Explore, Relax, Wander | Keuka Lake | New York

I never started visiting the Keuka Lake area until after I met my life. If only I had known what I was missing out on.

Keuka Lake like most of the figure lakes region is dotted with nearby wineries. It is always nice to have a spot to get indoors and have a nice drink when traveling around. Why not spend some tie relaxing at a winery if you are in the mood?

One interesting feature of Keuka Lake is the shape of the lake itself. Most of the Finger Lakes are long relatively narrow bodies of water. They are more or less straight lines that run north to south. However, Keuka Lake has a distinct “Y” shape with an eastern and western northern terminus. The shape of the lake gives Keuka Lake a very different feel and viewing experience for nature lovers.

Yellow Iris growing Along Keuka Lake in New York.

If you are in the Keuka Lake area and are looking for something to do there are a lot of local establishments to visit. Each end of the lake has its own community where you can stop and relax, get a bite to eat, or do some local shopping. At the southern end of Keuka Lake lies Hammondsport. Travel up the eastern side of the lake and you will arrive at Penn Yan. Then continue around the lake to the west and you will end up in Branchport at the North Western end of the lake.

Summer along Keuka Lake in New York.

Southern end

What I like best about Keuka Lake is that there are multiple spots along the lake with public access to the shoreline. At the southern end in Hammondsport there are two different spots that are easily accessible. It is funny because the two spots are as far away from each other as it’s possible to be and still be at the end of the lake. Just before heading up route 54 along the eastern side of Keuka Lake take a moment to stop at Champlin Beach. There is beautiful access to the shoreline and a nice place to relax. If you are walking around town in Hammondsport stroll down Water Street to Depot Park where there are piers and nice views of the lake as well of some benches to sit on and relax.

Keuka Lake shoreline.


In Penn Yan at the northeast end of the lake there are also two easily accessible public access points for the lakeshore area. At the very end of the Northeast side of Keuka Lake there is Red Jacket Park. A beautiful little community park where you can walk right down to the water and soak in some sights and sounds of the water lapping on the shore. If you drive though Penn Yan and around to the other side of town There is a nice little park with picnic tables and beautiful shoreline to walk called Indian Pines Park.

When I first started visiting this park there were always geese there. Not Canada Geese or any other sort of easily identifiable wild geese, but perhaps some sort of domesticated gees that had escaped captivity and gone wild over the years. Those geese would eagerly approach you if you had food. It made for an interesting experience. When in Penn Yan there is also the opportunity to explore the Keuka Outlet Trail. The trail starts right near the northeastern end of the lake where there is a larger inlet area almost like a large pond or its own small lake. If you are so inclined you can follow the Keuka Outlet Trail from Penn Yan on Keuka Lake to Dresden along Seneca Lake. The trail is great for a hike, a bike, or a run.


If you travel to the Northwest branch of Keuka Lake you can explore the largest region of public land along Keuka Lake. Near the tip of the Northwest branch of Keuka Lake, but along the northern end of the eastern shoreline of that branch of Keuka Lake lies Keuka Lake State Park. Everyone confused after that attempted geography lesson?

Water rolling up on the rocks along the shore at Keuka Lake State Park.

Keuka Lake State Park offers camping and waterfront recreation opportunities. There are approximately 5 miles of trails within the park. Keuka Lake State Park also offers a nice section of shoreline which you can walk right down too and beautiful scenery for a picnic or just a relaxing day at the park.

In recent years I have become more active in cycling and there is an event that involves circumnavigating Keuka Lake. I think that would be a fun way to see the lake. So, some day I might give that a try either as part of the official event or just on my own time.

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