Kayaking in Cortland

Select Local Merchants

Enclosed by the dense circle of trees that surrounds Oneida Lake, Stone?s Marina Kayak Club seems so far removed from the bustling life of the city that one might never guess it?s just down the road from Syracuse. The marina?s staff equip kayakers of all levels with life vests and paddles before guiding them into the waters that lap gently at the lake?s shoreline. Before sending first-time paddlers off to explore the lake, they dole out lessons in steering and proper safety etiquette, such as keeping two hands on the paddle and never picking up hitchhiking crocodiles. In addition to their fleet of kayaks, the marina also furnishes visitors with pavilions, grills, and campsites for multiday excursions.

9247 Bridgeport Minoa Rd.
Bridgeport,
NY
US

Located in the Waterloo Harbor Campground right on the Seneca River, Fuzzy Guppies makes meandering the river's locks and creeks easy. Those who want to explore a bit further can rent kayaks, canoes, and other equipment to investigate the nearby Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake; Fuzzy Guppies can deliver the watercraft. In addition to renting vessels, Fuzzy Guppies also gives lessons and oversees the Human Waterball. The Waterball gives people the chance to float and run on the water in a ball exactly like a hamster would, if a hamster could pay the rental fee.

1278 Waterloo Geneva Road
Waterloo,
NY
US

With nearly a football field's worth of waterfront access along Fourth Lake, the sandy beaches and boat launch of Palmer Point are an ideal spot to relax in the sun or go for a carefree outing on the water. A variety of rentals are available throughout the summer, including pontoon boats and fishing boats, as well as more low-key kayaks, canoes, and paddle-boards. Groups of up to nine people can shack up in one of the beautiful, fully-furnished lakeside houses, which feature amenities such as screened-in porches and private decks.

152 Palmer Point Rd.
Old Forge,
NY
US

The Lake House’s chefs create innovative seafood plates and hearty steaks as diners take in lakeside views from the interior of an historic hotel built in 1843. Scan the menu before electing upscale eats such as pumpkin-seed-encrusted trout filets in sherry cream ($16.99) or pan-seared hunter’s ducks dressed in a pear-and-peppercorn au jus ($22.99). Chefs stuff the Lake House bone-in pork chop with an autumnal mélange of apples, onions, blue cheese, and cloud bacon before tossing it on the grill and drenching it in an apple-cider glaze ($17.99). Dinner diners sink meat fangs into a New York strip steak’s side ($19.99), and luncheon guests peruse burgers and sandwiches such as the grilled-chicken cordon bleu, which sports ham, swiss cheese, and a jaunty monocle atop its grilled roll ($8.99). Lounge on the patio facing the lake or illumine meals indoors with the light of Tiffany-style stained-glass table lamps.

2521 County Highway 22
Richfield Springs,
NY
US

Preparing explorers for jaunts through the waterways and paths of the historic Erie Canal, the staffers of Erie Canal Boat Company outfit visitors with bicycle, kayak, canoe, pontoon, and paddleboat rentals, as well as appropriate supplies. They lead group and private lessons, teaching tender-footed kayakers the basics of safety and stroke skills for recreational, competitive, or impress-your-favorite-seal's-mom kayaking. They also host weekly paddling clubs and races, as well as annual regattas, and stock a variety of gear at their shop to ensure pioneers are suitably appointed for paddling and pedaling excursions.

7 Lift-bridge Ln W
Fairport,
NY
US

Canoes float under a sunny sky, kayakers speed along lush riverbanks, and standup paddleboards engage core muscles in adrenaline-pumping workouts. With dozens of watercraft for rent and sale, BayCreek Paddling Center's team brings aquatic adventures like these to life. Their staff members, which range from young enthusiasts to 30-year industry veterans, launch customers into Irondequoit Creek, where they can float amid an orchestra of bird songs and opera-trained fish. In addition to rentals, the staff guide activities. Aboard their various watercraft, certified instructors lead lessons and nature tours that wind through glacier-carved terrain and former Seneca Native American lands.

1099 Empire Blvd.
Rochester,
NY
US