Cayuga Lake Area
The longest of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga stretches out for 38 moody miles, 381 feet above sea level. It varies in depth from a few feet to 435 feet, and supports a wide variety of marine life. In shallow waters swim carp and large-mouth bass; in deeper ones, northern pike and lake trout.
Iroquois for “boat landing,” Cayuga was named after the Iroquois nation that originally lived along and farmed its shores. The Cayugas were called Gue-u-gweh-o-no, or people of the muckland, exemplified by the once-enormous Montezuma Marsh at the northern end of the lake.
Today, just south of the marsh, sits Seneca Falls, the small industrial town where the first Women’s Rights Convention met in 1848. Anchoring the southern end of the lake is Ithaca, a friendly cultural center that’s home to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and craggy gorges with waterfalls higher than Niagara.
Along the lake’s western shores are a half-dozen wineries; on the eastern shores, the historic village of Aurora.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition