owasco Lake

lake facts

Elevation: 712 feet
Area: 6,665 acres
Water Volume: 212 billion gallons
Length: 11.1 miles
Maximum width: 1.3 miles
Maximum depth: 177 feet
Thermocline: about 35 feet


  • Wasco, a site at the northern end of the lake, was once home to one of the earliest settlements of the Cayuga nation.
  • In the early half of the 19th century, Owasco Lake was known for its resorts and casinos, which catered to the upper class and social elite. The Syracuse Railway ran down the west side of the lake, and passenger steamboats were used to transport vacationers from one high-profile destination to another. Today, the profile of the lake has changed with lovely private homes and quaint cottages dotting much of the shoreline.
  • The town of Moravia lies at the southern end of the lake. It is the birthplace of President Millard Fillmore and held the childhood home of John D. Rockefeller.
  • Fillmore Glen State Park with its deep gorges and 5 waterfalls is located in Moravia.
  • The small city of Auburn is located 2.5 miles north of Owasco Lake. Known as “History’s Hometown,” the former homes of Harriet Tubman, William Seward, Secretary of State to Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, and a leading figure in the purchase of Alaska (Seward’s Folly,) and Ted Case, inventor of sound on film are all located there.
  • The largest tributary that runs into the lake is the Owasco Inlet, which accounts for almost 55% of the surface water that enters the lake.