Length: 11.1 miles
Width: 1.3 miles
Depth: 177 feet
County: Cayuga County
Nearby Towns: Auburn, Fleming, Moravia, Niles, Owasco and Venice.

The name Owasco might have been derived from the Iroquois word dwas-co, meaning bridge on the water. It may also have been derived from the word was-co, meaning floating bridge. Owasco Lake is the smallest (and warmest) of the six major Finger Lakes, but it comes up big in terms of recreation. Due to its shallower waters and smaller size, water sports enthusiasts choose Owasco Lake to play in, on and around the water. See below for a list of all the activities and enteratinment.


Keuka Boating

Owasco Lake has four boat launch sites and two marinas where you can put in. There are also several boat rental places you can rent from. See our Owasco Lake Boating guide for more information.

Reagans Kayak & Canoe Rental– Looking for the perfect Finger Lakes experience? Rent a canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard and spend some time on the water. Whether you are going out for the day or if you need multi-day rental, you will find a canoe or kayak that will fit your needs. In season, Reagan’s will deliver to you! A large selection of kayaks are available for sale as well. Owasco Paddles located at the Emerson park has kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards for rent. Paddling is easily accessed via the car-top boat launch at Rt. 38 parking area, or at the South Shore Marina.


If fishing is more your style, the South end of the lake is good panfishing, northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing. Trout fishing is excellent year round, but particularly during May, June and September. In the winter, Owasco Lake is a good ice fishing location for trout and especially on years when safe ice forms around Ensenore Point Panfish and northern pike can particularly. Check out our Owasco Lake Fishing Guide for more info.

Emerson Park and Fillmore Glen State Park both have designated swim areas with lifeguards on duty. See our swim guide for more information.



Owasco flats has two trails — the Inlet Trail and the Lake Trail. The Lake Trail runs along the southern tip of Owasco Lake and is a quarter-mile-long The Inlet Trail can be hiked as a loop and can be combined with the lakeshore loop. Though the Inlet Trail starts along a boardwalk, many sections of the trail are muddy especially in wet conditions.

Fillmore Glen State Park has three trails available to explore: the north rim, the south rim, and the gorge trail. While the rim trails are open year-round, the gorge trail is seasonal but great for children or less experienced hikers because it has walled edges.

The Cayuga County Office of Tourisim has a guide for the following trails:

-Auburn-Fleming Trail Erie Canal Recreational Trail Cayuga Community College Trail Cayuga Village Recreational Trail
-Hojack Trail
-Cato-Fair Haven Trail
-Montezuma Heritage Park


Owasco Lake is a popular Finger Lakes road cycling route with easy to moderate terrain. Emerson Park is generally the best starting and ending point. Here is a map of the route.


Auburn Art Walk– The Auburn Public Art Trail is a self-guided art walk through Downtown Auburn that highlights over a dozen public art pieces, including signature community mosaics, murals, and sculptures. Most of the artwork is highly visible and fully accessible to the public.

NY Equal Rights Center – Auburn’s Welcome Center features a state-of-the-art exhibition titled “Seeing Equal Rights in NYS” where New York State’s progressive history supporting equality comes to life through interactive displays. Experience the creative ways New Yorkers organized to stand for justice, and learn about the key contributors from the 1800s to modern day. You can taste regionally sourced products in their Taste NY Market. See their famous statue of Harriet Tubman in their courtyard.


Seward House Museum-Perhaps one of the most impressive historical landmarks in the Finger Lakes, the Seward House contains an expansive collection of items from life in the 1800s. This magnificent home holds its original furnishings, artworks, personal diaries of the Seward family and collectables from around the globe. The grounds are also worth exploring; there is a beautiful fountain and a gazebo in the side yard.


The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center is a contemporary art museum focused on fine arts, design, and architecture. It offers classes for youth and adults, as well as an online option and an open studio.


Cayuga Museum of History & Art, Case Research & Laboratory, and Carriage House Theater, located on Genesee Street in Auburn, NY, operates through three buildings- the Willard Case mansion, the Case Research Lab and the Carriage House Theater. Learn more about the history of sound on film, what’s in the mansion and what the carriage house theater is all about here.


Harriet Tubman National Historic Park– While the house and buildings remain closed until further notice, outdoor tours of the grounds are available when weather permits. For updated information and to schedule a tour, visit the Harriet Tubman Home website.

Downtown Auburn has a long list of events happening all year.

Check out our Finger Lakes Events Page to see what’s happening across the region.