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Canandaigua Lake, located in Ontario County's "Lake Country," is the fourth largest Finger Lake, stretching out over 15.5 miles in length and 1.5 miles in width. Canandaigua is Iroquois for "chosen spot," a fitting name, as it is an area of stunning natural beauty; 50% of its shoreline and surrounding land is still forested.
The lake is home to Squaw Island, one of the only two islands in the Finger Lake region. The island, located at the north of Canandaigua Lake, is over 11,000 years old and is the smallest Fish and Wildlife Management area in New York. As oral tradition explains, the island was once used in the 18th century to hide Seneca women and children during the Sullivan Expedition against the Six Iroquois Nations. Unfortunately, Squaw Island is a victim of severe erosion, and has shrunk from a size of approximately 2 acres in 1853 to only 55 feet by 145 feet today. The Squaw Island Preservation Society has since been formed to protect the island and its unique history.
Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park is located in the City of Canandaigua at the north end of the lake. The park provides boat launch facilities from May to mid-October. The town of Naples, located at the southern end of the lake, is part of the Finger Lakes wine region. You can visit wineries along the Canandaigua Wine Trail to sample their Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, and Traminette wines.
The motto of Ontario County's Lake Country is "the fun of it all." Enjoy a variety of water activities, including sailing, boating, and swimming. Anglers can try their luck at catching lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and panfish.
Make sure to spend some time off the water enjoying the area's special events and spectacular inland scenery. Star gaze while attending a summertime concert at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center, an outside amphitheater. Savor the area?s famous Grape Pies in the fall during the grape harvest. Drive the quiet roads to view the spectacular fall foliage. In winter, hit the slopes of the Bristol Mountain Winter Resort. Ski "the vertical" or enjoy the slower pace of groomed cross-country trails.
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