Cayuga Lake

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Cayuga Lake (English pronunciation: /keɪˈjuːɡə/ or /kaɪˈjuːɡə/)  is the longest of central New York's glacial Finger Lakes, and is the second largest in surface area (marginally smaller than Seneca Lake) and second largest in volume. It is just under 40 miles (64 km) long. Its average width is 1.7 miles (2.7 km), and it is 3.5 mi wide (5.6 km) at its widest point near Aurora. It is approximately 435 ft deep (133 m) at its deepest point.



The city of Ithaca, New York, site of Ithaca College and Cornell University, is located at the southern end of Cayuga Lake. Cornell's alma mater or official school song makes reference to its position "Far Above Cayuga's Waters", while that of Ithaca College references "Cayuga’s shore".

Villages and settlements along the east shore of Cayuga Lake include Myers, King Ferry, Aurora, Levanna, Union Springs, and Cayuga. Settlements along the west shore of the lake include Sheldrake, Poplar Beach, and Canoga.

The lake has one small island near Union Springs, Frontenac Island. It is one of only two islands in the Finger Lakes.

Geographical characteristics

Cayuga Lake is located at 42°41′00″N 76°41′46″W / 42.6833333°N 76.69611°W / 42.6833333; -76.69611; 116.4 metres (382 ft) above sea level. Its depth, steep east and west sides with shallow north and south ends is typical of the Finger Lakes, as they were carved by glaciers during the last ice age.

  • Length: 61.4 km (38.2 mi)
  • Average width: 2.8 km (1.7 mi)
  • Maximum depth: 132 m (433 ft)
  • Surface area: 172 km2 (66 sq mi)
  • Mean depth: 54.5 m (179 ft)
  • Catchment area: 2,033 km² (37.1% natural forest, 58% active agricultural)
  • Main islands: 1, Frontenac
  • Main outflows: 1

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