Canadice Lake

Canadice Lake is another of the Finger Lakes that I have never been to. It wasn’t until high school that I learned that it is one of the two Finger Lakes that you are not allowed to have certain boats on and are not allow to swim in it either. In 1872 the City of Rochester began to buy much of the land surrounding both Hemlock and Canadice Lake in preparation to begin to utilize the lakes as a fresh water supply. By 1947 the city had bought all of the land surrounding the lake and began to buy adjacent properties as well to prevent development on lands that may runoff into the water. The protected area around the two lakes adds up to over 7100 acres of watershed. Much of the land owned by the city was sold to the state and is now managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation. This area is known as the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.  

Canadice Lake is the smallest of the Finger Lakes being just 3 miles long with a max width of .3 miles. It is not the shallowest of the lakes though, as its max depth is 90 feet.  It is located between Hemlock Lake (the other lake that supplies the City of Rochester with water and has many of the same restrictions) and Honeoye Lake. It is one of the easier lakes to pronounce. It is pronounced CAN-a-dice.

Because of the restrictions on boating and swimming, it is a popular lake for outdoor enthusiasts looking to have a more natural experience. It is much different than the other Finger Lakes as it is often more peaceful and intimate. The water is usually calm, and the fish aren’t being scared away by boats or swimmers. There are many coves that have good fishing locations. Many people like to fish from canoes or kayaks, but many also enjoy fishing from shore. There is a trail on the west side of the lake that offers great views and great spots to fish. There are strict regulations about when and where you can fish, and all of this is outlined by the DEC.

Because of the fact that the city of Rochester bought all of the land surrounding the lake, many of the cottages were once homes and summer properties, were left to rot, but most of them were removed. For those exploring the lake, you may find old structures that once were beautiful summer cottages. The foundations are what you are most likely to find. During this time of year they may seem eerie and creepy.

While on Canadice Lake, it is common for individuals to spot bald eagles and other birds as the untouched shores and wooded areas around the lake provide excellent habitat. These areas also provide lots of places for mammals to live as well.

For detailed rules about the lake as well as a trail map, visit

Today would have been a beautiful day to explore what Canadice has to offer. It was 75, sunny and beautiful in the Finger Lakes today.




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