skaneateles Lake

lake facts

Elevation: 863 feet
Area: 8,960 acres
Water Volume: 413 billion gallons
Length: 16 miles
Maximum width: 1.5 miles
Maximum depth: 300 feet
Thermocline: 35 feet


  • In the early 1800s, many settlers were attracted to the land surrounding Skaneateles Lake because they were able to use the lake outlet as a power source for water mills and other types of early industry.
  • The first steamboat to traverse the lake was called The Independent, which began transporting passengers up and down the lake in 1831.
  • Smaller steamboats were used to deliver the mail to homes and cottages that could not be accessed by roads. Residents would put their mailboxes on the end of their docks to allow the mail boats easy delivery and pick-up.
  • The village has a handful of homes that were stops on the Underground Railroad.
  • Skaneateles Lake provides drinking water to 220,000 people. The lake has been used as a water supply for both the surrounding town of Skaneateles and many Syracuse residents since the 1890s.
  • It is one of only six unfiltered water sources in the country. Because the water from these types of lakes and reservoirs are not pumped through traditional filtration plants, they must maintain an extremely high quality of clarity and cleanliness. The only filtration the lake water needs is a coarse screen, followed by chlorine and fluoride.