Finger Lakes Canoe Trail In Minnesota

Here is everything you need to know about the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Minnesota
  • Length: 5.2 miles.
  • Type: Water trail.
  • Surface: Water
  • Managed By: Finger Lakes Canoe Trail Association
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is a historic waterway located in upstate New York, encompassing a network of eleven glacially-carved lakes. The trail has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, with evidence of Native American settlements and trade routes along its shores. The region was primarily inhabited by the Iroquois Confederacy, particularly the Cayuga, Seneca, and Onondaga tribes, who relied on the lakes for transportation, fishing, and agriculture.

European settlers arrived in the Finger Lakes region in the late 18th century, bringing with them a new era of exploration and trade. The lakes became vital waterways for early settlers, who used canoes and flat-bottomed boats to transport goods and people across the region. The construction of the Erie Canal in the early 19th century further enhanced the importance of the Finger Lakes as a transportation corridor, connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean.

As the industrial revolution took hold in the United States, the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail saw increased commercial activity. Steamboats and larger vessels began to ply the lakes, carrying passengers and cargo between the various towns and cities along the shores. However, with the decline of the canal system and the rise of railroads in the late 19th century, the importance of the waterway diminished, and the lakes became primarily recreational destinations.

In recent decades, there has been a renewed interest in the historical significance of the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail. Efforts have been made to preserve and promote the trail as a recreational resource, allowing modern-day visitors to experience the beauty and history of the region. Today, the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail serves as a reminder of the area’s rich past and continues to attract outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and nature lovers alike.

While On The Trail

Access Points

Info not available.

Transportation Available

1. Finger Lakes Limousine – Limousine service offering luxury transportation in the Finger Lakes region.
2. Finger Lakes Taxi – Reliable taxi service for convenient transportation in the Finger Lakes area.
3. Finger Lakes Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to various destinations in the Finger Lakes region.
4. Finger Lakes Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail and surrounding areas.
5. Finger Lakes Boat Tours – Guided boat tours offering scenic views of the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.
6. Finger Lakes Kayak Rentals – Kayak rental service for enjoying the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail and its beautiful surroundings.
7. Finger Lakes Car Rentals – Car rental service for independent transportation in the Finger Lakes region.
8. Finger Lakes Bus Tours – Bus tours offering guided trips to different attractions in the Finger Lakes area.
9. Finger Lakes Helicopter Tours – Helicopter tours providing a unique aerial perspective of the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail and its surroundings.
10. Finger Lakes Water Taxi – Water taxi service for convenient transportation across the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.


The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offers various amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at certain access points along the trail.

2. Parking: Parking areas are provided at different access points along the trail for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offers designated camping sites along the trail where visitors can set up their tents and spend the night. These sites may have fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic areas available at certain access points along the trail where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack amidst the scenic surroundings.

5. Boat Launches: The trail provides boat launches at various points, allowing visitors to easily access the water with their canoes or kayaks.

6. Fishing Spots: The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offers opportunities for fishing, with designated fishing spots along the trail.

7. Information Kiosks: Information kiosks are placed at certain access points, providing visitors with maps, trail information, and safety guidelines.

8. Signage: The trail is marked with signage to guide visitors and provide information about the route, access points, and safety precautions.

9. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail passes through areas rich in wildlife, providing opportunities for visitors to observe and appreciate the natural surroundings.

10. Scenic Overlooks: There may be scenic overlooks along the trail, offering panoramic views of the Finger Lakes region.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific access point or section of the trail. It is advisable to check with the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail organization or local authorities for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities.

Nearby Services

1. The Inn at Taughannock – Lakeside lodging with stunning views of Cayuga Lake.
2. Seneca Lodge – Rustic lodge offering comfortable accommodations near Seneca Lake.
3. Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel – Upscale hotel with a marina, located on the southern tip of Seneca Lake.
4. Belhurst Castle – Historic castle offering elegant rooms and fine dining overlooking Seneca Lake.
5. Geneva on the Lake – Charming lakeside resort with a restaurant and spa on Seneca Lake.
6. The Gould Hotel – Boutique hotel in downtown Seneca Falls, offering modern amenities and a restaurant.
7. The Sherwood Inn – Quaint inn with a restaurant and pub in the heart of Skaneateles.
8. The Aurora Inn – Elegant lakeside inn with a renowned restaurant on Cayuga Lake.
9. Taughannock Farms Inn – Historic inn with a restaurant and stunning views of Cayuga Lake.
10. The Esperanza Mansion – Historic mansion turned inn, offering lake views and a restaurant on Keuka Lake.
11. Cayuga Medical Center – Full-service hospital providing emergency medical services in Ithaca.
12. Geneva General Hospital – Acute care hospital offering emergency services in Geneva.
13. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital – Community hospital providing emergency care in Penn Yan.
14. Auburn Community Hospital – Full-service hospital with emergency services in Auburn.
15. Yates County Sheriff’s Office – Local law enforcement agency providing emergency services in Yates County.

Finger Lakes Canoe Trail Difficulty Notes

The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for paddlers of varying skill levels. While some sections of the trail are calm and suitable for beginners, other parts can present more challenging conditions, such as strong winds and currents. Paddlers should be prepared for potential obstacles like fallen trees and be comfortable navigating through narrow channels and shallow areas. Overall, the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail provides a rewarding experience for those seeking a mix of tranquility and adventure on the water.

Features And Attractions

1. Taughannock Falls State Park: This park is home to the stunning Taughannock Falls, which is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rocky Mountains. The view from the base of the falls is breathtaking.

2. Watkins Glen State Park: Known for its picturesque gorge and stunning waterfalls, Watkins Glen State Park offers a scenic hiking trail that takes you through 19 waterfalls and over 800 stone steps.

3. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge: This wildlife refuge is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. It is home to a diverse range of bird species, including bald eagles, herons, and waterfowl.

4. Seneca Lake: As the largest of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake offers beautiful views and numerous recreational activities. You can paddle along the lake, explore its many wineries, or simply enjoy the serene surroundings.

5. Cayuga Lake: Another one of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake is known for its scenic beauty and charming waterfront towns. The lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming.

6. Sampson State Park: Located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, Sampson State Park is a former military training base turned recreational area. It offers stunning lake views, hiking trails, and a marina.

7. Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park: This historic park features a beautiful Victorian mansion surrounded by nine formal gardens. It offers guided tours and hosts various events throughout the year.

8. Women’s Rights National Historical Park: Located in Seneca Falls, this park commemorates the birthplace of the women’s rights movement in the United States. It includes the Wesleyan Chapel, where the first Women’s Rights Convention was held in 1848.

9. Finger Lakes National Forest: This 16,000-acre forest offers numerous hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and opportunities for wildlife viewing. It is a great place to explore the natural beauty of the Finger Lakes region.

10. Corning Museum of Glass: While not directly on the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail, the Corning Museum of Glass is a must-visit attraction in the region. It showcases stunning glass art and offers interactive exhibits and demonstrations.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail. There are many more hidden gems to discover as you explore this beautiful region.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Campfires are only permitted in designated fire pits or grills.
3. Overnight camping is allowed only in designated campsites along the trail.
4. Leave no trace: Pack out all trash and waste, and do not disturb or damage the natural environment.
5. Fishing is allowed in accordance with state fishing regulations. A fishing license may be required.
6. Motorized boats are not allowed on certain sections of the trail. Check local regulations for specific restrictions.
7. Respect private property and obtain permission before accessing or crossing private land.
8. Observe seasonal restrictions, such as closures during hunting seasons or specific waterway restrictions.
9. Follow all safety guidelines and wear appropriate personal flotation devices (PFDs) while on the water.
10. Be aware of and respect other trail users, including paddlers, hikers, and cyclists.
11. Avoid excessive noise and maintain a peaceful atmosphere for other visitors and wildlife.
12. Stay informed about weather conditions and be prepared for changing conditions while on the trail.
13. Follow any additional rules or guidelines posted at specific access points or campsites along the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.

Seasonal Information

The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the stunning beauty of the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York. While the trail can be enjoyed year-round, there are certain times of the year that offer the best experiences for visitors.

One of the best times to visit the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is during the spring and summer months, from May to September. During this time, the weather is generally pleasant, with warm temperatures and longer daylight hours. The lakes are also at their fullest, providing ample opportunities for paddling and exploring the various waterways. Springtime brings blooming wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your canoeing adventure. Summer is perfect for swimming, fishing, and camping along the shores of the lakes.

However, it’s important to note that the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail has seasonal closures and restrictions. The trail is typically closed during the winter months, from November to April, due to freezing temperatures and ice formation on the lakes. It is not safe or feasible to paddle during this time. Additionally, some sections of the trail may have closures or restrictions due to maintenance or environmental concerns. It’s always a good idea to check with local authorities or the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail organization for the most up-to-date information on closures and restrictions before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail are during the spring and summer months when the weather is pleasant, the lakes are at their fullest, and the surrounding nature is in full bloom. However, it’s important to be aware of the seasonal closures and restrictions, particularly during the winter months when the trail is closed due to freezing temperatures and ice formation. By planning your visit accordingly and staying informed about any closures or restrictions, you can have a memorable and enjoyable experience exploring the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.


1. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail entrance for individuals with disabilities.
2. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are provided at various points along the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.
3. Accessible Launch Sites: Multiple launch sites along the trail are equipped with accessible ramps or platforms, allowing individuals using wheelchairs to easily enter and exit their canoes or kayaks.
4. Accessible Trails: Some sections of the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail feature accessible trails, providing individuals with mobility impairments the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding nature.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Wheelchair-accessible picnic areas are available at certain points along the trail, allowing individuals to relax and enjoy a meal in a comfortable setting.
6. Accessible Camping: Some campgrounds near the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offer accessible campsites with features such as level ground, wider paths, and accessible facilities.
7. Accessible Information: Informational materials, including brochures and maps, are available in accessible formats such as large print or braille for individuals with visual impairments.
8. Accessible Signage: Signage along the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail includes accessible features such as large fonts, clear symbols, and tactile elements for individuals with visual or cognitive impairments.
9. Accessible Assistance: Trained staff or volunteers are available to provide assistance and support to individuals with disabilities, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.
10. Accessible Communication: The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offers accessible communication options, such as TTY/TDD phone lines or video relay services, for individuals with hearing or speech impairments.

Safety Information

When visiting the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Always wear a properly fitted PFD while on the water. It is essential for your safety, especially if you are not a strong swimmer.

2. Check Weather Conditions: Before heading out, check the weather forecast and be aware of any potential storms or strong winds. Avoid paddling during severe weather conditions.

3. Know Your Limits: Be honest about your paddling abilities and choose routes that match your skill level. The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail offers various difficulty levels, so choose accordingly.

4. Share Your Plans: Inform someone about your trip plans, including your intended route, estimated time of return, and emergency contact information. This way, someone will be aware of your whereabouts in case of an emergency.

5. Stay Hydrated: Bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your journey. Paddling can be physically demanding, and it is crucial to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

6. Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. The reflection of the sun on the water can intensify the UV rays, so take necessary precautions.

7. Be Aware of Motorized Boats: The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is shared with motorized boats. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings, especially near boat launches and marinas.

8. Watch for Hazards: Keep an eye out for submerged rocks, fallen trees, and other potential hazards in the water. These obstacles can be dangerous, so navigate cautiously.

9. Respect Wildlife and Nature: The Finger Lakes region is home to diverse wildlife and ecosystems. Respect their habitats, observe from a distance, and avoid disturbing or feeding them.

10. Pack Essential Safety Gear: Carry a whistle or signaling device to attract attention in case of an emergency. Additionally, bring a first aid kit, a waterproof map, a compass, and a repair kit for your canoe or kayak.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when enjoying outdoor activities. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is a significant waterway system located in upstate New York, consisting of 50 lakes and connecting rivers. In terms of conservation status, the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is considered to be in relatively good condition. The water quality of the lakes is generally high, with efforts made to minimize pollution and maintain healthy ecosystems. The trail is also home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, including several rare and endangered species.

Conservation efforts for the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail primarily focus on protecting and preserving the water quality and natural habitats. Local organizations and government agencies work together to monitor and manage the trail, implementing measures to prevent pollution and maintain the ecological balance. These efforts include regular water quality testing, invasive species control, and shoreline restoration projects.

Additionally, there are ongoing initiatives to educate and engage the local community and visitors about the importance of conservation. Public awareness campaigns and educational programs aim to promote responsible recreational activities and minimize the impact on the natural environment. Overall, the conservation status of the Finger Lakes Canoe Trail is relatively positive, with ongoing efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability and preservation of this valuable waterway system.

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