The 11 Finger Lakes are located in Western New York state, according to FingerLakes.com. Named for its appearance as long, narrow bodies of water stretched out like giant fingers between Lake Ontario in the north to Pennsylvania in the south, the Finger Lakes region covers over 9,000 square miles. From east to west, the Finger Lakes are Otisco, Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock and Conesus.
Formed at the end of the last ice age over 100,000 years ago by glaciers carving trenches as they expanded south from Canada, the Finger Lakes are known for their natural beauty and a "micro-climate" perfect for wine production, states FingerLakes.com. Some of the towns in the region include Ithaca, located at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake and the home of Cornell University. Seneca Falls, which is located on Seneca Lake, is the home of the women's civil rights movement and hosted the first Women's Rights Convention in 1848.
FingerLakes.com explains that Cayuga and Seneca Lakes lie within prime winery territory. Known primarily for Riesling wine, no fewer than 100 wineries make the Finger Lake region their home. Other areas in the region, particularly near the smaller lakes such as Hemlock Lake, remain pristine and undeveloped. The undeveloped lakes are renowned for fishing, hiking and camping.