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Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake, once part of the proud Seneca Nation, is among the most popular of the Finger Lakes, with natural scenic beauty and beloved destinations and attractions, from the Seneca Lake Wine Trail to the race track at Watkins Glen.

The hills that surround Seneca Lake are dotted with vineyards that cover hundreds of well-tended, picturesque acres, and its beautiful waters draw sports enthusiasts from all over, who come to enjoy boating, fishing, sailing, and swimming.

Quaint towns and villages line the shores of Seneca Lake, including beautiful Geneva and the popular Watkins GlenGeneva, population estimate 13,000, the self-proclaimed "Lake Trout Capital of the World," is at the northern tip of Seneca Lake in Ontario and Seneca counties.  Watkins Glen, at the southern tip of the lake in Schuyler County, is a small village with just over 2,000 residents and an even larger reputation, best known as the home of the Watkins Glen International Racetrack.

Seneca Lake Features

Geneva

Lakeside historic homes, a charming square, local food, drinks, live music, and more!

Watkins Glen

Home of the magnificent gorge at Watkins Glen State Park and races at The Glen!

Seneca Lake Hotels

Choose from affordable, comfortable, simple, quaint and luxurious lodging options!

Geneva on the Lake

Find comfortable luxury, exquisite food, and manicured gardens overlooking beautiful Seneca Lake.

Belhurst Castle

One resort, three hotels, fine dining, Isabella Spa~salon, and an award-winning winery, all overlooking Seneca Lake.

Boundary Breaks

Taste award-winning Rieslings at this gorgeous tasting room, with one of the most incredible views of Seneca Lake.

Don't Miss

Seneca Lake Wine Trail 
Over half a million wine lovers flock to the vineyards around Seneca Lake each year to sample the award-winning wines of the region.

Waterfalls & Hiking
Enjoy spectacular Watkins Glen State Park - home to hiking, gorges and waterfalls. In Montour Falls, just south of Watkins Glen, check out the stunning SheQuaGa Falls. The Falls are lit up at night, and the view from downtown Montour Falls is breathtaking.

Fishing
Seneca Lake boasts some of the best fishing in the Finger Lakes, and is home to the annual Memorial Day Lake Trout Derby.

Boat Cruises
Take a sunset cruise or afternoon excursion on one of Seneca Lake's scheduled tours.

Rent a boat
Rent a boat, and explore the region, or charter a fishing boat with a professional to help you find the best fishing spots on the lake. 

What To Do

Bicycling
The area around Seneca Lake is especially good for bicyclists, as a well-maintained bike path lines the eastern and western shores of the lake. The Seneca Lake Loop is a 77-mile route, with Lakeshore Park in Geneva, being the most convenient starting and ending point. It's a moderate ride, with only one grade to climb coming out of Watkins Glen.

Boating
Seneca Lake is very popular for sailing and other recreational boating, as it is one of the deepest of the Finger Lakes. Marinas in Watkins GlenWaterloo and just south of Geneva offer boat rentals, campgrounds, marine supplies, and lake cruises.

Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva features public boat launches and a marina, as well as a picnic area and a swimming beach.

The Municipal Campgrounds and Marina in Montour Falls is a great spot off the lake to find camp sites, public boat launches and plenty of boat slips. Boaters can access the lake through the Old Barge Canal.

Farming
Farming in general - and viticulture in particular - is a big industry in the area around Seneca Lake, as the rolling hills, lake-effect climate and favorable exposure, make Seneca Lake ideal for wine production and other agriculture.

Farmers Markets abound in the Finger Lakes, as well as U-Pick Farms, and opportunities for open farm tours. The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, part of Cornell University's Agricultural College, offers tours through the university.

Fishing
Seneca Lake is famous for its fishing. Catherine Creek, at the southern tip of the lake, is a particularly favorable spot for trout fishing, though trout (especially brown trout and rainbow trout) is a prime catch all over Seneca Lake. Perch, pike and bass are also abundant. Small-mouth bass are especially good in the warmer waters of the more shallow areas of the lake.

Hiking
Watkins Glen State Park features a magnificent gorge with built-in staircases, bridges, and paths that travel along and behind stunning waterfalls. 

The hiking trails around Montour Falls are especially appealing to hikers for their waterfalls. For an easy, mostly level hike, check out the Queen Catharine Marsh Loop Trail. Havana Glen Falls offers a moderate 0.3-mile out and back hike to a beautiful waterfall.

The Interlaken Trail, a 12-mile marked trail that runs past two ponds and traverses varied terrain, is one of the trails to check out in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

Less well-known, but certainly worth your time, is the Hector Land Use Area—it has 25 miles of hiking trails and a handful of camp sites.

Finger Lakes National Forest
The Finger Lakes National Forest, a 15,000 acre woodland in Hector, NY, offers hiking trails, horse trails, camping and fishing, as well as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in winter. 

Wine
The Finger Lakes is the largest and most well-regarded winemaking region in the eastern United States, and it owes much of its acclaim to the depth of the lakes, the steep slopes of the surrounding hills, and the moderate climate. These and other factors make for top-notch viticulture in the Finger Lakes. Many varietals thrive in this climate, but the Finger Lakes Rieslings are especially esteemed by oenophiles. 

Seneca Lake has some of the most beautiful vineyards that stretch for hundreds of acres on the sloping hills that ring the lake. The Seneca Wine Trail draws more than half a million visitors each year to sample the fruits of the local vintners' labors. Visitors enjoy tasting events, harvest celebrations, and food and wine pairings throughout the year. 

Where To Stay

There are plenty of places to stay when visiting Seneca Lake, ranging from lakefront splendor to simple hotels, as well as a wide selection of charming country inns and Bed and Breakfasts.

Seneca Lake Hotels
Seneca Lake Bed & Breakfasts
Seneca Lake Vacation Rentals

Seneca Lake FAQ's

How Long is Seneca Lake?

Seneca Lake  is 38 miles long.  Geneva caps the lake in the north while Watkins Glen, home of the internationally famous road-race course supports the southern end.

How Wide is Seneca Lake?

The DEC notes that at its widest point, it is approximately three miles across.

How Deep is Seneca Lake?

The deepest of all Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake is well over 600 feet deep. Some estimates place the Seneca Lake depth at 618 feet.