Length: 19.6 miles Width1.9 miles Depth: 183 feet Nearby Towns:Penn Yan, Branchport and Hammondsport
Keuka, from the Iroquois word for “canoe landing,” forks out into a Y shape about halfway up the lake, with shallow waters yielding warm water that makes for comfortable swimming all summer long. The panoramic view of vineyards surrounding the lake make for what many describe as the most picturesque of all the Finger Lakes.
The largest town on Keuka Lake is Penn Yan, at the end of the northeastern branch of the lake. Penn Yan is the county seat of Yates County. The town of Branchport is at the end of the northwestern branch, and Hammondsport—where winemaking in the Finger Lakes began—anchors the southern end of the lake.
Keuka Lake is famous for its fishing, especially lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout and landlocked salmon. You can catch some big brown trout here—one fisherman landed a 22 pound brown on Lake Keuka, setting what was then a state record that has long since been eclipsed. See our fishing guide for a full overview of fishing on Keuka Lake.
Keuka Lake State ParkThere are several beaches/ swimming areas around Keuka Lake. Keuka Lake State Park in Branchport, Indian Pines Park and Red Jacket Park in Penn Yan all have designated swimming areas. Champlin Beach is a public beach and park in Hammondsport. The park is open every day and swimming is allowed when there is a lifeguard present.
Keuka Outlet Trail, which connects Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake, is a great hiking trail that runs along abandoned railroad tracks from Penn Yan to Dresden. The almost 7 mile trail winds past old mills that have long since fallen into disuse and two stunning waterfalls that are very much still alive. The trail is most popular for hiking and biking but is also open to horseback riding, as well as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
Birdseye Hollow State Forest is nearly 11 miles along the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT). The white-blazed trail runs mostly north to south. The shorter blue-blazed trail runs between forest and wetlands.
Botsford Nature Preserve– A 0.3-mile hiking trail leads visitors through grassland, upland forest, and to the gorge itself from a parking area off Hemlock Road. A hike to Big Gully yields glimpses of scenic waterfalls, towering shale cliffs, and mature hemlock and hardwood trees. Public use policy
The area around Keuka Lake is especially good for bicyclists. The 44-mile circuit around the lake is a popular route, with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding vineyards. What was once known as the “Crooked Lake Canal” that linked Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake has been out of use since 1870, but the path left by the canal is now put to good use by hikers and bikers.
Keuka Lake State Park– Address: 3560 Pepper Road, Bluff Point, NY 14478 Just west of Penn Yan, Keuka Lake State Park is a great place for taking in all the charms that Keuka Lake has to offer. A big camping area (150 tent and trailer sites), a swimming beach, boat launch, dockage and hiking trails are some of the features that make Keuka Lake State Park a prime spot for enjoying the great outdoors.
Penn Yan Boat Launch & Park Address: 290-298 Water St, Penn Yan, NY 14527 This park has a boat launch area as well as a playground, tennis & pickleball courts. A skate park and views of the Lake.
Indian Pines Park Address: 69 Old Pines Trail, Penn Yan, NY 14527 This park has a swimming area, playground, a volleyball court and a pavilion available for rent.
Red Jacket Park Address: 309 Lake St, Penn Yan, NY 14527 This park has a swimming area, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball area, a playground and a pavilion available for rent.
Depot Park Address: 7 Water Street, Hammondsport, NY 14840 Depot Park offers several amenities including restrooms, swimming area, fishing, and docks.
Botsford Nature Preserve– A parking area from Hemlock rd.will get you started on a 0.3-mile hike which leads you through grassland, forest, and then the gorge itself. There are some waterfalls along the way as well. Public use policy
Seneca Mills Falls-Seneca Mill Falls is a 40+ foot cascade in three sections. It’s located about midway through the Keuka Outlet Trail. From the closest parking area, it is about a six minute walk to the waterfall and a six minute car ride from Penn Yan.
Cascade Mills Falls is about 1.3 miles from Seneca Mills Falls on the Keuka Outlet Trail. You can choose to walk along the trail or drive to the next parking area, which will cut your hike in half.
Arts Center of Yates County– The Arts Center includes the Flick Gallery, the Rosenfeld Studio and Sunny Point. – The Rosenfield Studio is where the bulk of the center’s workshops are held. – The Sunny Point is a seasonal facility that includes housing for visiting instructors and artist residencies, a studio barn for workshops and events, and a lakeside pottery studio. – The Flick Gallery- Current exhibits
The Penn Yan Art Guild welcomes artists of all levels to their Plein Air Days events. They have scheduled days at various locations where they paint outside, share their techniques, and foster love and appreciation for the arts. They have planned outings starting in May all through October.
Greyton H. Taylor Wine Museum– Aside from everything a vineyard has to offer, such as wine tasting and wine tours, Billy Hill also has a restaurant with outdoor seating where you can take in the rolling hills as you enjoy your meal, a Wine Museum and Art Gallery. Their website has some delicious drink recipes for you to try at home. If you enjoy a good underdog story, read all about Bully Hill’s origin story.
Boating Museum– The museum occupies three floors, with several exhibit spaces, as well as a newly renovated wing updated in 2015. Visitors can browse canoes, rowboats, row outboards, outboard runabouts, inboards, hydroplanes, sailboats, and related artifacts and reference material. Read more about the Finger Lake Boating Museum
Glenn H. Curtiss Museum– The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, dedicated to the memory of local hero and pioneer in the fields of aviation and mechanics, Glen Curtiss, features a priceless collection relating to early aviation and regional history. Indulge your need for speed and learn about the innovations of the “Fastest Man on Earth” at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY.
Free Thought Trail– History lovers will enjoy this site as its goal is to create trails based on cause, location, event, or by those involved. Curated trails can also be created to visit all the sites relating to a specific cause, person or location.
Corning’s Gaffer District is home to many walking tours. Their “Buildings Alive” trail is perfect for the history buff and their Chocolate Trail is great for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Keuka Lake Events
Keuka Arts Festival- an annual festival featuring over 100 juried artists and craftsmen along with other vendors. The festival is held along the Keuka Outlet Trail with live entertainment, local restaurants, food trucks, wineries, breweries and local farmers offering local produce and products as well. 2022 Dates: July 11th and 12th
Classic Boat Show– Located at Depot Park featuring classic fiberglass boats and a waterskiing exhibition. 2022 Dates: July 16th and 17th
FingerLakes.com is your complete guide to the entire Finger Lakes region of New York State--from wine trails to hiking trails and fishing to skiing.
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