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Portal:Finger Lakes

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The Finger Lakes Portal

Map of the Finger Lakes region

Map of the Finger Lakes region

The Finger Lakes are a chain of lakes in the west-central section of Upstate New York that are a popular tourist destination. The lakes mainly are linear in shape, each lake oriented on a north-south axis. The longest, Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, are among the deepest in America. Both are close to 40 miles (64 km) from end to end, but never more than 3.5 miles (5,600 m) wide. Cayuga is the longest with 38 miles (61 km), but Seneca the largest in total area. Seneca is the deepest (618 feet, 188 m), followed by Cayuga (435 feet, 132 m), with the bottoms well below sea level. These largest lakes resemble the others in shape, which collectively reminded early map-makers of the fingers of a hand.

The fourteen lakes located in the Finger Lakes region are: Seneca, Canandaigua, Skaneateles, Owasco, Otisco, Cayuga, Conesus, Honeoye, Hemlock, Canadice, Keuka, Oneida, Cazenovia, and Onondaga. The following counties of New York State make up the Finger Lakes region: Seneca, Cayuga, Cortland, Livingston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates.

Finger Lakes cities and larger villages are situated at the head and foot of most major lakes: Skaneateles, Auburn, Ithaca, Geneva, Watkins Glen, Penn Yan, Hammondsport and Canandaigua. These historic communities with scenic situations all are tourist destinations, as is the village of Aurora, which is situated on the east shore of Cayuga Lake, and Naples, located about five miles south of Canandaigua Lake.

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New York State Route 31B
New York State Route 31B was a connector route in Cayuga and Onondaga Counties. Route 31B was a spur route of New York State Route 31, which was the highway's western terminus. The highway headed eastward, terminating in Onondaga County at New York State Route 5. Route 31B was decommissioned in the maintenance swaps in 1980, being replaced in Onondaga County as CR 99 and Cayuga County as a reference route. The reference route was turned over to the county the next year and became Cayuga County Route 31B. Route 31B began at an intersection with its parent route, NY 31, in Weedsport. The highway went eastward, intersecting with NY 34 less than a tenth of a mile later. Much of Weedsport was urbanized, with the highway passing residential homes, businesses, and fields. The highway intersected with Cayuga County Route 12B before leaving Weedsport as Brutus Road. After the intersection with County Route 136A, Route 31B passed the Weedsport Rural Cemetery. After a short distance, the highway went through the hamlet of Brutus, intersecting with County Routes 14 and 15. County Route 15A also parallelled nearby.

Selected attraction

Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is a New York state park located 35 miles (56 km) south of Rochester, New York. The park is roughly 17 miles (24 km) long, covering 14,350 acres (22.42 square miles or 58.07 km²) of land along the Genesee River. Within the park there are three large waterfalls on the river and perhaps as many as 50 waterfalls found on tributaries that flow into it; the gorge formed by the river, with rock walls rising up to 550 feet (170 m) in places and which narrow to 400 feet (120 m) across above the middle of the three falls, prompted the area's reputation as the "Grand Canyon of the East". The three major waterfalls — called the Upper, Middle, and Lower Falls — are located in Portage Canyon, the southern section of the park. The Seneca nation called the land around this canyon "Seh-ga-hun-da", the "Vale of the three falls"; the Middle Fall ("Ska-ga-dee") was believed to be so wondrous it made the sun stop at midday.

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In this month

Hurricane Agnes

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Skaneateles Lake
Skaneateles Lake is one of the Finger Lakes in central New York in the United States. The name Skaneateles (pronunciation: "skany-atlas," preferred, or "skinny-atlas" common) means long lake in one of the local Iroquois languages. The lake is sometimes referred to as "The Roof Garden of the Lakes" because its altitude (863.27 feet) is higher than the other Finger Lakes. It is 16 miles (25.8 km) long (17 miles long including the bogs at the south end of the lake) and on average .75 mile (1.21 km) wide, with a surface area of 13.6 square miles (35.2 km²), and a maximum depth of 315 feet. The cleanest of the Finger Lakes, its water is so pure that the city of Syracuse and other municipalities use it unfiltered. The City of Syracuse spends about 2.3 million dollars a year to protect lake quality, sixteen people inspecting (usually twice a year) each of the 2600 properties in the watershed, which is relatively small, compared to other Finger Lakes. William Henry Seward called it "The most beautiful body of water in the world." The shores of Skaneateles Lake are in three counties: Onondaga, Cayuga, and Cortland.

Selected biography

Photograph by H. B. Lindsley
Harriet Tubman (born c.1820 – 10 March 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the U.S. Civil War. After escaping from captivity, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves using the network of antislavery activists known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage. Born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various owners as a child. In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, then immediately returned to Maryland to rescue her family. She guided many slaves to freedom, and when a far-reaching United States Fugitive Slave Law was passed in 1850, she helped guide fugitives further north into Canada, and helped newly-freed slaves find work. Tubman worked for the Union Army during the American Civil War; first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. After the war, she retired to the family home in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. After she died in 1913, she became an icon of American courage and freedom.

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Onondaga Lake

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