Lee Steinfeldt 2017-04-05 02:20:36
Sodus Bay was a major port on Lake Ontario in the 1800 and 1900s, serving as a central shipping point for coal brought by rail from Pennsylvania. An immense loading dock or coal trestle was built on the east side of the bay, and great ships stopped from all around the Great Lakes to load up coal. The bay was considered an important port. In the later 19th century, Sodus Point became a popular vacation resort, drawing crowds by train and trolley from cities inland. For more historical information, visit: www.historicsoduspoint.com and www.soduspoint.info/about/history A pier with a traditional lighthouse extends into the lake from Sodus Point, and a narrower pier reaches out from Charles Point to form a protected channel between Lake Ontario and Sodus Bay. From the channel, boats enter an area bordered by Charles Point to the left and a small harbor formed in the ‘Y’ between the two arms of Sodus Point. Sodus Bay is home to three islands and narrows in a series of points and inlets to marshes at its southern end. Six creeks empty into the bay. The depth of the bay reaches approximately 45 feet on the north end. The bay area today features outstanding fishing and boating opportunities. Visitors are served by a number of marinas, public boat launches, restaurants, carriage houses, shops, historic gems such as the old Sodus Bay Lighthouse, and a public sand beach. Most of the businesses that serve residents and visitors are clustered in the Village of Sodus Point at the north end of the bay, and along Route 14 as it enters the village from the south. Lake Road, a two-lane highway that comes into the area from the west is also home to restaurants, shops, bed and breakfast accommodations, fishing lodges, charter boat services and rentals offering small and/or personal watercraft. Many waterfront rental cottages are available in Sodus Point and throughout the bay area, and can be found through online listings. For information on Sodus Bay area businesses or rentals visit www.greatsodusbay.org, www.sodusny.org/businesses.html, and www.facebook.com/places/Things-to-do-in-Sodus-Point-New-York. The Village of Sodus Point operates a concrete boat launch and provides parking for 20 cars/trailers at the intersection of Margaretta Road and NYS Route 14. The ramp is owned by the state. From Labor Day to Memorial Day boats can be launched at a concrete ramp at the US Coast Guard Auxiliary facility at the end of Wickham Boulevard in Sodus Point. The launch is closed during summer months due to limited parking near the ramp. Access to the ramp is through the parking lot of the popular Sodus Point Beach. The beach provides access to Lake Ontario for swimming and boating. In addition to the sand beach, the park offers a bathhouse/ shelter, concession stand and picnic pavilion. Wayne County provides life guards from Independence Day through Labor Day. Sodus Point. Photo credit: John Farrell. According to the State Department of Environmental Conservation website, anglers can find brown, lake and rainbow trout (steelhead) and atlantic, coho and chinook salmon in Lake Ontario, and the longnose gar, bowfin, northern pike, chain pickerel, channel catfish, brown bullhead, white perch, rock bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, walleye and yellow perch in Sodus Bay. Many fishing charter boats make Sodus Bay their headquarters and can be easily found online. Ice fishing is also popular in Sodus Bay. Fish commonly caught in winter include yellow perch, northern pike, walleye, sunfish, rock bass and white perch. The first Sodus Bay Lighthouse and keeper’s residence was built in 1824. A second lighthouse building with an attached tower and Fresnel lens was completed in 1871 and served for the next 80 years. Although it has been replaced with a more modern, metalframe lighthouse on the end of the pier, the stone lighthouse is still preserved and in excellent condition. It has operated as a Maritime Museum by the Sodus Bay Historical Society through an agreement and lease with the Town of Sodus since 1984. A gift shop offers a range of gifts and Sodus Lighthouse souvenirs. Along the lakeshore east of Sodus Bay lies Chimney Bluffs State Park. The bluffs are eroded teardrop-shaped drumlins, hills of glacial till deposited and shaped by glaciers during the last ice age. Wind, rain, snow, and waves have formed the landscape into a series of cliffs. For more information on the year-round, 597-acre park, visit https://parks.ny.gov/parks/43/details.aspx. Other websites offering information are: http://sodusny.org, www.soduspoint.info, and www.sodusbaylighthouse.org
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