Discover Canadice Lake, New York

Just 30 miles south of Rochester, you’ll find Canadice Lake, the smallest of the Finger Lakes. At only about three miles long, it’s known for its secluded and tranquil environment.

The undeveloped, forested shorelines are home to bald eagles and other waterfowl, making it a top spot for bird watchers.

To give you a sense of space, Canadice Lake covers an area of 1,096 acres. You won’t see crowded developments here. The natural surroundings offer a peaceful retreat from city life.


Best time to visit
Best things to do

Top 3 Facts about Canadice Lake in New York


Smallest Finger Lake

Canadice Lake is the smallest of New York’s eleven Finger Lakes. It spans just under three miles in length and is approximately 0.3 miles wide, making it one of the most serene and less trafficked of the Finger Lakes.


Source of Drinking Water

Canadice Lake, along with Hemlock Lake, serves as a primary source of drinking water for the city of Rochester, New York. Because of this, strict regulations are in place to protect the water quality, including restrictions on development and certain recreational activities.


Pristine Environment

Due to its role as a water supply, Canadice Lake has remained largely undeveloped and is surrounded by natural forested areas. This has helped preserve its pristine environment, making it a haven for wildlife and a peaceful spot for nature enthusiasts.


Must See Attractions

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Canadice Lake Trail


This trail runs along the lake’s eastern shore and offers stunning views of the water and surrounding forest. It’s perfect for hiking, bird-watching, and enjoying the area’s natural beauty. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.

Hemlock Lake


Just south of Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake shares the quiet charm and pristine environment. Its waters also serve as a drinking source for the city of Rochester. This lake offers additional hiking and birding opportunities, similar to Canadice Lake.



Only a short drive away, Rochester provides urban amenities if you’re looking for dining or cultural experiences. You can explore the bustling city life before heading back to the tranquility of Canadice Lake.

Annual Events and Festivals


Naples Grape Festival

The Naples Grape Festival, held on the last full weekend of September in Naples, NY, is a vibrant celebration of the region’s grape harvest. Visitors flock to this charming town, located approximately 20 minutes from Canadice Lake, to enjoy wine tastings from local vineyards, savor grape pies, explore arts and crafts exhibits, and listen to live music. The festival provides a delightful blend of culinary delights and cultural activities, making it a must-visit event for those in the area.


Finger Lakes Wine Festival

In July, the Finger Lakes Wine Festival transforms Watkins Glen International Raceway into a hub of wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs. This festival, typically held on the second weekend of July and about an hour’s drive from Canadice Lake, showcases over 80 wineries, offering wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and live music. Artisan vendors and various entertainment options make this one of the Finger Lakes region’s largest and most popular wine festivals.


Canandaigua Art & Music Festival

The Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, usually the third weekend of July, brings the streets of downtown Canandaigua, NY, alive with creativity and entertainment. Located approximately 30 minutes from Canadice Lake, this festival features local artists displaying their work, live music performances, food vendors, and activities for children. It celebrates the arts and community spirit in a picturesque setting.

Top Hiking Trails

Canadice Lake Trail

The north end of the lake off Canadice Lake Road

This trail runs along the eastern shore of Canadice Lake, offering stunning views of the water and surrounding forest. It’s a relatively easy hike, suitable for all skill levels, and is approximately 8 miles round trip.

Rob’s Trail

The west side of Canadice Lake

This trail connects Hemlock and Canadice Lakes, offering a moderately challenging hike through diverse terrain, including woodlands and wetlands. The trail is about 4.8 miles round trip and features scenic overlooks.

Eagle Crest Trail

Bald Hill Road in the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest

This trail offers a moderate hike with some elevation changes, featuring beautiful views of the surrounding forest and occasional glimpses of the lakes. It is about 3 miles round trip and is popular for bird watching.

Best Golf Courses

Reservoir Creek Golf Course

8613 State Rte 21, Naples, NY 14512, United States

Located about 20 minutes from Canadice Lake, Reservoir Creek Golf Course offers a picturesque setting with rolling hills and stunning views.

The 18-hole course is known for its challenging layout, well-maintained greens, and friendly atmosphere.

Ravenwood Golf Club

929 Lynaugh Rd, Victor, NY 14564, United States

About 45 minutes from Canadice Lake, Ravenwood Golf Club is a championship course that has hosted several prestigious tournaments.

Designed by Robin Nelson, the course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels. It features immaculate fairways, large greens, and numerous water hazards.

Livingston Country Club

4436 Lakeville Rd, Geneseo, NY 14454, United States

Located approximately 30 minutes from Canadice Lake, Livingston Country Club is a scenic 18-hole course that offers a mix of open and wooded holes.

The course is well-regarded for its friendly staff, well-maintained greens, and beautiful views of the Genesee Valley.

Water Sports

Kayaking and Canoeing

Canadice Lake is ideal for kayaking and canoeing due to its calm waters and scenic surroundings.

Paddlers can enjoy exploring the shoreline, observing wildlife, and experiencing the tranquility of the lake.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand-up paddleboarding is another popular activity on Canadice Lake. The calm, clear waters provide a perfect setting for paddleboarding, offering both a good workout and a relaxing way to take in the natural beauty of the area.


Canadice Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities.

Anglers can enjoy fishing for trout, bass, perch, and other species. Both shore fishing and fishing from non-motorized boats are permitted.

Winter Activities

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a favorite winter activity on Canadice Lake. Anglers can enjoy fishing for species such as trout, bass, and perch through the ice.

The lake’s clear waters and abundant fish populations make it a rewarding spot for ice fishing.

Cross-Country Skiing

The trails around Canadice Lake, including the Canadice Lake Trail and nearby trails in the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, are excellent for cross-country skiing.

The serene, snow-covered landscape provides a beautiful backdrop for this low-impact aerobic activity.


Snowshoeing is another great way to explore the trails and shoreline of Canadice Lake in winter. This activity lets you traverse deep snow and enjoy the quiet, pristine winter environment.

Where to Eat

Roots Cafe

$$ – $$$ • Relaxed Dining, Farm-to-Table

Bird House Brewing

$$ – $$$ • Craft Beers, Bar Food

Ember Woodfire Grill

$$ – $$$ • Fine Dining, Woodfired

Where to Shop

Springwater Market

Grocery store

Rory’s Blue Goose Farm

Local produce

Hemlock Hills Alpaca Store

Alpaca clothing products

Where to Sleep

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Tips on Renting a Vacation Home in Canadice Lake

Start Searching Early

Begin your search for vacation rentals well in advance, especially if you plan to visit during peak seasons like summer or fall. Use reputable rental websites, local vacation rental agencies, and online reviews to research properties and find one that meets your needs and budget.

Define Your Preferences

Consider what amenities are essential for your stay, such as lakefront access, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, pet-friendly accommodations, outdoor space, and proximity to attractions and activities. Prioritize your preferences to narrow down your search.

Communicate with the Host

Reach out to the property owner or manager with any questions or concerns you may have before booking. Clarify details about the property, amenities, check-in/check-out procedures, and any specific needs or requests you may have.

Understand What’s Included

Determine what amenities and essentials are included with the rental, such as linens, towels, kitchen supplies, Wi-Fi, cable TV, outdoor equipment (e.g., grill, kayaks), and recreational facilities (e.g., pool, hot tub).

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Going Deeper: History and Cultural Significance of Canadice Lake

Canadice Lake might be the smallest of the Finger Lakes, but it packs quite a historical punch. Its name comes from the Iroquois word ska-ne-a-dice, meaning “long lake.” Pretty ironic, huh? It’s actually the shortest and narrowest Finger Lake!

Why is it special? Firstly, Canadice Lake has been a critical water reservoir for the City of Rochester since 1876. Imagine how vital it was (and still is) for the city’s water supply. Not to mention, Canadice is surrounded by a rich hemlock forest that adds to its scenic beauty. This forest provides a lush backdrop and habitat for various wildlife.

The history of settlement around Canadice Lake is fascinating. Back in the 1800s and early 1900s, the area was a thriving community with people who kept meticulous records, wrote letters, took photos, and shared stories. A glance at Margaret Bott’s writings and historical images by Geraldine Cornish would transport you to those bustling times.

Got time for a walk? The Canadice Lake Walking Trail offers a 4-mile-long trail hugging the lake’s western shore. It’s always a pleasure to explore, though parking might be a tad tricky – plan ahead!

So, why does Canadice Lake matter culturally? It’s not just a natural resource. It reflects a slice of history and nostalgia, whether you’re wandering its trails, studying its past, or just soaking in its serene beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions about Canadice Lake

You can enjoy hiking, biking, and kayaking. The Canadice Lake Trail is an 8-mile path that is popular with cyclists. Birding is another popular activity due to the presence of eagles and other waterfowl.

While Canadice Lake itself does not offer camping facilities, nearby areas in the Finger Lakes region do. You can find campgrounds and RV parks in neighboring towns.

Canadice Lake is home to various fish species, including trout, bass, and perch. It’s a great spot for anglers looking for a quiet fishing experience.

Yes, there is! Canadice Lake was formed over two million years ago by the Laurentine Ice Sheet. The name “Canadice” comes from the Seneca word Ska-ne-a-dice, meaning “long lake.” It has supplied water to Rochester since 1876.

Boating is allowed, but only non-motorized boats, such as kayaks and canoes, are permitted. Ensure you comply with local rules and regulations to maintain the lake’s pristine nature.

Maps of Canadice Lake and surrounding trails are available at local kiosks and online. You can also check the Springwater Trails website for specific trail information and downloadable maps.

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