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Skaneateles Lake Clift Park

Skaneateles Lake: One of New York’s 11 Finger Lakes

Skaneateles Lake is the only Finger Lake not connected to the Erie Canal System, and serves as the drinking water source for Syracuse and other municipalities.

You can drive around the entire lake—from the Village of Skaneateles to the Town of Scott and back—in 60 minutes.

Skaneateles Lake shopping
Skaneateles Lake library
Skaneateles Lake sidewalk Genesee St
Skaneateles Lake Genesee St shops

Village of Skaneateles

The Village is located on the northern tip of the lake. You’ll find dozens of boutiques along Genesee St (US-20) and Jordan St specializing in art, home decor, toys, clothing, and food.

It is the best village in the Finger Lake Region for window shopping and finding unique lake-themed souvenirs. Head over to Hammondsport on the southern end of Keuka for another shopping destination.

The traffic through Skaneateles seems pretty used to having pedestrians crisscrossing US-20 at regular intervals so take advantage of the many cross-walks.

Skaneateles Lake Sherwood Inn
Sherwood Inn
Skaneateles Lake Doug's Fish Fry
Skaneateles Lake bakery

Exceptional dining options

Eat at Doug’s Fish Fry, Skaneateles Bakery, the historic Sherwood Inn, Blue Water Grill or Rosalie’s Cucina. Really, Skaneateles seems to specialize in great food—you can’t go wrong!

Skaneateles Lake Mid-Lakes Navigation
Mid-Lakes Navigation
Skaneateles Lake gazebo
Skaneateles Lake Clift Park

Take a Mail Boat cruise

Every lake has boat cruises, but a 3-hour Mail Boat Cruise is a unique experience! Mail has been delivered by boat on Skaneateles Lake for 120 years, except during the two world wars. Many of the summer cottages are not accessible by road (sounds lovely!)

Skaneateles Lake Dickens Fest Sherwood Inn
Skaneateles Lake
Skaneateles Lake
Skaneateles Lake
Skaneateles Lake

Visit Skaneateles Lake in December!

Head over for Dickens Christmas and explore the town with jovial costumed “Christmas Carol” characters. The official kickoff to the festivities is the day after Thanksgiving with a tiny parade. You’ll even find chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

We’ve been a few times with weather ranging from heavy snow to mild 60’s, but my favorite was the year we had the lightest, fluffiest snowfall with a little lake breeze. It is the perfect event to start the holiday season!

Other points of interest

There are three boat launches; Skaneateles Marina and a DEC launch on the west-bank, Fuller Park (Town of Scott) on the south-end.

Stop by Anyela’s Vineyards (the only winery on Skaneateles Lake) and Lockwood Lavender Farm (pick your own in season).

Explore Bahar Preserve and Carpenter Falls, High Vista Nature Preserve, Ripley Hill Nature Preserve, High Hickory Wildlife Sanctuary, or Hinchcliff Family Preserve.

Dickinson Conservation Area is accessible by boat only. You can still appreciate it in this beautiful drone-captured video of Staghorn Cliffs!

Skaneateles Lake - Finger Lakes

More about Skaneateles Lake

75 minutes from Rochester – MAP

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Where is your favorite spot on Skaneateles Lake?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home.

The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly and locally—seek solitude!