5 Key Takeaways from the Seneca Lake Water Quality Forum

On Wednesday, October 23, our team attended the Water Quality Forum at Hobart and William Smith Colleges to review research collected in 2019 and discuss water quality issues important to Seneca Lake. While harmful algae blooms (HAB’s) continue to be a serious issue facing the region, there are a number of state and local organizations collecting valuable data and funding projects to fight HAB’s in the Finger Lakes.

Each year, more is understood about blue green algae and what we can do to reduce bloom frequency and toxicity. Here are 5 takeaways from the forum and the research conducted during the 2019 HAB season: :

Suspected Blue Green Algae Bloom in Seneca Lake

85% of HAB’s sent out for testing this year came back positive for high toxin levels.

Over 100 samples from suspicious algae blooms were collected this year, and of those samples, 40 were budgeted to be sent out for toxin level measurement.  34 were positive for high toxins, driving home the point that if you see or suspect a bloom, stay out of the water.

HAB’s are most toxic at 20⁰ C, the water temperature we see most often in September. In 2018, the last algae bloom was reported toward the end of September, but this year, blooms have been confirmed late into October, a result of extra sunshine and warmer water temps. Generally, HAB’s are not an issue until late August on the majority of the lakes.

It cannot be determined if HAB’s are increasing year over year.

While the data presented since 2012 indicates that HAB’s are not only increasing in frequency, but also in toxicity, the DEC cannot conclude that this is the case. In 2018, there were 120 shoreline volunteers photographing blooms and collecting samples. Just 5 years earlier, a hotline was the only public initiative and no training was conducted to identify blue green algae. Aimee Clinkhammer, researcher with NYS DEC, concluded that the trend could be heavily influenced by the increase in education and conversation surrounding HAB’s.

There’s something in the soil on Seneca.

In an experiment performed by John Halfman, researcher for the Finger Lakes Institute, mud was collected in various locations along the Seneca Lake shoreline. Geneva tap water was added to the samples. They were left undisturbed and received daily sun, replicating favorable HAB conditions. Over time, every sample developed a blue green algae bloom.

John Halfman’s soil experiment presentation slide

It’s known that HAB’s need nitrogen and phosphorus to proliferate. These nutrients enter the lake in greater quantities after storms through stream runoff. Another nutrient source could be decaying macrophytes along the shore, like dried up seaweed and tree branches. To reduce the amount of shoreline debris settling in the water, Halfman urged attendees to perform routine beach clean up, especially after storms.

The uniqueness of each lake may impact how and when HAB’s form.

While the forum focused on Seneca Lake, the other Finger Lakes were not ignored. In comparing trends found on Seneca to the other 10 lakes, there were few parallels. Some lakes had higher levels of phosphorus with some bloom activity, like Seneca. Other lakes had very low levels of phosphorus and high bloom activity, like Skaneateles Lake. This indicates that different Finger Lakes may be able to handle different nutrient levels and, therefore, be impacted by HAB’s in unique ways.

New York is a leader in the national effort to address HAB’s.

HAB’s are not exclusive to the Finger Lakes, and are an even greater issue downstate and across the country. We are not alone, but we are the model. Clinkhammer commented that other state agencies have looked to the NYS DEC for guidance in forming their own HAB’s initiatives and programs.


While more research is needed to fully understand and address HAB’s in our region, the Water Quality Forum provided insight into the fight and hope for the future of our lakes.

A huge thank you to the Seneca Pure Waters Association for holding this important and well attended event! We look forward strengthening our partnership and keeping our homeowners and guests informed.

For more information about harmful algae blooms, please visit the NYHABS website.

Visit the Best Distillery on Seneca Lake: Your Ultimate Guide

The Finger Lakes has more than just wineries. We have distilleries, too! If you’re looking for the best distillery on Seneca Lake, look no further! Below, you can find some of the best tasting rooms and tours in the Finger Lakes region of New York. But, when you’re not traveling along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail or trying varieties of local spirits, there are tons of other ways to spend your time in the Finger Lakes. For the best things to do on your FLX getaway, consult our complimentary Vacation Guide. We’ve provided our top choices when it comes to Finger Lakes restaurants, attractions, and entertainment.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Find the Perfect Distillery on Seneca Lake

Finger Lakes Distilling

Finger Lakes Distilling is a fantastic attraction on the southeastern side of Seneca Lake. Any day of the week (besides holidays), you can try some of the best spirits in the Finger Lakes. Made from all-natural, local ingredients, their vodka, gin, brandy, liqueur, and whiskey will have you feeling fantastic! You can also try drinks from their extensive menu of flights and cocktails. It’s not on their main menu, but ask for the Seneca Cookout Cooler to feel like you’re at a cookout on a bright and sunny day.

They have two touring options you can consider. On Saturdays from May to November, you can take a Mckenzie Whiskey or Barrel House Flight tour of the production area, barrelhouse, and bottling operations!

O’Begley Distillery

Drink like an Irish when you visit O’Begly Distillery on the southwestern side of the lake. You wouldn’t expect to find Irish whiskey in this tiny building in Dundee, but low and behold, this is where you’ll find the pot of gold! Every ingredient at O’Begleys is of the highest quality, and their whiskey is made from local grains. Choose from a long list of unique whiskeys when you visit any day between noon and 5 p.m.

Idol Ridge Winery and Alder Creek Distillery

Come to Idol Ridge Winery and Alder Creek Distillery for the best of both worlds. Experience their wine tastings or try from their line of spirits, including bourbon and gin. Then, enjoy a glass of wine, artisanal cheeses, sausages, and local chocolates, alongside a panoramic view of Seneca Lake.

Be Swept Away by The Good Life

vacation rental exterior
070213Mandi

After a day of tasting the best whiskeys, gins, and vodkas at a Seneca Lake distillery, you’re sure to be tired out! The best way to unwind after a fun day in the Finger Lakes is to relax in a Finger Lakes Premier Properties vacation rental. Our luxury accommodations are spacious enough to accommodate the entire family. Plus, they’re located in the most convenient areas with phenomenal views of the lakes.Stay in The Good Life for a memorable vacation on Canandaigua Lake. This five-bedroom dream home accommodates you and 17 of your closest friends and family. Your group will make lasting memories in the gorgeous living room, or head outdoors and admire the secluded location from one of the decks. Adventures await in the Finger Lakes. Check our availability and book your lake escape now!

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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Finger Lakes of NY

Thanksgiving is a time for family and appreciation, so why not bring your crew to the Finger Lakes this year? There are so many things to do in the region, so there are activities for everyone. Enjoy your holiday with a view this year, and celebrate Thanksgiving in the Finger Lakes, NY. It’s the best place to make family memories, and we offer large, luxury vacation homes right on the water. Before the family reunites, plan your Finger Lakes itinerary ahead of time (save the dinner table arguments for political and football conversations, kidding!), and access our free Vacation Guide. It includes the best Finger Lakes attractions, entertainment, outdoor recreation, and restaurants in the region. 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Celebrate Thanksgiving in Finger Lakes, NY

One of the most important parts of Thanksgiving is the meal! Spend all day bonding and cooking with the family in one of our beautiful, lakefront vacation rentals. Our properties include the best amenities, including a full kitchen, designed with your family in mind. 

Our vacation rental kitchens are a dream come true for the chef in your family! They include islands, breakfast bars, stainless steel appliances, gorgeous countertops, dishwashers, outdoor kitchens, and propane grills!

Stock Up at Local Farmers Markets in the Finger Lakes

There are plenty of places to pick up fresh and local foods. Shop around numerous farmers markets in the Finger Lakes for a taste of our local favorites. We recommend you stop by the Ithaca Farmers Market, which opens in various locations throughout the week. 

Another great farmers market is the Windmill Farm and Craft Market. This one is between Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake, and you may even find some cool collectibles. 

Gather Your Ingredients at Finger Lakes Grocery Stores

Our Finger Lakes vacation rentals are in top-notch locations, so you’re always close to the best attractions, as well as other necessities during your trip, including grocery stores. Some of the nearby grocery stores include:

Finger Lakes Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving

If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of cooking your Thanksgiving meal, some restaurants are open on holidays and offer Thanksgiving dinners. So, why not treat your family to a dinner at some of the best restaurants in the Finger Lakes region?

Perlo’s is a fantastic Italian-American restaurant in Rochester. You can choose between a traditional turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, pasta, gnocchi, prime rib, or salmon fillet.

FLX Table in Geneva, NY, is a fantastic dining experience that offers a four-course Thanksgiving meal. You can have an intimate and interactive dinner party with about 14 people. Since there isn’t a barrier between you and the kitchen, you can feel like you’re a part of the culinary action!

See our complimentary Vacation Guide for more restaurant ideas!

Have a Feast With Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Finger Lakes Premier Properties in New York offers the best lakefront vacation rentals for your family this holiday season. Our family-sized rentals are perfect for reunions and have fantastic amenities for everyone to enjoy, including hot tubs, patios, game rooms, and docks with kayaks.Stay in The Grandview Lodge for the ultimate views of Canandaigua Lake. The stunning architectural designs span six acres of property. This six-bedroom dream home accommodates you and fourteen of your closest friends and family members. Gather everyone outside, relax by the fire pit, and surround yourself with peacefulness and tranquility. If this sounds like your dream vacation, check our availability and book your Thanksgiving getaway today!

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Lakefront Real Estate Report: Q3 Highlights

How did the lakefront real estate market perform in the third quarter of 2019? Our team of highly knowledgeable lakefront sales specialists have compiled a complimentary analysis of market trends for the Finger Lakes to explain.

Lakefront Real Estate Report for Q3 2019
Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes in Q3 2019.
Statistics aggregated from MLS.
  • Average days on market continue to drop on all lakes as the region transitions into a strong buyers market.
  • Lakefront inventory is still low, leading to a decrease in homes sold and total sales volume overall.
  • Low interest rates are feeding more buyers into the lakefront market.
  • Interest in short-term renting and investment homes is fueling demand for lakefront property.

What Our Agents See in the Lakefront Market

“We’ve seen an increase in out-of-state clients looking for lakefront homes in the area, many from PA. This is a great time of year to buy, especially for investors. Close on your home by 2020 and make updates to see a higher ROI in time to open your calendar for peak season.”

Dave Lucchesi, Buyer Specialist

“It’s a good time to list because of the number of buyers in the lakefront market. With interest rates continuing to drop, more buyers are comfortable with investing in a second or third home, staying in the market longer.”

Cynthia Emerling, Director of Listing Services

Top Performing Lakefront Markets

Canandaigua Lake

Total sales volume on Canandaigua Lake jumped almost 50% year over year. Lakefront property is in demand, with average sale price up 11% and homes spending an average of 10 days less on market. Our agents note that appropriately priced Canandaigua Lake homes have moved quickly this quarter.

Seneca Lake

We continue to see opportunity in the Seneca Lakefront market! With a near 50% increase in total sales volume, led by the FLPP team, and consistent growth in the number of homes for sale and average sales price, the largest Finger Lake shows no signs of slowing down going into Q4.


Download your copy of the full Q3 Lakefront Real Estate Report here.


For more information about buying or selling lakefront property in the Finger Lakes, call our real estate team today! 833-915-1259

How to Buy a Lake House

Maybe you’ve had the dream to buy a lake house for a long time. Maybe you’ve heard success stories about owning a vacation rental. Regardless, you’re ready to own your very own slice of lake life, but where do you start?

We caught up with our buyer specialist, Dave Lucchesi, to answer this question and to learn more about the steps his clients take to buy their lakefront home in the Finger Lakes. He broke it down for us in 5 easy steps:

Continue reading How to Buy a Lake House

You Need to Visit These Five Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region of New York is jam-packed with outdoor fun, stunning wine trails, glistening waterfalls, and amazing memories to come. But, with so many lakes, it can be hard to choose the best one for your lake-cation. After all, the Finger Lakes do cover 14 counties in NY! If you’re trying to decide which lake to release your cares on for a week, read on to discover five Finger Lakes that might interest you. Then, explore our free Vacation Guide for a closer look at the best restaurants, attractions, and entertainment in the area. 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

5 Finger Lakes You Need to Check Out

1. Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake is made for all of the wine lovers out there (and Seneca Lake, too. We’ll get there next.). Cayuga Lake is known for its incredible, award-winning wines, made on the very first designated wine trail in the United States, the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.

More Things to Do in the Cayuga Lake Area

2. Seneca Lake

Anyone who loves scenic hikes and lazy boat rides loves Seneca Lake. There are tons of water activities for the adventure lover as Seneca Lake is the longest of all the Finger Lakes. Plus, if you have someone in your group who isn’t into outdoor activities, they might like the wine trail. That’s right, another wine trail! The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is just as significant as the one by Cayuga Lake, and it’s the biggest wine trail in New York!

More Things to Do in the Seneca Lake Area

3. Keuka Lake

Are you looking for the best fishing in the region? Keuka Lake is where you can find it! This stunning lake has the healthiest population of lake trout, largemouth bass, and more, so you can have a successful time catching dinner!

More Things to Do in the Keuka Lake Area

4. Canandaigua Lake

Canandaigua Lake is known as the “Chosen Spot” by the Native Americans, and it’s no wonder why. In fact, the Seneca Tribe used to burn tobacco around the lake in gratitude for giving them an abundant harvest. The ring of fire is still a Canandaigua Lake tradition to this day!

More Things to Do in the Canandaigua Lake Area

5. Honeoye Lake

Honeoye Lake sits just between Canadice Lake and Canandaigua Lake. This smaller lake is perfect for a scenic bike ride, and is a favorite for many. If you visit the Finger Lakes in winter, you have to stop by this glistening beauty. Since Honeoye Lake is smaller, it freezes over more quickly, making it the perfect spot for winter sports like ice fishing and ice skating!

More Things to Do in the Honeoye Lake Area

Relax in a Luxury Vacation Rental With Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers large vacation rentals on the lake for a luxury vacation experience. Stay in one of our stunning properties to make Finger Lakes memories to last a lifetime. We have properties all throughout the Finger Lakes area along Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Conesus Lake. That way, you’re always close to all the best lake activities and popular attractions. Check out our gorgeous lakefront homes and book your Finger Lakes vacation today!

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Everything You Need to Know About Taughannock Falls State Park Trails

Your trip to the Finger Lakes region is not complete without a day exploring the tallest drop of water east of the Rocky Mountains, located in Taughannock Falls State Park. Imagine a waterfall taller than Niagara Falls. That’s Taughannock Falls, one of the most outstanding natural attractions of the Northeast. Visit the towering 215-foot waterfall in Trumansburg, NY, on your next Finger Lakes getaway. There are so many wild adventures to partake in at the state park that it will have you falling in love with the waterfalls of the Finger Lakes region. 

But, before you explore this natural wonder, make sure to check out our free Vacation Guide. We’ve created the perfect tool to help you plan your Finger Lakes vacation that includes fantastic restaurants, gorgeous scenery, and great entertainment in the area.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Hiking at Taughannock Falls State Park

Lace-up your hiking boots and hit the trails for a peaceful day with nature. Taughannock Falls State Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk. Don’t forget to bring your furry friend, because the park is pet-friendly. Just make sure you avoid any areas with signs prohibiting pets. A great way to spend the day with your dog is to go on a hike!

 If you’re an expert hiker or a novice, you can find the perfect trail for your skill level at Taughannock Falls State Park. 

For the Level-Headed Hiker

Gorge Trail

The Gorge Trail is easy an easy trail, without many obstacles. This flat-level trail is open for the majority of the year, only closing when ice becomes treacherous. See the gorge walls along both sides of the trail as well as a sometimes soothing, sometimes raging creek. Either way, the trail is always a beauty!

For the Hiker Who Loves a Good Challenge

Rim Trail

Hike the Rim Trail, and you’ll have the option of going up the North Segment or down the South Segment of the trail. On these trails, make your way around stones and roots to make it to the bottoms of the trails. Be careful because this area is very steep. The park has stone steps to help you out, but those sections are closed off during the winter because of the ice. The views you can see on this hike are worth the obstacles!

For The Indecisive One

Multi-Use Trail

There are so many ways to explore the Multi-Use Trail, so If you enjoy hiking, running, or cross-country skiing, this trail is the one for you. Discover the highs and lows of the park by trekking through 150 feet of elevation changes. Although you won’t encounter any waterfalls on this route, you can find a breathtaking view of Cayuga Lake.

For The Hiker Who Enjoys the Finer Things

Black Diamond Trail

The Black Diamond Trail is recently refurbished and has easy-to-walk-on, smooth gravel. There are so many gorgeous sights to see on this trail and so many ways to get by! You can walk, run, ski, or ride a bike. Keep an eye out for stunning ravines, colorful fall foliage, and magnificent bison!

Rest Your Feet in a Finger Lakes Premier Properties Vacation Rental

You deserve to be pampered after a day of exploration. That’s why you should unwind in a luxury lake home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties. We offer high-quality homes all within a short distance from the lakes. It’s the perfect place to gather your family and create lifelong lake memories. Nature-filled adventures await on the Finger Lakes. What are you waiting for? Check our availability and book your getaway today!

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