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OT- Best Lake in New York State


JoeSchmoe

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As I mentioned in another thread, some colleagues were discussing the best lake in Ontario. There's so many to choose from, and it was kind of an interesting discussion.

Since most posters are either from NYS, or have a connection there and given the state is home to many of the best lakes in the US... I thought I'd bring up the topic here.

Of course you have the two Great Lakes... I'd call it a toss up between the two.

Lots of nice Finger Lakes. I haven't seen them all, but of those I have seen, I like Canandaigua the best (slight edge over Skaneateles).

I haven't spent much time downstate or in the Catskills so I can't comment there.

Chautauqua Lake is probably a favourite of many in WNY. I've never been.

My favourites are all in the Adirondacks though. Lake George, Upper Saranac, Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake are amongst my favourites, but if I had to pick one, I think I'm taking Lake Placid with Whiteface Mountain in the backdrop. 

Hopefully we can get some good discussion going as we head into the summer lake season without hockey. 🍺

LakePlacid.jpg

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15 minutes ago, JoeSchmoe said:

As I mentioned in another thread, some colleagues were discussing the best lake in Ontario. There's so many to choose from, and it was kind of an interesting discussion.

Since most posters are either from NYS, or have a connection there and given the state is home to many of the best lakes in the US... I thought I'd bring up the topic here.

Of course you have the two Great Lakes... I'd call it a toss up between the two.

Lots of nice Finger Lakes. I haven't seen them all, but of those I have seen, I like Canandaigua the best (slight edge over Skaneateles).

I haven't spent much time downstate or in the Catskills so I can't comment there.

Chautauqua Lake is probably a favourite of many in WNY. I've never been.

My favourites are all in the Adirondacks though. Lake George, Upper Saranac, Long Lake and Blue Mountain Lake are amongst my favourites, but if I had to pick one, I think I'm taking Lake Placid with Whiteface Mountain in the backdrop. 

Hopefully we can get some good discussion going as we head into the summer lake season without hockey. 🍺

LakePlacid.jpg

 

Canandaigua is WAY too crowded with boats, jet skis, and the like.  Cayuga is way nicer IMHO.  Large lake as Finger Lakes go; much less traffic; Ithaca at the south end; sand bars and coves towards the north end; some cool cliffs along parts of the shore.  Good fishing.  

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2 minutes ago, Taro T said:

 

Canandaigua is WAY too crowded with boats, jet skis, and the like.  Cayuga is way nicer IMHO.  Large lake as Finger Lakes go; much less traffic; Ithaca at the south end; sand bars and coves towards the north end; some cool cliffs along parts of the shore.  Good fishing.  

I haven't been to Cayuga, but have wanted to check out Ithaca for a while now. I didn't know about the cliffs and coves. Pretty cool!

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1 minute ago, Mango said:

Big fan of the Fulton Chain. Parts of it are some of the last untouched places in the north east. 

Full respect to the Fulton Chain, but there are far more remote places in the ADK than the Fulton Chain... Let alone the whole Northeast. Aside from Eighth Lake, they're all pretty busy.

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We had a place overlooking Canandaigua for two regrettably short years and loved it. The downtown is so pleasant.  However, as others have noted, it's a bit crowded in summer so we actually preferred the winter. It was still beautiful, and we could hike with our dog in Onanda Park and pretend it was our private park. 

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oneida-lake-map.jpg

Oneida Lake is the largest lake within NYS, and I live a mile away from it. In addition to all the summer activities, it freezes in the winter so people can snowmobile and ice fish on it.

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I grew up on lakes.  My favorite activities are lake activities.  They are all awesome and the best.

We vacation regularly at Chautauqua and Keuka Lakes.  Chautauqua in particular is like a second home to me.  Been going there for as long as I can remember.  It’s changed, but somehow the vibe really hasn’t.

We used to spend time at Oneida, but haven’t in quite awhile.  Awesome lake if fishing and RnR is your goal.

Used to spend time each Summer on Chaumot Bay on the eastern end of Ontario too.  Gorgeous area, but not alot to hold your attention outside of the lake itself.

I love that I can pop off 6 or 7 lakes I can get to within a 1 hr drive of where I live and I try to get to all of them during fishing season.  This region is truly amazing with its waterways.

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For big game fishing you are going to have a hard time beating lake Ontario. We don't even weigh kings unless they are getting close to 20 lbs anymore. My arm is killing me from yesterdays trip and I only fought with 3 king salmon yesterday. 

Chautauqua was the lake I learned to fish on with my Grandfather. Its pretty but shallow and busy in the summer.

Keuka is a beautiful lake, Fishing is ok, but a very expensive place to stay these days. Best of the fingers. Skaneateles is 2nd for beauty. Another expensive lake though. 

Adirondack area has so many, Blue mountain is beautiful, and so is Placid, others worth going to Piseco. 4th lake, Indian lake, lake flower. That does not include ones that you hike into like cedar lake in the West Canada area. 

I think it's time for a road trip to the ADK!

 

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Canandaigua is my hometown, and it is waaaaaaay too crowded IMO

 

It was a much nicer experience in the 80's (especially, pre-1986 as Roseland was still in operation) 

 

I avoid downtown during the Summer, as it's gridlock and I'm not a fan of modern driving behaviors

 

T'was a charming town, before it was discovered 

 

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Yeah, for New York lakes, excepting the Greats, I'd roll with your favourite in the ADK.

Mine's Sherman Lake in Warrensburg.

21817208322_7a8d4affe5_b.jpg

There's a family horse ranch there. We vacationed there a couple times - years gone by. Special place.

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We’ve lived right on Lake Ontario year round for the last 14 years in Orleans County.
Like others have said, winter is enjoyable as well, because hardly anyone is here.

The Finger Lakes sound interesting, but the atmosphere here has killed my desire to go anywhere else.😊

 

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25 minutes ago, clink said:

Canandaigua is my hometown, and it is waaaaaaay too crowded IMO

 

It was a much nicer experience in the 80's (especially, pre-1986 as Roseland was still in operation) 

 

I avoid downtown during the Summer, as it's gridlock and I'm not a fan of modern driving behaviors

 

T'was a charming town, before it was discovered 

I always turn up by that Honda dealer or whatever is and loop out and around and come back in by Charlie's to avoid downtown. Then up over the hills and into PY. 

I would note that Keuka lake is busy but during the week (Mon-Thurs) even in the summer, it is much more chill. It has the advantage of not being as close as Canandaigua to Rochester or as close to the 90 as Seneca. I remember being on Keuka in the summer during the week and on a calm day with almost no boats out, I could see 200ft down to the bottom just off the bluff. 

All I can say is whoever you are, protect the lakes and urge others to use them responsibly. As someone who has spent time outside of NYS, the lakes we have are truly rare and precious things. 

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1 hour ago, clink said:

Canandaigua is my hometown, and it is waaaaaaay too crowded IMO

 

It was a much nicer experience in the 80's (especially, pre-1986 as Roseland was still in operation) 

 

I avoid downtown during the Summer, as it's gridlock and I'm not a fan of modern driving behaviors

 

T'was a charming town, before it was discovered 

 

My trips into Canadaigua are generally in the winter when snowboarding at Bristol Mountain. The view of the blue water from 21 is what got me. That and the view of the hills at the south end looking from the north.

We've taken the kids to the beach in the summer and had dinner at a restaurant on a patio on the southwest side of the lake. Both were fun. Maybe if we had a boat we'd hate the congestion more.

Seneca I thought was flat and boring from the Geneva side. I've never been to Cayuga or Keuka but would like to see both. Still I prefer the ADKs to the FLs... Though both are very nice in their own rights.

As part of our Ontario discussion at work... Anyone who likes Adirondack forest style lakes would like the lakes of Ontario starting about 90min North of Toronto when the Canadian Shield starts. They are similar to Adirondack lakes. No mountains though... hills maybe. However, they have a lot more granite and cliffs along the shores.

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18 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

 

Of course you have the two Great Lakes... I'd call it a toss up between the two.

Chautauqua Lake is probably a favourite of many in WNY. I've never been.

 

Been to many of them, not all of them. For me I favor Ontario and Chautaqua, but for sentimental reasons.

Growing up, my grandparents had a cottage on Lake Ontario...and a great uncle had a house/cottage on Chautaqua.  Spent a lot of time at both places and have fond (albeit very old) memories of both.

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1 hour ago, gregmo said:

Saranac.  Good beer also.

Everytime I'm across the border I bring back some Saranac. 

My brother and I both agree our favourite beer of all time was had at the Indian Lake Restaurant after boating all day. It was a draft Switchback Ale from Vermont. Perfect temp, perfect head, and just the right amount of malt and hops for the occasion. I've had it out of the bottle and it's not the same. 

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12 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

I always turn up by that Honda dealer or whatever is and loop out and around and come back in by Charlie's to avoid downtown. Then up over the hills and into PY. 

I would note that Keuka lake is busy but during the week (Mon-Thurs) even in the summer, it is much more chill. It has the advantage of not being as close as Canandaigua to Rochester or as close to the 90 as Seneca. I remember being on Keuka in the summer during the week and on a calm day with almost no boats out, I could see 200ft down to the bottom just off the bluff. 

All I can say is whoever you are, protect the lakes and urge others to use them responsibly. As someone who has spent time outside of NYS, the lakes we have are truly rare and precious things. 

100%

Honeyoe Lake is a nice spot to check out, IMO. Too small to suffer from exploitation, like CA Lake has.  

 

I, too, have lived away from here (spent 4 years between the P NorthWest and the SE coast)

I LOVED NorCal (minus, the "Murder Mountain" types that dotted the landscape. The SE was okay, but it never felt like home? 

 

I was amazed (not in a good way) how much the 'Daigua had changed since I left! 

 

The problem here, is the old money. Between the Sands brothers, and their buddies (Danny Wegman, and a host of others), the local govt supports their endeavors, and it's painfully apparent that their goal is to make this a destination spot.

 

Although, I'm not sure WHY? There isn't much to do here (aside from boating, and wine touring). The money in this town gets what it wants (expanded the runway to accommodate private jets 🤣😭), and it seems as though they want downstate commerce to spend some, up here)

 

I've been considering a move to Clifton Springs (a 12 minute drive from my current house).  It has most of what I remember was good about Canandaigua, and it's remained (relatively) unchanged. 

 

I would miss being less than 5 minutes from my rink (tue night scrimmages end at 1030 pm and I'm up at 0500 for work) 

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12 hours ago, JoeSchmoe said:

My trips into Canadaigua are generally in the winter when snowboarding at Bristol Mountain. The view of the blue water from 21 is what got me. That and the view of the hills at the south end looking from the north.

We've taken the kids to the beach in the summer and had dinner at a restaurant on a patio on the southwest side of the lake. Both were fun. Maybe if we had a boat we'd hate the congestion more.

Seneca I thought was flat and boring from the Geneva side. I've never been to Cayuga or Keuka but would like to see both. Still I prefer the ADKs to the FLs... Though both are very nice in their own rights.

As part of our Ontario discussion at work... Anyone who likes Adirondack forest style lakes would like the lakes of Ontario starting about 90min North of Toronto when the Canadian Shield starts. They are similar to Adirondack lakes. No mountains though... hills maybe. However, they have a lot more granite and cliffs along the shores.

Bristol Mtn is another spot that's a tad crowded for my liking. Check out Hunt Hollow. It's about 60 minutes from CDGA and it's much quieter IMO.  

Seneca Lake IS blah, IMO.  Geneva has the edge over Canandaigua when it comes to dining establishments IMO. That's what's lacking in CA. Aside from the subs from Casa Italiana, I do my foodie stuff elsewhere 

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