Scenic USA - New York

Seneca Lake

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Seneca Shore Vineyard - Penn Yan, New York

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   A popular tourist destination in Upstate New York, the Finger Lakes Region is well known for its scenic beauty and natural attractions. Seneca Lake Sailboats - Finger Lakes Region, NY Because of an unusual looking layout, i.e. their long narrow shape and close proximity, this string of lakes probably reminded early map makers of human fingers. Not quite mirroring human anatomy, there are eleven Finger Lakes which run in a north-south direction. Oneida Lake is usually not considered one of the Finger Lakes, but it is often referred to as the thumb. While Oneida is broad and shallow in comparison to the other lakes, Cayuga and Seneca lakes are the largest and longest of them all. Only about three and a half miles at their widest point, Cayuga and Seneca are also some of the deepest freshwater lakes in America. Named for Native American Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy, the entire region is steeped in early American history and preserves many landmarks of the past.
   Although there is little evidence of glaciation at higher elevations in the area, it's fairly obvious the Finger Lakes were the result of deep scouring by the ancient Laurentide Ice Sheet. Here in west-central New York, it's theorized that glaciers widened and deepened the existing river valleys into today's Finger Lakes.
   Spring fed Seneca Lake stands out because of its length, depth and the tremendous amount of water it holds. Containing an estimated four trillion gallons, Seneca Lake Barn and Vineyard - Finger Lakes Region, NY the massive body of water produces a moderating effect on the area's climate. This unique microclimate is very favorable for growing fruit and especially grapes. Featured on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, there are more than 30 wineries around the lake.
   The advantages of the local climate were discovered long ago when the Iroquois grew fruit on hills around the lake. The Iroquois Confederacy, known as the League of Peace and Power or Six Nations, was formed when Europeans moved into the area. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy was made up of six tribes, the Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Tuscarorans and the Senecas. But all of these Native Tribes were commonly referred to as Iroquois. Even though the Confederacy existed, it was no match for power and will of the new 18th century arrivals.

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