Conesus Lake today
Overnight Accommodations: The area has gown in residents and there are many gorgeous lake homes available for rent through sites like Airbnb and VRBO and there is no shortage of activities that one can enjoy when visiting Conesus Lake! Not looking to stay a whole week? Look into our local hotels: The Hampton Inn Geneseo, The Quality Inn and The Rodeway Inn.
Craft Beverage Trail: A few years back, five breweries and a cidery opened in Livingston County and along with Deer Run Winery and Eagle Crest Winery, the craft beverage producers teamed up to create one of the newest trails, The Livingston Libation Loop. This trail has bold flavors, quirky characters and award-winning brews and wines that will make you want to stock-up & take home the liquid deliciousness to enjoy after your day of sampling!
Hiking & Rafting: Just a 20-minute drive from Conesus Lake, lies "the no. 1 state park in the nation" Letchworth State Park. Voted no. 1 by USA Today in 2015 and again in 2020 by HomeToGo, ranking Letchworth as the #1 Most Extraordinary State Park in the nation! We are very fortunate to have a picturesque "grand canyon of the East" in our backyard! While hiking the trails at Letchworth, you can stop for a picnic or have lunch served at the park's, Glen Iris Inn. For those who seek a bit more adventure, check out the Class I & II river rapids white water rafting through Adventure Calls. I enjoyed a trip down river a few years ago with my family and it was hysterical and thrilling all at the same time. I recommend proper footwear as my sister was disappointed to have lost her Michael Kors sandal when disembarking from the raft!
Kayaking/Boating: Conesus Lake is a smaller lake than some of its larger sister lakes and due to its size we have smaller boats on our water. The quaintness of our lake makes it perfect for kayaking. Tropical Creations on Conesus Lake is open 7 days a week throughout the summer and in addition to kayak rentals, they offer private charters, paddle board and boat rentals. Side note: Located about a 25 minute drive East of Conesus Lake, lies another Finger Lake, largely overlooked: Canadice Lake. Canadice Lake is a watershed for the city of Rochester. Due to its watershed status, no large boats are allowed on its waters (nor is skin contact, so no swimming here!) and its shores are completely natural and do not boast homes, like many of the other Finger Lakes. Kayaking is allowed and those interested in a more remote and quiet setting will enjoy the serenity that surrounds Canadice Lake. Contact John Kenny of Canadice Lake Outfitters for kayak rental information!
Dining: Now that you've worked up an appetite, our area has no shortage of restaurants to appeal to many different palates! For pizza, check out Vincenzo's in Lakeville they have two locations and the phone number to the local pizzeria is 585-346-2030. For hearty large-portion Italian "like Grandma used to make", visit Fratelli's. Looking for lake front dining? Look no further, The Beachcomber on the South West side of Conesus Lake and Hook & Spoon at the North-end of the lake got you covered! Hankering for some BBQ? Go on over to the 3 Legged Pig for slow-roasted pit BBQ and a popular lineup of house made sauces! Maybe you imbibed a bit too much last night and are looking for a hearty breakfast - visit our neighborhood Lakeville Diner for a classic, no frills meal that is both delicious and easy on the wallet!
Morning Coffee: Looking for great coffee? Visit Little Lakes Brewing for fresh house-made pastries and coffee that's roasted right in house. It's a little location bursting with flavor and wonderful morning smells! For those of you who are Dunkin' Donuts fanatics, we have three locations within a 5-mile radius, so apparently residents of Livingston County "runs on Dunkin'"! Hey Canadians, we have a Tim Horton's in Geneseo too!
For the kiddos: The kids will love spending time in the lake or above the water, jet-skiing or boating, whatever you decide, but we also have a great little adventure center located at the corner of Rt. 256 and 20A, Minnehan's Fun Center. Minnehan's has arcade games, go-karts (for big kids and a smaller one for smaller kids), mini golf, outdoor laser tag, a batting cage, indoor bounce house and obstacle course with a ball pit. This place makes kids happy!! There is also a restaurant onsite and an ice-cream service window!!! The family can spend a few hours here and leave full and happy :)
Geneseo is also home to a movie theater, bowling alley and our Main Street offers a historical feel with its own classic movie theater, restaurants and shopping. Our little town has a lot going on making Conesus Lake a prime spot to spend with your family or honey on your next vacation! I hope to see you soon ;) Be sure to stop in and say hi! -Marie K.
The History of Conesus Lake
Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake, located just 30 minutes South of Rochester and an hour and a half West of Buffalo, she has been a tourism destination since the 1800's. Conesus Lake shorelines were surveyed and mapped in 1789. In 1882, Conesus Lake Junction was added to the Erie Railroad bringing excursionists to the Lakeville Dock at the north end of Conesus Lake, unloading its passengers, the same spot where Vitale Park is located today. From there men, women and children would board the McPherson/Starrucca steamboat, Jerry Bolles' Jessie steamer, Musette, Swan, Conesus Excursion Boat, Lulu Sailing Yacht, Captain Dan Walkley's: H. T. Jaeger, J.A. Ritz, Alice M, Rochester, and Mat Toohey's Margaret and Hope boats. Moonlight Boat Excursions would have music and laughter joining the lapping of the water to the shorelines.
Passengers were taken to different hotels and inns around the lake and part of the Erie Railroad ticket included a boat ride and a stop at Long Point Park. Early 1900's amusement rides were at Long Point and the Long Point House/Inn provided accommodations for visitors. In 1898 the first enclosed Dance Hall was built where orchestras and fiddler bands played while men and women danced the night away or listened from their horse and buggies. In 1895 began the Livingston County Picnics held at Long Point where accounts of 20,000 were in attendance. Many Band Tournaments, Buffalo and Rochester Cyclists Excursions and American Red Cross Picnics attracted people to Long Point Park and Conesus Lake. Early aviators and enthusiasts were coming to Conesus Lake to participate in the hydro-aeroplane schools held at McPherson Point, The Thomas School of Aviation in 1913 and Walter E. Johnson School of Aviation in 1914.
Later Conesus Lake visitors would visit Long Point for the Big Band Orchestras to dance and socialize in the newly built 1923 large Dance Hall and in 1949 Roller Skating concessions were added. In 1950 the new Allan Herschell Amusement Rides attracted visitors and many Family Reunions, Company Picnics, Livingston County Sheriff Deputies Dance/Balls, Coca-Cola Days, Sheriff Deputies Kiddies Day and Political Rallies were held at Long Point Park. A visitor had their choice of boats rides at Long Point Park from Bert DeGarmo's Islander, Martin Weiss' Rocket, Colonel Tooey's Chris Crafts Speedboats: Hy-Ball; Riot, Flash, Thunderbolt, Comet, Thorobred and Thorobred-1. The last excursion boat on Conesus Lake was the Lee M transported from Silver Springs, Florida resort on an adapted Coca-Cola Truck and relaunched at Long Point Park in 1959 and sold in 1970.
Written by Lore DiSalvo, Honorary Historian of Long Point Park
I am the winemaker's wife. Scott and I married in 2014 and I transitioned from a hospitality manager to a grape farmer's wife, event coordinator and blog author.