, and Conesus Lake.

Oneida Lake, located northeast of Syracuse, NY, is not considered one of the Finger Lakes, but is sometimes referred to as the “thumb”. The longest Finger Lakes are Cayuga (435 feet deep, 133 miles long) and Seneca (618 feet deep, 188 miles long). Both have bottoms well below sea level, and are among the deepest lakes in the entire United States. Each lake connects to rivers that ultimately lead into Lake Ontario.

The Finger Lakes region is home to much spectacular scenery, including Letchworth State Park, Watkins Glen and Taughannock Falls. There are also many small lakes, ponds and tributaries that offer a wide variety of water sports.

With over 100 wineries, the Finger Lakes area is New York’s largest wine producing region.

The lakes provide a lake effect to the lush vineyards surrounding their shores. There are several varieties of grapes grown in this area, including Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot noir, Cabernet Franc, and many American native varieties. Not only is this area known for its great wine trails, but you can also enjoy beer, distilled spirits, juices and ciders as well.

No matter what your interests: skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, wine tasting or just simply enjoying the great outdoors, you’ll be sure to have a memorable time in the Finger Lakes.


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