Posts filed under ‘Canadice Lake’
Three miles long and only 95 feet deep Canadice is great for kayaking as it remains calm with the steep hills that surround it and can be kayaked from end-to-end. Thanks to it being designated a water supply for the city of Rochester in 1872 and the eventual repurchasing of all private property along the lakeshore, Canadice Lake appear as untouched as it did hundreds of years ago.
The best way to experience the beauty of this “wild” lake is from the water. A 360-degree view from the center of the lake allows you to imagine you are the first explorer to experience the calm waters and wooded shoreline, with steep hills carving the horizon. You will see no homes, no cell towers, no development of any kind.
What you will see is Eelgrass, Water Lilies, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Brown Bullhead, Pumpkinseed, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Rock Bass, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Snapping Turtles (HUGE), Herons, Kingfishers, and maybe an Eagle. Along the edge of the lake Wild Roses and Wild Raspberries bloom.
Giant snapping turtles with moss growing on their shells, laze a few inches below the surface of the water allowing a close-up view of something frighteningly prehistoric.
Where can you launch a boat? Kayaks can be launched from several trails that go from the road to the water’s edge. Small motorized boats can be launched on the east side of the lake (see map).
Hemlock-Canadice State Forest — 6,684 acres, many of them covered with creeks flowing down into our water supply.
Hiking creek beds to get the best possible view of several nice waterfalls off the beaten path.
I hiked the Johnson Hill Trail, accessed via Johnson Hill Rd, off Bald hill Rd, just off Rt 15A, at the southern end of Hemlock Lake.
There are parking lots on 15A, which lead into Reynolds Gully and another one on Johnson Hill Road with a nice 1.5m trail.
Two of my favorite spots in the Finger Lakes are Canadice lake and Hemlock Lake. Hemlock and Canadice are the only Finger Lakes with undeveloped shorelines.
The City of Rochester spent over 100 years acquiring all lakeshore properties to prevent development of the watershed and to safeguard its primary source of drinking water. When you hike, bike or ski along these shorelines you feel like you are in total wilderness.
When I saw that there was a trail connecting Hemlock Lake to Canadice Lake, I had to check it out. Rob’s Trail starts just off 15A, on the southern end of Hemlock. The trail is part of the newly designated Hemlock-Canadice State Forest.
Who is Rob? Rob van der Stricht was an avid naturalist, especially fond of the Finger Lakes. The Nature Conservancy officially dedicated this trail to his memory. Thanks Rob, this is an awesome piece of land.
The 1.75 mile circular trail takes you up over the ridge between the two lakes. Despite the altitude, this is a very wet area. Fortunately it was cold enough to keep the ground hard, but I noticed a lot of board walks for navigating the muddy trails.
As the trail starts to head east, over the top of the ridge and into the woods, there is a spur trail .75 mi. long, that winds down to the Canadice Lake trail.
I was on the look out for black bears, eagles, deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, weasels, but all I saw was some Chickadees and Juncos. However, on the drive back into Hemlock, A gorgeous pheasant sauntered across the road.
I was most impressed by the variety of ice formations in the hundreds of little creeks that wind down the hill to the lake.
I recommend if you hike during cold weather that you wear good hiking shoes or Yak Tracks. The trail can get very steep in parts.
To find Rob’s Trail: 15A south, and through the Village of Hemlock. Continue to top of hill above Hemlock Lake, veering left onto South Old Bald Hill Road. Parking on left.
Other great posts on this topic: New York Outdoors Blog.
I am not a fisherman. But I know that a lot of people come to the Finger Lakes to fish, so I asked my Uncle Harold if he would write about his experiences. He has lived on Skaneateles Lake for his entire 80 years and knows the best fishing spots on the lake (which I am SURE he will never reveal).
“My best memory has to be The ” Monster” Trout that didn’t get away.
On an unusually warm winter day my husband and I went for an explore across Canadice Lake.
This is a unique lake as it serves as water supply for Rochester and there are no cottages around the lake. The big-sky view from the top of the lake is stunning. We put on skis and headed a couple of miles down the lake. It is wonderful to be able to explore a lake that has no development anywhere on it. The shore line is beautiful. The woods surrounding are full of birds including the return of the Bald Eagle.
This lake is especially nice as there is no road down the western side of the lake, just a trail great for hiking, biking, snowshoeing or skiing.
The only activity we saw that day on the lake were a few ice fishermen.
Here is a little information about ice fishing on Canadice:
650-acre Canadice Lake in Ontario County offers good lake trout fishing, as well as bass. Recent stockings included 5,100 lake trout, 2,500 brown trout and 2,500 rainbow trout. Its forage base consists of alewives and smelts.
While Honeoye Lake is uncharacteristically shallow for a Finger Lake, Canadice Lake has a mean depth of 55 feet and a maximum depth of 90 feet.
There is another important distinction between the two lakes, indeed between all the other Finger Lakes. This small lake has the highest elevation, and so it often freezes first and stays frozen longest. For late-winter anglers, this can mean an extended period of good ice-fishing.
Canadice Lake offers a choice of trout, panfish, bass, and smelt as well as landlocked salmon. In all the Finger Lakes in DEC’s Region 8, black bass season remains open until March 15 so bass can be taken through the ice. For more info.
How to get to the lake:
Directions: From Route 15A, turn east onto Purcell Hill Road. Find a dirt parking area on the north side, midway between Canadice Hollow Road and Canadice Lake Road. Additional parking is available at the beginning of the trail. N42o 44.621 – W77o 34.416
Alternative Parking: A small pull-off along Canadice Lake Road, 3.7 miles south of Purcell Hill Road on west side of road (lake side), near a blue gate. N42o 41.513 – W77o 34.144
Length: 8.1 miles round trip. 9.0 miles total (including side trails)
Open year-round, the recreation area offers panoramic views of the countryside, including Honeoye Lake. Because of its elevation, this recreation area gets more snow than many parks in the area, making it a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts. Trails, ranging in difficulty from novice to expert, are constructed, maintained, and groomed by the Rochester Cross Country Ski Foundation. Cross-country skiing teams often use Spencer for practice, and recreational groups can often be seen on a winter outing.
A hike around Canadice Lake is like going back in time.
Canadice Lake used to have cottages all along its shore. Staring in 1872 the city of Rochester decided to use Canadice and Hemlock Lakes as a water supply, and began buying all the shoreline property.