Canandaigua Lake, New York, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Canandaigua Lake.

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Canandaigua Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Mid-Atlantic - New York - Finger Lakes -

Canandaigua Lake, located in Ontario County’s “Lake Country,” is the fourth largest Finger Lake, stretching out over 15.5 miles in length and 1.5 miles in width. Canandaigua is Iroquois for “chosen spot,” a fitting name, as it is an area of stunning natural beauty; 50% of its shoreline and surrounding land is still forested.

The lake is home to Squaw Island, one of the only two islands in the Finger Lake region. The island, located at the north of Canandaigua Lake, is over 11,000 years old and is the smallest Fish and Wildlife Management area in New York. As oral tradition explains, the island was once used in the 18th century to hide Seneca women and children during the Sullivan Expedition against the Six Iroquois Nations. Unfortunately, Squaw Island is a victim of severe erosion, and has shrunk from a size of approximately 2 acres in 1853 to only 55 feet by 145 feet today. The Squaw Island Preservation Society has since been formed to protect the island and its unique history.

Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park is located in the City of Canandaigua at the north end of the lake. The park provides boat launch facilities from May to mid-October. Two parks operated by Ontario County are located on East Lake Road. Deep Run Beach provides a swim beach and picnic facilities from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Ontario Beach Park is available for picnicking only. The town of Canandaigua also operates seven public parks. Onando Park provides swimming, fishing, picnicking, hiking trail, and cabin and pavilion rentals. West Lake Schoolhouse Park is primarily a swimming beach with lifeguards on duty. Other city parks provide recreational facilities such as walking trails, picnic tables and grills, baseball diamond, soccer field, sand volleyball court, playground equipment, sandbox, basketball backboard, and pavilion rentals.

The town of Naples, located at the southern end of the lake, is part of the Finger Lakes wine region. You can visit seven wineries along the 41-mile Canandaigua Wine Trail to sample their Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, and Traminette wines.

The motto of Ontario County’s Lake Country is “the fun of it all.” Enjoy a variety of water activities, including sailing, boating, and swimming. Anglers can try their luck at catching lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and panfish.

Make sure to spend some time off the water enjoying the area’s special events and spectacular inland scenery. Star gaze while attending a summertime concert at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center, an outside amphitheater. Savor the area’s famous Grape Pies in the fall during the grape harvest. Drive the quiet roads to view the spectacular fall foliage. In winter, hit the nearby slopes. Ski “the vertical” or enjoy the slower pace of groomed cross-country trails.

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historical Park sits on 50 acres overlooking Canandaigua Lake. The Queen Anne Victorian-era mansion was built in 1887, and the extensive gardens were planted between 1902 and 1920. In addition to tours from May through September, the site hosts special events such as the annual Orchid Show, Rose Week, Moonlight Strolls, and the annual Arts at the Gardens show.

Canandaigua Lake invites you to discover “the fun of it all” in the heart of the Finger Lakes region.

Custom Canandaigua Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Canandaigua Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • City Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Canandaigua Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Brown Trout
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Lake Trout
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Pickerel
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Trout

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Canandaigua Lake

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Canandaigua Lake photo gallery

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Canandaigua Lake statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Canandaigua

Surface Area: 10,553 acres

Shoreline Length: 36 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 688 feet

Average Depth: 127 feet

Maximum Depth: 276 feet

Drainage Area: 174 sq. miles

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