Honeoye Lake – New York’s Finger Lakes

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Location / Directions / Maps

Location: Ontario County, New York

Surrounding Communities: Honeoye, Richmond, Canadice

Maps: Google Map, Bing Maps, Multi-map (topo)

GPS: Northern outlet (Honeoye Creek): (N 42.78312 / W 77.51262)
Southern inlet (N 42.72123 / W 77.51138)

Size: Area: 1,772 acres, Length: 4.5 miles, Max width: 0.8 Miles.

Max depth: 30 feet.

Volume: 9.5 billion gallons.

Water Quality: Fair.

Elevation: 809 feet.

Directions: West Lake Rd. (CR 36) runs along the west side of the lake, while East Lake Rd runs the length of the east. Rt. 20 runs close to the northern end, but the marsh at the southern end of the lake prevents roads from coming close to the inlet. East and West Lake roads meet 3 miles south of the southern point of the lake.


Pronunciation: “Honey – oy”.
From the Seneca name meaning “lying finger”.

Honeoye Lake, nestled between Canadice and Canandaigua lakes, is a popular recreation destination for the greater Rochester area. 10th in size, this small lake is also the shallowest, reaching a mere 30 feet at its deepest point. The shores are lined with cottages and the surrounding hills covered in farmland. Although the density of homes and cottages along the lake is not nearly as concentrated as Conesus or the other popular Finger Lakes, Honeoye is far from being as natural as Hemlock or Canadice Lakes. It does, however, represent a setting somewhat in-between.

At the north end you will find the pleasant Sandy Bottom Beach Park in the hamlet of Richmond. To the south, the state and conservation organizations have purchased thousands of acres of land lining the Honeoye Inlet to help ensure better water quality and continued enjoyment of the lake and its watershed. While relatively flat land surrounds the northern end, the south is lined with the giant tree-covered, rolling hills that the Finger Lakes region is known for; offering a spectacular vista. This whole area is rich with gullies, many of which are unfortunately on private land. Luckily the Wesley Hill Nature Preserve on the southeast end allows visitors to hike the natural terrain, observe wildlife and explore the massive Briggs Gully.

The shallow depths cater well to both swimming and aquatic plant life. Abundant plant cover and consistent oxygen levels make this lake a favorite for area fisherman, who often prefer this lake over the more popular ones. The low volume of the lake makes it very vulnerable to contaminants. We visited in the summer of 2012, during a period of record low rainfall. Beaches were closed, weeds choked the outlet, and the water smelled faintly of sewage. Of course this was a rare period in the life of the lake, and regular rainfall should cleanse the waters frequently. This ought to serve as a warning about how fragile the lake actually is if not treated well, or if climate change has a significant impact on the surrounding area.

Honeoye Lake


Honeoye Lake Parks / Beaches / Access Points

Sandy Bottom Park

Description: Sandy Bottom Beach Park is on the northern end of the lake offering access to both the lake and the Honeoye Creek outlet. The hamlet of Richmond hosts this beautiful little park that gives visitors a chance to swim at the sandy beach and fish along the outlet. Plenty of accommodations are present including a highly recommended nature trail through the marsh surrounding the outlet.

Seasons/Hours: Year-round. Dawn to dusk.

Directions: North end of the lake. Access from West Lake Road (CR 36).Google Directions.

Best time to visit: Summer through fall.

Pets: Pets are allowed on a  leash. Proof of rabies vaccination is required, and owners must clean up after their pets.

Admission: Free.

Parking: 60 cars.

Handicap accessibility: Yes, on paved walkways and to restroom facilities.

Swimming: Swimming is allowed in the designated area when a lifeguard is on duty.

Boat Launch: Small trailers, car top, and hand launching available off of Sandy Bottom Road.

Accommodations: Fishing, ice fishing, swimming, lifeguards, playground, pavilions, restrooms, nature trail, playing fields, small/hand/car-top boat launch, shuffleboard, tables.

Map: Trail map.

Contact: Town of Richmond: 585-229-5757

Honeoye Lake Boat Launch State Park

Description: This state-provided boat launch and fishing access site is located on the east shore of the lake towards the southern end.

Seasons/Hours: 4/19 – 10/8. 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. daily.

Directions:  East end of the lake off of East Lake Rd. Google Directions.

Pets: Allowed, on leash.

Admission: Boat Launch Fee: $7.

Parking: Roadside lots along the park and a lot on the eastern end. 100 cars.

Handicap accessibility: Yes

Swimming: Not allowed.

Boat Launch: Trailer launch.

Accommodations: Fishing, ice fishing, concrete boat launch.

Contact: NY State Parks: 585-335-8111

Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area

Description:  Although it offers no direct access with Honeoye Lake, this state park has a breathtaking view of the southern end of the lake from high atop Canadice Hill, 2,200 feet in elevation. Numerous trails cater well to hiking and biking and the scenic vistas are popular picnic locations. The far-above-average snowfall makes this park a favorite among winter sport enthusiasts.

Season/Hours: Year round.

Directions: Southwest of the lake, on Canadice Hill Rd., off of CR36. Google Directions.

Best time to visit: Any time.

Pets: Allowed, on leash.

Admission: Free.

Parking: Roadside lots along the park and a lot on the eastern end. 100 cars

Handicap accessibility: Yes.

Swimming: None.

Boat Launch: None.

Accommodations: Biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, one pavilion, picnic tables, hunting.

Map: Trail Map.

Contact: NY State Parks: 585-335-8111

Honeoye Inlet Wildlife Management Area

Description: This newly purchased state land encompasses 2,100 acres along the Honeoye Inlet at the south end of the lake. Comprised of meadows, forested upland and marshland, this area is largely undeveloped.

Season/Hours: Year round.

Directions: Southern end of the lake. Various pull-offs off West Lake Rd. (CR36) and East Lake Rd. south of the lake.

Pets: Allowed, on leash.

Admission: Free.

Parking: Several pullovers.

Handicap accessibility: No.

Swimming: Not allowed.

Boat Launch: Hand only.

Accommodations: hunting, hiking, fishing, hand boat launch.

Contact: DEC Region 8: 585-226-2466, fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Wesley Hill Nature Preserve

Description: What this 390 acre preserve lacks in size it makes up for in character. The Finger Lakes Land Trust preserves this collection of upland woodlands, mature forests and steep gullies, including portions of the massive Briggs Gully.

Season/Hours: Year round.

Directions: Southeast hills of the lake. Trailheads and parking areas on Wesley and Gulick Roads. Google Directions.

Best time to visit: Any time.

Pets: Unknown.

Admission: Free.

Parking: A dozen cars. Parking areas on Wesley and Gulick Roads.

Swimming: None.

Boat Launch: None.

Handicap accessibility: No.

Map: Trail Map.

Accommodations: Hiking trails, hunting (by permit)

Contact: Finger Lakes Land Trust: 607-275-9487, info@fllt.org

Honeoye Lake Weather

Honeoye, New York, weather forecast

Fishing Information

Common species

Smallmouth and largemouth bass; walleye; chain pickerel; yellow perch; bluegill; sunfish; pumpkinseed; rock bass; black crappie.

Best fishing spot

At the outlet in Sandy Bottom Park in Richmond.

Fishing conditions

For current fishing information a fishing hotline is available at Central New York Fishing Hotline or by calling (607) 753- 1551.

Interesting Stuff


An interesting stop while in the area is the Golden Oaks Alpaca Farm to see these interesting animals and visit the country store.

Related Links

Contact Information

Recent Lakes and Parks Discussion Topics

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