The Lakes of the Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes are a chain of lakes in the west-central section of Upstate New York that are a popular tourist destination. There are actually eleven lakes in the region, but only seven of the largest are commonly identified as the Finger Lakes.
The lakes mainly are linear in shape, each lake oriented on a north-south axis. The two longest, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, are among the deepest in America. Both are close to 40 miles from end to end, but never more than 3.5 miles wide. Cayuga is the longest (38.1 miles), but Seneca the largest in total area. Seneca is the deepest (618 feet), followed by Cayuga (435 feet). These largest lakes resemble the others in shape, which collectively reminded early map-makers of the fingers of a hand.
Seneca Lake is largest of the Finger Lakes. At 38 miles long, Seneca is the second longest and deepest and widest of the Finger Lakes and has the largest volume, estimated at 4.2 trillion US gallons, roughly half of the water in all the Finger Lakes. It has a maximum depth of 618 feet, and a mean depth of 291 feet. It has a surface area of 42,800 acres. Major towns are Geneva and Watkins Glen. More info on Seneca: NYDEC.gov and wikipedia.org
Maximum Length: 35 mi
Maximum Width: 3.5 mi
Maximum Depth: 630 ft
Area of Lake:107 Sq. Miles
Volume of water is 4.2 trillion gallons
Cayuga Lake is the second largest of the Finger Lakes. Cayuga Lake is the longest of New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the largest in surface area and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles long. Its average width is 1.7 miles, and it is 3.5 miles wide at its widest point near Aurora. It is approximately 435 ft deep at its deepest point. Ithaca is Cayuga's only city. Cornell's alma mater (song) makes reference to its position "Far Above Cayuga's Waters, with its waves of blue." More info on Cayuga: CayugaLake.org and wikipedia.org
Length 38.2 miles
Mean Width 1.75 miles
Maximum Depth 435 feet
Shoreline 95.3 miles
Area of lake 66.4 sq. miles
Volume of water is 2.5 trillion gallons
Keuka Lake is the third largest of the finger lakes. Keuka Lake is an unusual member of the Finger Lakes because it is Y-shaped instead of long and narrow. Because of its shape, it was referred to in the past as Crooked Lake. Keuka (pronounced: cue-kuh) means canoe landing in the Iroquois language. The lake is about 20 miles long and varies in width from a half mile to two miles. The length of the shoreline is about 60 miles. It has a surface area of 11,730 acres, and a maximum and mean depth of 186 feet and 101 feet respectively. The villages of Penn Yan and Hammondsport are the major population centers.
Canandaigua Lake is the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes. It is called the "Chosen Spot" in the Seneca language. Canandaigua Lake is 15 1/2 miles long, 1 1/2 miles wide, and has a shore line of about 36 miles. About fifty percent of the surrounding land is in forest, but most of the remainder is under agriculture. The city of Canandaigua is the lakes largest population center. More info on Canandaigua: CanandaiguaLake.org and wikipedia.org
Skaneateles Lake is the fifth largest of the Finger Lakes. The name Skaneateles (pronunciation: "skanny-atlas," preferred, or "skinny-atlas" common) means long lake in one of the local Iroquois languages. The lake is sometimes referred to as "The Roof Garden of the Lakes" because its altitude (863.27 feet) is higher than the other Finger Lakes. It is 16 miles long and on average .75 mile wide, with a surface area of 13.6 square miles, and a maximum depth of 315 feet. The cleanest of the Finger Lakes, its water is so pure that the city of Syracuse and other municipalities use it unfiltered. Scientifically, Skaneateles Lake is classified as 'oligotrophic', or a lake with low productivity due to low levels of nutrients. This helps keep algae and other aquatic vegetation to a minimum, which keeps the water clear and transparent. The village of Skaneateles is the major population center. More info on Skaneateles: Skaneateleslake.org
Owasco Lake is the sixth largest and third easternmost of the Finger Lakes. The name Owasco can be roughly translated from a Mohawk and Iroquois term meaning "crossing". The lake is eleven miles long and the city of Auburn is located at the northern end and takes its drinking water from the lake. The lake lies entirely within the boundaries of Cayuga County. Its width ranges from one half mile at its southern end to one mile near the northern tip. Owasco Lake's deepest point is 177 feet, has a volume of 212 billion gallons, and has a watershed of 208 square miles. Owasco's surface is roughly 712 feet above sea level, controlled by a dam on the lake's outlet, located in the city of Auburn, the major population center. More info on Owasco: NYDEC.gov
Otisco Lake is the smallest of 7 major lakes of the Finger Lakes. Otisco Lake located at the eastern end of the Finger Lake District, southwest of Syracuse, New York. Otisco Lake is approximately six miles long and one mile wide. At its deepest point the lake is approximately 60 feet in depth