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Lake Demons

Coordinates: 42.34840°N 77.47721°W

Elevation: 1570 feet/478.5 meters



Motorboats docked at the pier of Lake Demmon Recreation Area in Howard, New York.

First, a Note About Names

No other body of water in the Finger Lakes has as many spellings of its name as this one. Topographical maps use Lake Demons. You will also see it as Lake Demon, Lake Demmon, and Demon Pond. Whichever, they're all pronounced like the yellow fruit--lemon.


Lake Demons is located just off Demon Pond Road in the Town of Howard in Steuben County. (First, should you go there, keep in mind that the Town does not mark its roads well. Make sure you have a good map, a gps, or some other means of getting yourself there or you might get lost. Second, Howard has no stores or gas stations.)

Physical Features

This is a high, spring-fed glacial kettle, though it is not by any means the highest spot in the county. Its isolated location and its elevation mean that the air temperature stays somewhat cooler than more populated areas.


At this time, the lake is surrounded by private property. The only way one can access the lake is to rent a house or cabin on the lake, stay at Lake Demmon Recreation Area (a privately owned facility), or pay a modest fee to use the Recreation Area's boat launch site.


Kayaks, canoes, paddle boats and other boats, including motorboats that are not longer than 15 ft./4.5 m. and are powered by more than 50 horsepower, are permitted on the lake. (Personal watercrafts (jet skis) are not permitted on the lake.) Canoes, rowboats, and paddleboats may be rented from the Recreation Area. You may launch your own boat from the ramp of the Recreation Area for a fee of $5.00 (2010).


A family paddleboats on Lake Demons on a sunny summer day.


Swimming is permitted. The recreation area has a designated swimming area, but you may also swim off your boat.


There are no specific biking trails around the lake, however, the roads in the area are all rural (with no shoulders) and are ideal for hybrid bikes. Anyone riding these roads should be physically able to manage modest to difficult hills. Big Creek Road, which is nearby, is good for touring bikes. This is a long road that is both winding and hilly. It was repaved in 2010.


There are no hiking trails in the immediate area.


This is a popular lake and the fact that people are always using it means that you will see less wildlife on the lake than on some others, however, all of Steuben County is rather rural with a good representation of the region's wildlife, including black bears.


The lake itself is rather photogenic, but the fact that all land around the lake is private limits where you can go and what you can see.

Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas

Burt Hill Multiple Use Area

Nearby Places of Interest (a partial list)

There is a small museum at the intersection of Mill and Hopkins roads in the hamlet of Howard. There are also many fine museums in Steuben County, including the Corning Museum of Glass.


The closest camping and cabin accommodations will be at Lake Demmon Recreation Area. If you prefer to stay at a bed and breakfast, check here for a list. Hornell and Canisteo will be the closest towns to the lake.


Created 2 July 2010








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