Formed by glaciers and rimmed by glacial drumlins, Silver Lake is nestled amid rural farms and historic communities. In the 1800s thousands of people came by train to the east side depot to attend lectures at the Chautauqua-like Institute grounds, swim, skate, dance, stay at Walker Hotel, study art and ride the excursion boats. Early lake-dependent businesses included icehouses and gristmills. Today, boating and fishing draw many visitors to this idyllic lake year-round.
Ring of Fire & Boat Parade
On July 3rd at sun set, cottage owners light flares and bonfires. A formal fireworks display is usually hosted at 10pm from the pier at the Silver Lake Country Club.
Check out the boat parade on the 4th as decorated floats vie for awards. Visit the Silver Lake Association for details.
Located on Walker Road at Silver Lake, on the 1st Sunday of August this historic site has hosted gatherings since 1872 when it honored the first settlers and continues as an entertaining day of food, music and tours of artifacts housed in Pioneer Cabin and Museum. Check out the one-room schoolhouse and Perry's first church building, also on the Pioneer grounds.
Legend of the Silver Lake Sea Serpent
On the night of July 13, 1855, in Perry, New York, two boys and a few men were fishing from a boat on Silver Lake. After several hours of fishing, the men grew tired and wanted to head in for the day. Besides, it was getting late and the sun was going to set.
As they began to row the boat in, each passenger watched as a nearby floating log began to move, dipping in and out of the water. Then without notice, the beast leaped from the water, showing itself in all its glory before splashing back into the murky water and disappearing.
The onlookers who were struck with awe rushed back to shore and alerted the local authorities. They had witnessed a massive, scaly, dinosaur like creature. The legend of the Silver Lake Sea Serpent was born.
It didn’t take long for word to spread, and people came from far and wide to get a chance to search for the monster. Several expeditions were launched, including a whale-man with a harpoon, a crazed society of men armed with guns, and even companies who spent thousands on employees bent on capturing the creature.
Sadly, nothing was ever found until…
In 1857, a fire broke out at Artemus B. Walker’s hotel on the lake. Within the burned wreckage of the hotel was found a serpent like wire frame and some green mesh. Mr. Walker confessed that he had created the monster to attract popularity to the town and its hotels.
To this day, the locals of Silver Lake and Perry celebrate the story with boat parades and festivals.
Parks & Outdoors
Boat Rentals & Fishing
Just a half-mile wide, and three miles long with a maximum depth of 37 feet, Silver Lake was formed when retreating glaciers left western New York creating the Finger Lakes region.
Silver Lake is unique in that it is the first lake in NY State to freeze each winter and both the outlet and inlet are located at the same end of the lake.
Known for its plentiful pan fish in the summer and excellent ice fishing in the winter, fishing tournaments are hosted year round. For a map and fishing guide, check out: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html
Higgins Family Bait is a self-serve tackle shop open 24-7. It is the nearest bait shop to Silver Lake. 3834 W Lake Rd, Silver Springs, NY 14550/ (585) 689-3186
The lake’s only gas dock is located at Silver Lake Marine. They also rent pontoon boats and stand up paddle boards. Book well in advance. 4213 W Lake Rd #1, Silver Springs, NY 14550 / (585) 237-5185
Lakefront cottages book up fast, sometimes a year in advance. www.Airbnb.com is your best bet to find a cottage rental on short notice.
The Silverlaken Estate & Glampground is a unique vacation rental property right on the water- offering tree tents, glamping tents (with jacuzzi tubs), tiny homes, log cabins and more.