Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cayuga Lake, NY -

Take a trip north for some freshwater boating possibilities.
By Ted Shelson, Sales Manager, Peters Marine Service, Inc.

Cayuga Lake located in the Finger Lake region of New York State is a beautiful boating destination only 3 hours from the Lehigh Valley. This is where my family and I have chosen to slip our Sea Ray 240 Sundancer. About every other weekend or so my wife, Sherri, and I pack the car along with our two children, Sarah, age 9, and Owen, age 4. We make the trip to our marina, Allan H. Treman State Marine Park, in Ithaca, New York. At times the four of us feel a little tight in only a 24’ boat. But we enjoy the togetherness and look at it as a camping adventure on the water.

We like the convenience of keeping our boat in the water. You may prefer trailering your boat here for a weekend getaway. The marina offers ample parking and eight launch ramps, each having it’s own dock. So launching and retrieving your boat is a breeze. Transient slips must be reserved in advance but you will not be disappointed with the accommodations. Each slip offers water and electric and features grass and shade trees along the bulkhead.


We love this place because crowds are seldom – if ever, there is always something to do, and the boating possibilities are endless. After all Cayuga Lake is accessible to the largest freshwater inland waterway in the world via the Erie Canal! The lake is about 40 miles long with Ithaca located at the southernmost end. Most boating activities generally take place at either end of the lake with pockets of activity around the two state parks in the middle, Taughannock Falls State Park, and Long Point State Park. Most of the time however, you can easily find a secluded spot for skiing, tubing, fishing, or simply anchoring near shore to pass the time. We prefer to travel a short distance up the lake away from other boaters, cut the engine, and drift back down the lake in the gentle breeze. Other times we will grab a mooring and spend the night out on the lake away from the marina. Perhaps you would enjoy taking your boat for an evening cruise and finish with a waterfront dinner at The Boat Yard Grille where you can take in the nightlife every Friday with Live Bands.

Should the weather turn bad; there is always something to do. For the adults there is the Cayuga Wine Trail. Enjoy the scenery, sample the wines, and maybe bring a bottle or two home to share with friends. You can also take in a play at the Hangar Theatre near the marina’s main entrance off of Route 89. The kids will love the Science Center in downtown Ithaca. Take a short drive north on Rte 89 to Taughannock Falls State Park. There you will find a hiking trail to the base of the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. It is an easy walk and something the kids will enjoy.


Take a trip by boat! On this lake you don’t have to just go in circles. Cayuga Lake is connected to Seneca Lake to the west via the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, located at the north end of the lake. Here you will also find access to the Erie Canal. Canaling is loads of fun and the adventure of going through the locks gives everyone the opportunity to have a hands-on experience. Just a short distance west on the Cayuga-Seneca canal and through 2 locks you will find a wonderful place to overnight at Seneca Falls, NY. Towns along the canal system make every effort to attract boaters. Seneca Falls has a beautiful waterfront offering nice docks and free water and electric hookups. Here you can get off of the boat to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat, or explore this historic town. Visit the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, within walking distance of your boat, and discover how five women changed the world.

There is so much to do and so much to see. So take a weekend and give it a go. In fact, you could come a few times and not see the same things twice. Like us, you may even decide to stick around for the entire season.

So where on the lake should we go today?

From the Lehigh Valley take I-476 North to I-81 North (or 33 North to I-80 West to I-380 North to I-81 North) fifteen minutes north of Binghamton, NY take Exit 8, Whitney Point. Follow Rte 79 West for about 45 minutes into Ithaca. As you approach the bottom of the long hill into downtown Ithaca bear right onto Seneca Way which turns onto E. Seneca Street. E. Seneca Street becomes W. Seneca Street. Stay in center lane. RIGHT turn from center lane onto West Meadow St. Follow signs to Rte 89 North. Take immediate LEFT onto West Buffalo Street. Turn RIGHT onto Taughannock Blvd / Rte 89 North. Go about 1 mile to marina entrance on right. WATCH YOUR SPEED. 30 MPH and strictly enforced.

Plan ahead.
For transient slip reservations contact the marina c/o Robert H. Treman State Park at (607) 273-3440
Lock Passes are required for going through the canal and can easily be purchased at the first lock that you arrive at. Click here for fee information:

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.

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1 comment:

orvel said...

Great stuff Ted! Thanks for posting, I'll definetely have to consider this for the future as I'm sure it's a lot of fun at this lake with lots of things to do. You know you're almost campaining for me to trade in my 210 Select for a 240 Sundancer! LOL!

Orie Velez