Finger Lakes

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Destination Information

A five-hour drive northwest of New York City, the Finger Lakes lie close to the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The 11 long, narrow glacial lakes are among the deepest in the United States. The largest of them, Seneca Lake, is 618 feet deep and 38 miles long. Once, the Finger Lakes region was a central part of the Iroquois homeland. The area rose to prominence and economic prosperity with the opening of the nearby Erie Canal in 1825, which joined the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. Today, the Finger Lakes region is a center of tourism, as well as a major wine-producing region with more than 100 wineries and vineyards. (Because of the lakes’ great depth, they create a local microclimate and the grapes are protected from spring frost during growing season, and early frost before the harvest.) Summer visitors to the Finger Lakes come to enjoy boating and fishing — Seneca Lake is the self-described “Lake Trout Capital of the World” — as well as attractions such as the famous Corning Glass Museum and the I.M. Pei–designed Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, the home of Cornell University.