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Where Are The Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Finger Lakes is a group consisting of 11 long, narrow, approximately north-south lakes that lie in the south of Lake Ontario in an area known as The Finger Lakes region in New York and the United States. The region spans the northern and transitional edges known as The Finger Lakes Uplands and Gorges ecoregion. It is part of the Northern Allegheny Plateau and the Ontario Lowlands ecoregion of the Great Lakes Lowlands. [1]

The term “finger lake” refers to a long narrow lake within an over-deepened glacial valley, and Finger Lakes goes back to the latter part of the 19th century. [2][33 Cayuga And Seneca Lakes are among the deepest lakes in the United States, measuring 435 feet (133 m) and 618 feet (188 m), respectively, and they’re the bottoms that are below sea levels. Although neither of the lakes’ dimensions surpass 3.5 miles (5.6 km), Seneca Lake is 38.1 miles (61.3 km) in length as well as 66.9 sq miles (173 km2), The largest lake in the total area.


The source of the term Finger Lakes is uncertain. The oldest documented use of finger lakes to describe this 11-lake group is in a United States Geological Survey paper written by Thomas Chamberlin, which came out in 1883. The paper was later referenced, and Finger Lakes was formally used as an official term by R. R. Tarr[6 in the Geological Society of America paper released in 1893. The earlier use of Finger Lakes in maps, reports, papers, or other papers is yet to be confirmed.


The Finger Lakes region contains evidence of pre-Iroquois settlements like The Bluff Point Stoneworks. However, little is known about who might have built these mysterious structures.

It is believed that the Finger Lakes region is a central region of the Iroquois homeland. The Iroquois tribes comprise the Seneca and the Cayuga nations, after which the two biggest Finger Lakes are named. The Tuscarora tribe was a part of the Finger Lakes region as well in the early years, beginning around. 1720. There were two tribes: the Onondaga And Oneida tribes, on the region’s eastern end. They were close to their lakes of names, Oneida Lake and Onondaga Lake. The most eastern Iroquois tribe was called the Mohawk.

In colonial times there were other tribes that moved into the Finger Lakes region, seeking protection from the Iroquois. For instance, in 1753, the remnants of various Virginia Siouan tribes, collectively called the Tutelo Saponi, relocated into the city of Coreorgonel, located at the southern end of Cayuga Lake in the vicinity of present-day Ithaca and remained there until 1779, after which Sullivan Expedition wiped them out.

Major Iroquois towns located in the Finger Lakes region included the Seneca town of Gen-niche-yo (present-day Geneseo), Kanadaseaga (Seneca Castle, close to present-day Geneva), Goiogouen (Cayuga Castle situated just east of Cayuga Lake), Chonodote (Cayuga town today, which is Aurora), Catherine’s Town (near the present-day Watkins Glen) and Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, New York.

Being one of the strongest Indian nations in colonial times, the Iroquois could stop European occupation of their Finger Lakes region for nearly two centuries following the first contact. They often played against the French against British interests through clever demonstrations of their political competence. The well-known ingenuity and adaptability of the Iroquois people were a key tool to resist hostile European forces rapidly spreading across North America, eager to take over and becoming increasingly violent toward indigenous Americans within and around the Finger Lakes and beyond.

The 18th century was in its final stages in the 18th century; with French influence on the government of Canada, Iroquois power had diminished in comparison to the constant expansion of the European-American population, and internal strife had eroded the political cohesion that was Iroquois. Iroquois Confederacy as it faced the pressure of colonists who wanted to go west and the desire to prevent them from Amerindian territories. In the American Revolutionary War, some Iroquois supported the British, and others sided with the Americans, leading to an internal war between the Iroquois. In the 1770s, the British-allied Iroquois began attacking several American frontier settlements, triggering attacks that culminated in the Sullivan Expedition of 1779, which destroyed most of Iroquois towns and effectively ended Iroquois power. Following the Revolutionary War, the Iroquois and other Indians from the region were granted reservations. A large portion of their land, which included those in the Finger Lakes region, was available for settlement and purchase.


Enjoy a hike (or bicycle) through the fall leaves!

Yates County comes alive with hues this time of year. With our numerous biking and hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities to go outside and enjoy the stunning autumn foliage this time of year. Our top picks are Outlet Trail and The Keuka Lake State Park – But make sure to visit our Guides page to find more spots to explore and trail options.

Take a boat ride around the lakes to enjoy the last boat ride of the season

If you’re a person who likes being in the open water, then you’re fortunate- Yates County borders three distinct Finger Lakes: Keuka, Seneca, and Canandaigua. As the weather cools down shortly, make sure you take that last boat trip in the season. You’ll also be able to take in the fall foliage from a new perspective. Check out our Water page for more ideas!

Explore the local wineries

There’s gotta be an explanation for why we’ve been named “Best Wine Region” many times in USA Today, right? Our wineries are diverse in size, character, and design, but we’re confident there’s a wine to suit all tastes. Each season is a different experience – private intimate tastings during the spring and winter months and bustling, buzzing wineries during the summer and autumn. The stunning views! They are simply unbeatable.

Enjoy a pint in one of the local beer breweries

One of the best aspects of autumn is the delicious flavors that accompany it. We’ve got all your favorite seasonal craft beer flavors in our store, including The Harvest Pumpkin Ale at Laurentide Beer Company and the Hive Mind Braggot at Lyonsmith Brewing. Check out our drink pages for a list of must-see distillery and brewery distillery tours!

Shop locally

You can spend hours and hours browsing at our local markets and merchants this time of year. Find autumn decorations, delicious snacks, souvenirs, and unusual gifts (it’s never too early to start shopping for the holidays!) Go to the city’s largest and first market for rural goods, the Windmill Farm and Craft Market, to experience the things that make Yate’s County special this season.

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