Seneca Lake

lake facts

Elevation: 445 feet
Area: 43,343 acres
Water Volume: 4.2 trillion gallons
Length: 38 miles
Maximum width: approx. 3 miles
Maximum depth: 618 feet
Thermocline: 60-125 feet


  • The word “Seneca” is derived from the Native American name “Assiniki,” which means “place of stone” or “stony place.”
  • Seneca Lake accounts for more than 50% of water found in the entire Finger Lakes Region.
  • On average, because of its length and extreme depth, Seneca Lake only freezes completely about once a century. The last reported date was 1912. During the freeze, people claimed that they skated 35 miles from Geneva to Watkins Glen.
  • It is possible to begin a circumnavigation of the globe from Seneca Lake, as the canal system connects the lake to the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The large size of the lake moderates the temperature and makes the surrounding land ideal for growing grapes. Because of this, Seneca Lake has more wineries and vineyards than any other Finger Lake.
  • Seneca Lake is the host of the National Lake Trout Derby and is considered to be the lake trout capital of the world.
  • The lake floor extends 200 feet below sea level and has been used as testing sites for submarines.