Lime Lake, New York, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lime Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Lime Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lime Lake

Lime Lake is nestled in the remote Chautauqua-Allegheny region of southwestern New York. The Chautauqua-Allegheny tourism region is known as the “Wild West” of New York with scenic trails and serene waters. There are thousands of acres for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling. The picturesque scenery is evident year-round and will make a vacation unforgettable.

Lime Lake used to be called Limestone Lake, getting its name from the shell lime deposits found on the bottom. Located in the quaint town of Machias in Cattaraugus County, Lime Lake spans approximately 154 acres. There is a public boat ramp on the northern shore of the lake that is accessible to small boats. Spend a leisurely summer day boating, canoeing, or kayaking the crystal blue waters of Lime Lake. If angling is your sport, you will be happy to know that Lime Lake is stocked with a variety of catches such as bluegill, largemouth bass, yellow perch, pumpkinseed, black crappie, rock bass, brown bullhead, walleye, and tiger muskie.

In the 1800’s and early 1900’s Lime Lake was a bustling economic area. It was used to supply water power to sawmills and grist mills, as well as a source of ice. The ice industry flourished throughout the early part of the 20th century until electric refrigeration became common. The ice was better than other areas because it came from pure spring water; and at its peak, 145,000 tons of ice were harvested annually.

Robert Ripley, author of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,” shone the spotlight on Lime Lake in 1940. Ripley focused on the fact that Lime Lake was the only lake on record that had two outlets but no inlets. The lake receives its water from underground springs that supply a constant flow of 50-degree water from the subsurface water table. At that time Lime Lake had two natural outlets: the northerly outlet to Cattaraugus Creek and the southerly outlet into Ischua Creek. However, the southern outlet was closed off by gravel companies in the 1950s, and this former outlet is now a spring water inlet. A dam at the north outlet regulates the lake’s water levels.

Just south of Lime Lake is Allegany State Park, the largest state park in New York. With over 35 trails and over five miles of paved bikeways, this park is the perfect four-season recreational asset to the area. Ball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas and playgrounds are available as well as horseback riding trails, snowmobile trails and cross-country skiing trails. If action-packed days are not your style, you are more than welcome to fish and boat along the lakes inside the park. The park offers fun events such as art shows, bluegrass festivals, raccoon rallies, and concerts. To the west of Lime Lake is Lake Erie State Park. It sits right along the shore of the Great Lake and offers campsites with beautiful views of the lake. Another interesting park is Rock City Park, located in Cattaraugus County. The park is a prehistoric ocean floor consisting of huge monolithic formations three and four stories high. The rocks are millions of years old and the largest formations of their kind. The park has enchanting views as well as a museum to spark your interest.

Lime Lake experienced a growth in residential development during the last half of the 20th century, both year round and seasonal homes, so visitors will find vacation rentals within the Lime Lake community. Should you decide to plant more permanent roots in the area, real estate is offered for sale. So, spend some time meandering the quaint Main Streets of Cattaraugus County and take home some antiques and souvenirs. Savor the region’s foods and wines that are sure to capture your heart. Spend quiet afternoons on the serene waters of Lime Lake, and you may decide to stay a lifetime.

Things to Do at Lime Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • State Park
  • City Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Antiquing

Fish Species Found at Lime Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Brown Bullhead
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Lime Lake

If you’re considering a Lime Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lime Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lime Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lime Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lime Lake Cottage Owners Association

Surface Area: 154 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,650 feet

Maximum Depth: 36 feet

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Lime Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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