Hemlock Lake 


Newslinks and Resources for Hemlock Lake - a Finger Lake and part of the Rochester, NY area's environment   

Follow FrankRrrr on Twitter

Page Links: NewsLinks | Resources


Finger Lakes - Environmental NewsLinks and Resources specific to each lake. Honeoye Lake | Hemlock Lake | Canadice Lake | Cayuga Lake | Canandaigua Lake | Seneca Lake| Conesus Lake


NYSDEC Region 8 / Hemlock Lake Located in southeast Livingston County, Hemlock Lake lies 25 miles south of Rochester. Hemlock is one of the two Finger Lakes whose shorelines are virtually undeveloped.  --from NYS DEC.


map of Hemlock-Canadice UMPHemlock-Canadice UMP The Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan (UMP) covers the 6,684-acre Hemlock-Canadice State Forest located in Livingston and Ontario Counties. (Hemlock Park, the water treatment facilities and parking field for the fairgrounds are not part of the Hemlock Canadice State Forest, and will not be included in this UMP.) In addition, the fishing access sites along the Springwater Creek, Hemlock Outlet Creek, etc., are not included.

The purpose of a unit management plan is twofold: 1) to define management goals and objectives for state land and, 2) to prepare a ten-year plan of action to achieve those objectives.

 It is DEC's policy to manage state lands for multiple benefits to serve the people of New York State. The Hemlock-Canadice Unit Management Plan is a ten-year plan for the multiple use of about 6,684 acres of state forest. Management will be considered over a broad geographical area, not only to ensure the biological diversity and protection of the ecosystem, but also to optimize the many benefits to the public that these lands provide, including the protection of the public drinking water for the City of Rochester and other communities.


Hemlock Lake NewsLinks

It's important to monitor the health of our Finger Lakes, which is a part of our regions environmental health.


  • DEC releases final Hemlock-Canadice plan Pretty much out of the blue, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has released its final Hemlock-Canadice State Forest unit management plan, and simultaneously announced the addition of 165 acres to the preserve. The state bought the land at Burch Hill Road and County Route 37 in Canadice earlier this month from Barbara Christoff, who wanted to make sure that the public has access to the property, according to a DEC press release. The draft plan was released in February 2013, and was almost immediately met with massive public criticism because it didn't clearly prohibit oil and gas drilling on or near the land. Of particular concern was the potential for horizontal drilling underneath the forest surface, as well as high-volume fracking. But state officials have since decided to prohibit high-volume fracking in New York. (April 22, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Fracking and Hemlock Lake in our area]


  • Hemlock-Canadice's watershed moment  The City of Rochester sold approximately 7,000 acres of land around Hemlock and Canadice lakes to the state in 2010 to make sure that the waterfronts remain safe from development. And yet the lakes are currently at the center of a controversy about gas and oil drilling. That's because the state's proposed plan to manage the property — designated the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest — doesn't explicitly rule out drilling on or under the land. The lakes are Rochester's primary source of drinking water. In response, the statewide Adirondack Mountain Club and State Senator Ted O'Brien are drafting legislation to classify the land as a unique area. The designation would strengthen protections for the forest, including banning gas and oil extraction on or beneath the forest's surface. "If there's anything that the people in the greater Monroe County area and surrounding counties don't want is that they don't want to see any kind of oil and gas extraction from the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest," says Neil Woodworth, the Adirondack Mountain Club's executive director. (August 7, 2013) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Hemlock Lake and Canadice Lake in our area]
  • The Hemlock-Canadice balancing act Anti-fracking groups in the Rochester area want the state Department of Environmental Conservation to state strongly and unequivocally that it won't allow drilling on the Hemlock-Canadice forest lands. And they're pushing for the state to make the property either a unique area or a state nature and historic preserve — defined designations that limit use of the land. The restrictions include prohibitions on gas and oil drilling, the activists say. But City of Rochester officials say that such high levels of protections and restrictions could interfere with routine maintenance of the property, such as erosion control measures and efforts to diversify tree populations and vegetation. (May 09, 2013) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Fracking and Canadice and Hemlock Lakes]
  • State releases plan for Hemlock, Canadice The State Department of Environmental Conservation has released a draft plan outlining how it will manage its land around Canadice and Hemlock Lakes. The DEC will accept comments on the draft unit management plan – available athttp://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/68822.html – through April 15. And it has scheduled a public information session for 6:30 p.m. on March 14 at Springwater Fire Hall, 8145 South Main Street, Springwater. DEC representatives will give a presentation at 7 p.m. Hemlock and Canadice are the only two Finger Lakes with undeveloped shorelines. Rochester uses the lakes for its drinking water supply and started buying the land surrounding them in 1896. In 2010, the state bought approximately 6,700 acres of land, now known as the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest, from the city. (February 21, 2013) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Canadice Lake and Hemlock Lake in our area]





  • Rochester to Albany: Let’s make a deal - Rochester, NY - MPNnow All other players are out of the game as the city of Rochester and New York state prepare to negotiate a price for the 7,100 acres the city owns around Canadice and Hemlock lakes. Until recently, city leaders had said they were considering all options. But the latest statements from the mayor’s office and the state Department of Environmental Conservation suggest that something environmentalists have feared — the sale to a developer — is off the table. (Dec 17, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • DEC chief visits Hemlock, a plus for possible watershed sale— New York state's environmental commissioner paid an unannounced visit Thursday to Hemlock Lake, taking in the grandeur of one of the last undeveloped Finger Lakes. He came away impressed — a development that can only be seen as positive by advocates of the notion that the state should purchase and preserve forever the land around Hemlock and Canadice lakes that now is owned by the city of Rochester. (October 5, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • MPNnow.com: New DEC chief wants talks on Hemlock, Canadice watersheds A spokesman for the city of Rochester insists that it’s not necessarily a sale negotiation. ROCHESTER — The new head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation has asked Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy to open negotiations on the future of city-owned watershed lands around Canadice and Hemlock lakes. A letter to Duffy from DEC Commissioner Alexander Grannis confirms statements made in April by state Parks and DEC officials at a Sierra Club meeting in Rochester. (May 21, 07) Messenger Post Newspapers
  • Council OKs lakes' appraisal - City Council voted Tuesday night to authorize an appraisal of Hemlock and Canadice lakes. Midland Appraisal Associations will be paid up to $28,000 for the work. - (May 16, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • www.whec.com - City of Rochester and Monroe County Water Authority work on new water agreement Talks continue between the City of Rochester and the Monroe County Water Authority on a new water-sharing agreement. The existing 30-year deal expires next year. One of the options on the table is a county takeover of the city system. Most city residents get their water from the Cobbs Hill reservoir. It's piped in from Hemlock and Canadice lakes. The county system gets its water from Lake Ontario. The city and county already share water. In fact there are more than 50 interconnection points between the city and the water authority. (May 8, 07) www.whec.com - Front Page
  • ENVIRONMENT: State takeover likely for Hemlock, Canadice - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper There's been concern that city officials might sell land around Hemlock and Canadice Lakes to developers. But a stronger bet may be that the state buys the land. During the Rochester Sierra Club's annual Environmental Forum on April 19, city and state officials said they want to work together to preserve the land and lakes by putting them in the state's hands. (April 24, 07) Rochester City Newspaper
  • Watershed's future on line - Forum focuses on finding way to shield Canadice, Hemlock lakes forever — Environmentalists, city and state officials believe the time is right for Rochester to sell 7,100 acres of land to the state if the parties can agree on a price and use of the land — despite the area being an abundant, natural supply of drinking water for the past 130 years. About 200 people attended a Sierra Club environmental forum Thursday at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester to hear about the watershed of Hemlock and Canadice lakes, about 30 miles south of Rochester. (April 20, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • FINGER LAKES: City would like state to buy Hemlock and Canadice - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper Could the state become the owner of the city-owned Hemlock and Canadice Lakes and the land around them? Mayor Bob Duffy that would be "the best of both worlds." Duffy had hoped to have the properties appraised, but at their meeting on Tuesday night, City Councilmembers turned him down. Their concern: that the appraisal might open the door to selling the land to developers. Duffy said last night that his push for an appraisal doesn't mean he is rushing to put the prime Finger Lakes real estate on the market. But, he said, not knowing the value of the city's assets is bad management. (April 19, 2007) Rochester City Newspaper
  • ENVIRONMENT: Council nixes appraisal of Hemlock-Canadice land - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper The Duffy administration had hoped to hire a firm to appraise the city-owned land around Hemlock and Canadice Lakes. But last night City Council turned down his request, 5-2, citing concerns that in the future the city might want to sell the land. Mayor Bob Duffy has not said that he wants to let the land be developed, but some Councilmembers didn't buy the administration's argument that the city should at least be aware of the property's value. (April 18, 2007) Rochester City Newspaper
  • City Council rejects watershed appraisal - Members wary of Hemlock, Canadice development — City Council rejected an administration request Tuesday to appraise the Hemlock and Canadice lakes watershed. Some members said they will not consider the question again unless development is off the table. Mayor Robert Duffy and his staff never have indicated an interest in development, but have said all options are being considered as the city reviews its water system. Deputy Mayor Patty Malgieri said that also meant having data necessary to review those options. (April 18, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle
  • Hemlock, Canadice proposal defended - Appraisals of waterfront land will keep all city options open  — City Hall insists a plan to appraise the watershed properties surrounding Hemlock and Canadice lakes does not indicate a plan to sell the land to developers. Rather, it is the first step in an effort to place a dollar value on the entire water system, which is needed information as the city continues to evaluate the system's future, Deputy Mayor Patty Malgieri said. One possible outcome is that the state buys the last two undeveloped Finger Lakes and creates a permanent preserve. (April 15, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle




Resources for Hemlock Lake

If you live near Hemlock Lake perhaps one of these resources can be a way for you to become involved with your lake's health. 

  • Hemlock Lake, N.Y.
  • NYSDEC Region 8 / Hemlock Lake
  • Hemlock Trees  Should we cut old growth trees in Hemlock? Important Rochester-area Concern: Grab this week's City (Greater Rochester's Alternative Newsweekly, Volume 31, Number 7, November 7-13, 2001) Pg. 6 What In The Blazes, Hemlock Lake And The Loggers. by Jack Bradigan Spula. In order to understand completely the issue surrounding the old growth forest trees that the city owns around Hemlock Lake and the questions as to whether or not to cull them, you must read this article.
  • Hemlock Lake How to get there: From Rochester take Route 15A south passing through the village of Hemlock. Turn right on Rix Hill Road approximately one mile south of intersection of Route 15A with Route 20A. Immediately turn left off of Rix Hill Road onto East Lake Road. Approximately 1.1 miles from turn off onto East Lake Road is the boat launch.
  • APPENDIX O: HEMLOCK WATER FILTRATION PLANT CITY OF ROCHESTER WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM Rochester's Upland Water Supply system includes Hemlock Lake and Canadice Lake. The City owns over 7000 acres of the watershed surrounding these lakes. This buffer provides the best water supply protection possible. City ownership of this land has created a unique environmental setting as these are the only Finger Lakes with natural, undeveloped shorelines. Water is pumped from Hemlock Lake and flows by gravity from Canadice Lake to the filtration plant on the northern shore of Hemlock Lake. After treatment in the filtration plant, water flows by gravity for a total distance of 29 miles through the conduit system and Rush Reservoir to the Highland and Cobbs Hill reservoirs within city limits. The elevation of the water surface in the two City reservoirs is high enough to provide water pressure to most homes without pumping.
  • Hemlock Lake Water System So proclaimed the newspaper headline on January 24, 1876 as it announced the arrival of Hemlock Lake water into Mt. Hope Reservoir (today named Highland Reservoir). Finally, after more than three decades of political bickering and aborted construction attempts, Rochester had an abundant supply of pure wholesome drinking water. While an asset such as this may barely raise an eyebrow today, in 1876 this was truly a glorious event for the 70,000 citizens of Rochester.
  • Hemlock Lake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Hemlock Lake is one of the minor Finger Lakes. It is mostly located in Livingston County, New York, south of Rochester, with a portion overlapping into Ontario County.
  • Parks, Recreation and Human Services - City of Rochester N.Y.. Some great photographs of Hemlock Lake