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Round Lake

Coordinates: 43.048°N 75.975°W

Elevation: 420 feet/128 meters



Round Lake at Green Lake State Park in the Town of Manlius is a plunge pool left over from an ancient waterfall.


Round Lake is a small lake of about 5 acres located in Green Lakes State Park in the Town of Manlius east of the City of Syracuse. It is a sister to Green Lake to which it is connected by a short creek.


Like Green Lake, Round Lake is in a glacial valley surrounded by steep, forested hillsides. Because they are basically round, both lakes are thought to have been the catch basins of waterfalls that no longer exist. In addition, both lakes are quite deep and, including sediment, may be as deep as 500 ft./152.4 m.


Both lakes are meromictic,Round Lake is a calm, peaceful lake. lacking in the mixing or "turning over" of the lake in spring and autumn that other lakes in the region experience. This "turning over" helps sediments to decompose. But with meromictic lakes, the sediment never moves (and decomposes slowly) and can be a record of sorts of the plants and animals that have died throughout the eons. Some aquatic bacteria survive in the lake and at certain times of the year, are known to turn the lake different colors (rosey pink or purple, for example) and to produce a sulfurous odor. These bacteria may also produce calcium carbonate that, over time, accumulates in quantity and settles out in shallow water, creating whitish "reefs" like the one at Deadman's Point in Green Lake.


Meromictic lakes are rare with only about a dozen being known to exist in the United States. Consequently, Round Lake has been designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.


Round Lake in Green Lakes State Park is a meromictic lake and is listed as a National Natural Landmark. No boating is permitted on the lake.


A trail runs around both Green and Round lakes that is popular with dog walkers. Brochures about the park and its trails are available at the park entrance.


The park has 137 campsites (42 electric) and 7 cabins. There are no lakefront accommodations.


Updated 18 July 2009








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