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Covering more than 51,000 acres, Oneida Lake is the largest lake located entirely within the state of New York. Named after the Iroquois Nation Oneida Tribe who lived in the area, Oneida Lake is about 21 miles long and more than five miles wide at its widest point. The lake is one of the links in the Erie Canal system, which provides navigation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The lake's immense size reaches into three New York state tourism regions: Thousand Islands, Finger Lakes, and Central-Leatherstocking.
The most popular tourist area on Oneida Lake is Sylvan Beach, a resort community located on the eastern shore with a wide range of vacation rentals available. Sylvan Beach offers a full array of fun summer activities from swimming, boating, sailing, fishing, or enjoying their many restaurants, gift shops, and the historic Erie Canal. Amusement park enthusiasts will want to visit the Sylvan Beach Amusement Park which began in the 1800's and offers well-maintained rides that are not found in today's amusement parks. When the sun sets in Sylvan Beach, the fun does not stop, as the town also boasts that it is a booming hotspot of nightlife and entertainment on Oneida Lake.
Located south of Sylvan Beach is the Verona Beach State Park which has three-quarters of a mile supervised beach area with bathhouse, concession stand, and areas for large gatherings on beautiful Oneida Lake. Also available at Verona Beach State Park are campsites with excellent views of Oneida Lake, numerous picnic sites, and miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. In the snowy days of winter, these same trails are used for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. During appropriate hunting seasons, the eastern part of Verona Beach State Park is open for hunting deer, waterfowl, and small game with the proper licenses.
Oneida Shores is a county park located on the southern shore of Oneida Lake within the town of Brewerton. Oneida Shores is most popular for its large beach area, but also offers campgrounds, docks, and hard surface ramps for boat launching. During the hot summer season the Oneida Shores beach area provides a lifeguard, bathhouse, and children's playground near the beach. Kayaks can be rented for half-hour to hour blocks of time. Campsites offer a shady view of Oneida Lake with spaces for tents and RVs as well as some sites with water and electric hookups.
Constantia, a small village on the northern shore of Oneida Lake, is home to Taft Bay Park which offers a large beach area, volleyball courts, basketball courts, ball fields, bathhouse, and concession area. Also on the northern shore of Oneida Lake is the small village of Cleveland. A New York State Department of Environmental Conservation boat launch is located at Godfrey Point in Cleveland with hard-surface ramps, large parking area, and on-site bathroom facilities. Three Mile Bay is located on the northwest shore of Oneida Lake. This area is a popular beach destination where boats can anchor. The boat launch ramp is maintained by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
There are also dozens of marinas located all around the shores of Oneida Lake. Abundant fish species give fishermen a challenge. Gamefish include walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, pickerel, tiger musky, and channel catfish. Panfish species include yellow perch, white perch, white bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, and bullheads. Oneida Lake also serves up large numbers of freshwater drum (sheephead) and carp. Oneida Lake freezes solidly during the winter making it a great location for ice fishing and snowmobiling.
Start packing because Oneida Lake with its many destinations and activities is waiting for you!
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