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Finger Lakes, New York

The Finger Lakes Region is located in the west-central part of Upstate New York - south of Lake Ontario and north of Pennsylvania, just two hours east of Buffalo on the NYS I-90 Thruway. There are eleven lakes in the region. But only seven of the largest among them are designated "Finger Lakes." Seneca lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes, and one of the deepest lakes in America - its floor well below sea level.

Why the name "Finger Lakes"? Because their shape as a whole resembles the fingers of a hand. And this is what the early mapmakers saw when they inscribed the lakes on the map.

The Finger Lakes Region is made up of various cities and villages: Skaneateles, Corning, Auburn, Geneva, Ithaca, Watkins Glen, Hammondsport, Penn Yan, Seneca Falls, Waterloo, Canandaigua, Mumford, Aurora and Naples. All are popular tourist destinations. Perhaps the most popular are the village of Aurora (on the east shore of Lake Cayuga), Naples (just south of Lake Canandaigua), Seneca Falls, Waterloo, and the city of Corning.

Things to Do in Finger Lakes, New York

There's plenty to do in the Finger Lakes Region all year round - from skiing to sailing, boating, swimming in natural pools by waterfalls, golfing, biking, hiking through wild gorges, sight seeing, shopping, dining, and so much more.

There are over 100 wineries in the Finger Lakes region. Be sure to go for a tour and tasting! Indeed, this notably family-friendly region is known for its great food and wine.

The city of Corning is particularly popular as a tourist destination because of its famous glass museum. Be sure to check it out and enjoy the glass-making demonstrations!

Other major cultural attractions include the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, and the Ganondagan State Historic Site, near Rochester, which is the state of New York's only historic site dedicated to Native American - particularly Seneca - culture and history.

At the western end of the region, you'll find Letchworth State Park, which features its legendary gorge and waterfalls. Taughannock Falls State Park (near Ithaca), also features falls and gorges. The Taughannock waterfall is one of the highest in the east, falling into a great canyon that opens into Lake Cayuga.

For scenic swimming in natural pools by spectacular waterfalls, and great hiking through wild gorges, go to Fillmore Glen, Buttermilk Falls, Stony Brook, or Robert H. Treman State Parks. You can actually walk behind the falls at Watkins Glen State Park - which is an ideal camping destination, since there are over 300 camping sites in the park.

Other natural attractions in the region include The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (at Cayuga Lake), and the Sonnenberg Gardens and State Historic Park (at Canandaiga).

Finger Lakes Triva

Q.According to Iroquois legend, how were the Finger Lakes created?

A. According to Iroquois legend, Great Spirit created the Finger Lakes by placing his hands upon the earth. The lakes are the silver imprints left by his fingers.

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Posted On

October 20, 2013

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