Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes. When I was little I used to think that the lake was so big that the loch ness monster lived in it. I honestly have no idea where that idea came from or who put that thought into my head. Maybe I just saw something on TV about the loch ness monster and the biggest body of water I could remember seeing was Cayuga Lake so I automatically assumed it lived there. I can remember having nightmares about the monster coming up out of Cayuga Lake and swallowing my parents boat whole. Luckily we never took our boat on Cayuga Lake so I never had to worry about the monster. 

Cayuga Lake is located in between Seneca Lake and Owasco Lake. It is 38 miles long and 435 deep at its deepest point, making it the second deepest of the Finger Lakes.

At its Northern end is Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. If you are driving on the thruway (Interstate 90) through New York, you actually drive right through part of the wildlife refuge. The wildlife refuge is home to many different types of creatures, and one of my favorites is the Osprey which can sometimes be seen up in their nests that are built on top of high wire towers along State Routes 5 and 20. It is also a breeding ground for bald eagles. It is a stopping ground for many migratory birds. There are roads that allow you to drive your vehicle throughout the refuge to explore and take pictures of birds, reptiles, and mammals that you may encounter.

At the Southern end of the lake lies Ithaca. Ithaca is a small city that is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College.  It also is popular for its many festivities that go on throughout the year, the food scene, and many small locally owned shops that can be found throughout the city. Last year they even transformed one street into Diagon Alley for a few hours and thousands of guests attended the Harry Potter themed event.

Ithaca is also known for its many waterfalls and gorges that formed along with the lakes when the glaciers swept through. You are likely to spot someone wearing an “Ithaca is Gorges” t-shirt while visiting the Finger Lakes. My favorite waterfall to go to is Taughannock Falls off of Route 89 on the West side of the lake. It is a relatively short hike to the waterfall, or if you aren’t into hiking, there is a viewing area up above the falls that is accessible by car.


Along the lake’s East side is the small town of Aurora, home to the popular brand, MacKenzie Child’sEven if you aren’t looking to purchase anything, the store is very neat to wander through.

Cayuga Lake has a scenic byway that even has its own website . For more fun things to do that I may not have mentioned here, be sure to check it out.

Its another beautiful day in the Finger Lakes…Get out and enjoy it!


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