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Cross Lake

Coordinates: 43.142°N 76.485°W

Elevation: 373 feet/113.7 meters


Cross Lake in the Finger Lakes, New York USA.

Cross Lake is 3.8 mi./6.1 km. long, 1 mi./1.5 km. wide, and 59 ft./18 m. deep. It covers an area of about 2,086 acres. A relatively long, narrow (north-south) lake, it is divided down the center by the boundaries of Cayuga and Onondaga counties.


Cross is an odd lake for a number of reasons. Surrounded by drumlins--rounded hills of glacial till--it's likely that Cross Lake was created when a glacier left a depression as it melted. At that time it would have been more oval in shape. The Seneca River flowed from west to east just south of the lake and perhaps the barrier between the two broke, because the Seneca River now flows through the southern portion of the lake. The River actually contributes 98 percent of the lake's inflow. A large river with a considerable amount of run-off, the Seneca River brings into Cross Lake human and agricultural effluents, which settle in the lake, promoting the growth of non-native aquatic vegetation.

Purple loosestrife, a non-native plant, grows along the shore of Eno Point where the Seneca River passes through Cross Lake in the Finger Lakes, New York USA.

Rather than flowing north like most lakes in the region, Cross Lake flows both in and out via the Seneca River, with an average flushing rate of 51 times per year or about once a week.


Since the non-native zebra mussles traveled from Lake Ontario into the Seneca River, Cross Lake also has these mussles as well as a number of other non-native plants and animals.


Historically, the Indians of the region used the Seneca River as an aquatic highway and were probably very familiar with Cross Lake. Legend has it that the lake was the home of Hiawatha. The lake has two small publicly owned islands--Big Island (46 acres) and Little Island (7 acres)--both situated near where the river intersects the lake.


All of the land and shore around the lake is private property. There is no public access to the lake. There are a number of wetlands around Cross Lake, especially at the north and south ends, but also elsewhere. They are privately owned and, therefore, can only be investigated from the lake side. There are several ways to access the water without buying or renting property.


Cross Lake Marina

3125 State Rt. 370

(Fire Lane 18)

Cato, NY 13033



Quimby's Marina

Quimby's Bridge

6810 River Rd.

Jordan, NY 13080



Bonta Bridge

Public launch area on Bonta Bridge Rd., 2 mi./3.2 km. east of the Village of Weedsport. Free hand launching. Parking for 10 vehicles. (This launch puts you into the river upstream from the lake.)



Cross Lake Park Campground

12946 Dugar Rd.

Cato, NY 13033


Sunset Park Campground

455 Sprague Rd.

Memphis, NY 13112


Lakeside Rentals

Finger Lakes Premier Properties (formerly Rental Plus)





Resort Property Rentals of the Finger Lakes

Vacation Rentals by Owner




Updated 1 July 2013








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