The Finger Lakes are deep and they do not warm up very rapidly in the spring. Consequently many visitors might not feel comfortable in the lakes until July and August. The top foot of the water column is generally quite comfortable, but there is a sharp thermocline below that to bracing temperatures. On truly hot days, however, that is just what you’re looking for.
Most areas designated as beaches will be sand beaches, either naturally or maintained as such. The lake levels are lowered in Cayuga and Seneca lakes to protect docks from ice, so beaches are preserved from erosion by winter storms. Most natural shoreline is covered in cobbles and pebbles.
Taughannock Falls State Park, 1740 Taughannock Blvd. (Rt. 89), Ulysses (Trumansburg) | The park is open from dusk to dawn, but the beach is open from mid-June until Labor Day weekend from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. These are the hours when a lifeguard is present. Picnic tables and concession stand.
Cayuga Lake State Park, 2678 Lower Lake Rd, Seneca Falls | Flat, sandy beach and “sun lawns” with playground.
Frontenac Park, Chapel Street (of Rt. 90), Union Springs | Village-operated park with lifeguards are on duty July through August, seven days a week.
Harris Park, Railroad Street, Cayuga | A “sliver of a bark” with a beach and a boat ramp.
Myers Point Park, Off Myers Road (1 mile from Rt. 90), Lansing | This town-operated park spans 31 acres and includes a marina and swimming area. Admission free for town residents, $2 per car on weekends and holidays
Long Point State Park, Lake Road (off Rt. 90), Aurora | Includes a marina and swimming area at a stony beach with a supervised swimming area, a bathhouse, a playground, a boat launch and temporary docking area with two concrete ramps, a gazebo, and a picnic area with tables and grills. Mowed grass provides space for ball games and other activities.
Seneca Lake State Park, Rt. 20, Geneva | At the north end of the lake within walking distance of downtown. The beach area includes bathhouse facilities, a children’s spray park, and picnic areas.
Sampson State Park, Rt. 96A, Romulus | Swimming is allowed.
Clute Memorial Park, Rt. 414, Watkins Glen | At the south end of the lake at the edge of the village. There is a picnic area and stores are nearby.
Smith Park and Campground, 5303 Park Ave., Hector | North of the village, off Rt. 414. Community waterfront park with camping and picnicking facilities, a boat launch, swimming beach, pavilions, and showers.
Red Jacket Park, Lake Street (Rt. 54), Penn Yan | Village-operated park south of the village. Beach with a lifeguard, a picnic area, pavilion, and restrooms.
Indian Pines Park, Old Pines Trail Rd. (off Rt. 54A), Penn Yan | Village-operated park. Swimming area and picnic tables.
Keuka Lake Depot Park, Water Street, Hammondsport | Boat dock, supervised swimming area, grassy picnic area and walking distance from the village square.
Champlin Beach, Rt. 54, Hammondsport | “Delightfully sandy” beach area overseen by the Town of Urbana.
Keuka Lake State Park, Pepper Road, Bluff Point | On the point between the two arms of Keuka Lake. Swimming beach, sheltered picnic area, boat launch ramp. §