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Green Lake

Coordinates: 42.793°N 76.129°W

Elevation: 1190 feet/362.7 meters


Even on a rainy day Tully's Green Lake in the Finger Lakes, New York still looks inviting from the wetland on its east shore.

There are a number of lakes in the Finger Lakes named Green. All of them are small glacial lakes with relatively clean water that appears to be green, though it really isn't. This Green Lake is in the Town of Tully in Onondaga County. About 35 acres in size, Green Lake is 55 ft./16.7 m. deep. Shaped like a tear drop, it is broad at the southern end and long and narrow through the center and northern end.


Green Lake has an interesting history. As with most small lakes, Green freezes over completely most winters. Before the days of refrigerators, the ice on Green Lake was cut with hand saws into 18-inch-by-18-inch/46-centimeter-by-46-centimeter blocks and removed with picks. Some of the ice blocks were stored in the town ice shed near the lake. These were dusted with saw dust to prevent them from melting slightly and re-freezing into an entire mass. The remaining blocks were brought to the town on horse-drawn sleds where they were sent by train to places as far away as South America. Every winter--cold weather permitting--the town still holds an ice harvest festival and keeps ice in the town's shed to use during the town's strawberry festival in June.


All of the land around the lake is privately owned with houses along the western shore and some houses along the eastern shore. A small town park is located on the southern shore with a supervised swimming area. Only residents of the town are permitted to use this park, however, the lake itself is a public lake.


In between the park and the houses is a marshy area that is good for watching birds and odonates. The northern end is fairly natural as well and is good for visual exploring.


Because the lake is so small, it's ideal for canoes and kayaks. The shore around the lake is not steep and, at the town park, slopes out gently for easy launch and take-out. The best time to use the lake is in the late spring before the park opens for the summer and in the fall. There is a parking lot across the road from the park. 








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