Saturday, September 24th 11:00 am - 1:30pm - Otisco Lake Paddle
1) Primary - DEC boat ramp - Hard surface launch, 13 cars and trailers - OR
2) Backup - Fishing Access - Hand launch, 10 cars
These launch sites are close to each other on the West side of the lake just South of the causeway. Access West Valley Road from Sawmill Road. (See directions below.) Note - Church Hill Road is closed between Stanton Road and West Valley Road.
For more info - Link to DEC Ostico Lake page
Contacts - Mick Baker - 315-635-2737, Jenn Thayer 315-720-6211
- Take US-81 south from Syracuse
- Exit at Lafayette and take 20 west (Cherry Valley Turnpike) (19 Miles)
- Take a left at Lords Hill Road (5.9 miles)
- Take a right onto Otisco Road (3.5 miles)
- Take a right only Sawmill Road (2 miles)
- Take a right onto W Otisco Valley Road (0.6 miles)
Paddling Directions: (6 miles)
- We’ll be launching at either the DEC boat ramp or the fishing access which also can launch small boats.
- We’ll paddle past the causeway and into the main part of the lake, then continue up the west side of the lake and stop to explore the Nature Conservancy.
- We’ll return to the water to continue along the west side of the lake. After about 2 miles we’ll cross over to the east shore past the Otisco County Park and paddle back to the causeway and return to the boat launch. We can share lunch at the boat launch or stop somewhere along the way.
- We may decide to paddle the route in the opposite direction based on wind conditions.
Amid rolling hills and lush, second-growth forests, Otisco Lake is at the eastern edge of the Finger Lake District, just 22 miles southwest of Syracuse. Otisco (Iroquois for "waters much dried away") used to be marshland, but dams constructed in 1869 and 1908 raised the water level and formed the lake
as it is known today.
Only 6 miles long and about a half of a mile wide, Otisco is one of the smallest of the Finger Lakes. The area around Otisco Lake is made up of small, quiet communities, and most commerce in the area is based around its neighbor to the west, the larger and more well-known Skaneateles Lake—one of the major lakes.
On the eastern shores of Lake Otisco is the village of Amber. Though it has only a few shops, Amber is the largest village on Otisco, and most visitors and residents find what they need here or in nearby Marietta, which features, among other businesses, the Otisco Lake Marina. Bay Shores, Otisco and Williams Grove are other villages in the area.
Otisco lake is well-developed, with private homes occupying most of the lakefront real estate. As a result, public access to the lake is limited. Use our guide to get around Lake Otisco like a local—we have the inside scoop.
The Otisco Lake County Park is a lovely spot on the northeastern lakefront, with three acres of land and 600 feet of lakefront access. As for amenities, you'll find a restroom, benches, fishing and boat launching (hand launch only)—it's a scenic spot and an ideal place for a picnic.
At the northern end of Otisco Lake, check out The Narrows, where water flows over the dam and into Nine Mile Creek en route to Onondaga Lake. Great views from here.
The Causeway near the southern end of Otisco Lake affords some of the best views on the Lake. Great fishing here too! Check out the view from East Lake Road that runs along the hills that separate Otisco Lake from Skaneateles Lake. This drive yields nice scenic vistas.