Kayaking Lamoka Lake

Lamoka Lake, formerly called Mud Lake, is a small lake in the midst of the much larger Finger Lakes in central New York.  It is 1.6 miles long by .7 mile wide, not including Mill Pond at the south end of it.  There is a half mile channel connecting Lamoka to Waneta Lake, formerly called Little Lake.  The channel goes through Waneta-Lamoka Wildlife Management Area.  Waneta is 3.1 miles long and .5 mile wide.  There are public boat ramps on the road crossing the channel and small boats are able to fit under the bridge there.  Between the three bodies of water, there is plenty to explore on a day trip.

Map of Lamoka Lake and Waneta Lake

I went out for a short 3.5 mile paddle in a kayak to explore Lamoka Lake’s islands.  First up was Red Bank Island, which I’ve also heard called Mosquito Island.  If you ask me, it should be called Goose Poop Island.  Red Bank Island is owned by New York State Electric and Gas and there are signs posted against camping.  There are several good tent sites on this small island though, and you can see from the fire rings and trash that people do camp there.  It’s a nice place to go swim and there’s usually a rope swing hung up somewhere near the water, although in my opinion it’s a bit too shallow for big jumps.

Lamoka Lake Kayak-2

Lamoka Lake Kayak-3

Lamoka Lake Kayak-4

Lamoka Lake Kayak-5

Lamoka Lake Kayak-7

Lamoka Lake Kayak-8

After looping around Red Bank Island, I paddled south to Stingers Island.  It’s another privately owned island, but this one is owned by actual people and has a house on it.  You can’t dig a septic tank on a tiny island so they have a porta-potty.  No electric lines run out to the island either so there’s no obvious power source.  Fun fact: the porta-potty company waits until the lake freezes over in winter to drive out there and service it.

The back end of Stingers Island, away from the house, is very marshy.  I watched a Great Blue Heron there for a while until it flew away.  There was some other small wildlife to observe as well.

Lamoka Lake Kayak-9

Lamoka Lake Kayak-10

There actually is a third island, Wellers Island, but there is a permanent road out to it and the few dozen houses there.  I skipped going around it and paddled for shore.

I was limited on time this trip.  Next time I would do a complete circumnavigation of Lamoka Lake, Mill Pond, and Waneta Lake, with a lunch stop at Waneta Inn.


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  1. Oh man. Can you imagine waiting until winter every year to have your toilet serviced? Although, I suppose the Stingers Island house is probably a vacation home.

  2. I just heard a tresspass complaint on red bank island today.. never heard of it so googled it and found this site.

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