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Chautauqua Lake, Chautauqua County

Categories: Bodies of Water, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 15+ reviews on the web
Chautauqua Lake is located entirely within Chautauqua County, New York, USA. The lake is approximately 17mi long and 2mi wide at its greatest width. The surface area is approximately 13,000 acres (53 km2). The maximum depth is about 78 feet (23 m). The shoreline is about 41.1mi of which all but 2.6mi are privately owned.The lake's name comes from the now-extinct Erie language. Because the Erie people were defeated in the Beaver Wars before a comprehensive study of their language could be made, its meaning remains unknown and a source of speculation.GeographyWhile the lake has a similar geologic structure to the Finger Lakes in the east, it is not considered one of the Finger Lakes. Chautauqua Lake runs perpendicular to the westernmost of those lakes, lies in a different watershed, and was likely formed by a different process.Chautauqua Lake, at an elevation of 1308ft above sea level, is higher than any of the Finger Lakes. It is also one of the highest navigable lakes in North America.The water from the lake drains to the south, emptying first into the Chadakoin River in Jamestown, New York before traveling east into the Conewango Creek. The creek flows south, entering the Allegheny River in Warren, Pennsylvania and the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, instead of moving north into the Great Lakes. The drainage area is about 180sqmi.
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  • There's something about the lake that's special. We viewed the lake this time only from Midway State Park vantage point. It was nice to just sit on a bench on the shore; no fees to get in. 
  • Chautauqua County is a beautiful place centered on Chautauqua Lake. Every place around the Lake is scenic and beautiful. Attractions around here include the Chautauqua Institution, Midway State Park, ...  read more »
  • Missing the Ferry Boat crossing due to repairs, very picturesque, relaxing scenic ride around the lake 
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