Otisco Lake

The same weekend I visited Skaneateles Lake, I also visited Otisco Lake. It was a quick drive up and over the hill to Otisco Lake as it is the next lake over. We actually spent the night in a cottage on Otisco Lake so I got to experience both a sunset and a sunrise there as well. One of my favorite things is to wake up and look out the window at the lake. It is amazing how much different the lake seems in the morning as the sun peeks over the hills before boats have had a chance to stir up the lake and create waves. I can’t say that I was awake for the sunrise as I am not what I would consider an early riser, but it is always a relaxing feeling waking up and looking out at the calm beautiful lake and feeling the crisp cool morning air.


Otisco Lake is the easternmost of the Finger Lakes. It is one of the smaller lakes at just 6 miles in length. At its deepest point it is 60 feet deep. It is the smallest lake I have been on so it was a very weird feeling being able to almost see both ends from where I was standing on the dock. Otisco is Iroquois for “waters much dried away”. It once was marshland until dams were contructed to raise the water level to form the lake as we know it today.  

Like Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake is relatively close to Syracuse. It is about 22 miles away. Many Syracuse residents have cottages on Otisco Lake that they frequent in the summer. The communities surrounding the lake are all very small and most people head to Skaneateles or Syracuse when looking for dining or lodging options.

Near the Southern end of the lake is The Causeway where there is great fishing for the outdoorsman in all of us, and has great views for the photographer in all of us. Fish in the lake include walleye, sunfish, perch, rock bass, crappie, large and small mouth bass, brown trout and bullhead. They also hold an annual fishing derby in early June where boaters flock to the lake to see who can reel in the biggest catch.

The Otisco Lake County Park is on the northeastern lakefront and offers 600 feet of lakefront access. It is a great place for a family picnic. I have also heard that the willow trees on the park property are very interesting and mysterious.

Because I am not as familiar with Otisco Lake, much of the information I used for this post came from http://www.fingerlakes.com/otisco. Check it out for even more info!



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