The second smallest of the Finger Lakes at just 4.5 miles long, the shores of Honeoye Lake are bordered by the towns of Richmond, Canadice, and Honeoye.
On the north end of the lake is Sandy Bottom Park, which includes a life-guarded beach, two playgrounds, and multiple pavilions. There is also a boat launch that is available from May 15 to Labor Day.
Honeoye Lake Boat Launch State Park is available on the east side, towards the south end of the lake, and is open from May to November. Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area, located on Canadice Hill south of the lake, overlooks Honeoye Lake.
Popular recreational activities also include boating, tubing, water skiing, wake boarding, and other water sports. In the winter, the water freezes quickly and maintains its solid surface throughout the season, at which time the lake is used for ice fishing, skating, and ice boating.
Near Honeoye Lake's southern end is Muller Field Station, a hands-on nature laboratory and environmental field-based classroom for students of Finger Lakes Community College.
The Ring of Fire tradition is annually celebrated Labor Day weekend by area residents. Flares are lit around the lakeshore to signify summer's end and to recognize the wealth of the Finger Lakes harvest.
The hamlet of Honeoye was first inhabited thousands of years ago by the Point Peninsula Indians, followed by the Seneca of the Iroquois nation. During the American Revolution, American troops built a small garrison there known as Fort Cummings in order to drive the Seneca from the frontier. The Indians had allied with the British, thereby attacking American settlers living in the area. As a result, George Washington ordered the destruction of the Seneca villages, crops, and people.
After the War, some of these soldiers chose to return and resettle in western New York because of its fertile soil. In the mid-19th century, this area had numerous abolitionists, feminists, and other progressive activists. Stations of the Underground Railroad were founded in western New York to help convey escaped slaves to freedom in Canada.
Honeoye remained a largely agricultural community until the early part of the 20th century, when many wealthy people from Rochester, New York took interest in Honeoye Lake as a resort area. Its relatively shallow depth gave it warmer temperatures than the Great Lakes.
Honeoye Lake Facts and FAQs
How Long is Honeoye Lake?
One of the minor lakes, Honeoye Lake is only 4.5 miles long.
How Wide is Honeoye Lake?
According the DEC, Honeoye Lake is .8 miles across.
How Deep is Honeoye Lake?
Honeoye Lake bottoms out at a maximum depth of 30 feet. Because of the shallow depths, the waters tend to warm quickly in the late spring and early summer.