There Is Still Time to Enjoy the Lake

There Is Still Time
to Enjoy the Lake

By Colin James

A kayak sits ready to launch from Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake.

As summer winds down and autumn approaches, there is perhaps no better time to get out and enjoy the beauty of Otsego County’s pristine lakes and waterways.

For people who own their own boats, this time of year is generally when they begin to taper down their activity after a long summer of many days on the water, but for those who don’t have a boat of their own it is an excellent time to rent one from one of the local boat rental operations. From fast-moving power boats, to spacious pontoon boats, to kayaks and canoes, numerous local rental opportunities exist.

Otsego Lake, the “jewel in the crown” of county lakes, offers several possibilities.

Perhaps the most wide-ranging selection of watercraft, and the only full-service operation physically located on the fabled Glimmerglass, is Sam Smith’s Boat Rentals, located at the boatyard of the same name, 2 ½ miles up the lake on State Route 80.

Sam Smith’s watercraft rentals include kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, fishing boats, cruisers and large and small pontoon boats, all available by the hour, day(s) or week(s) with a 2-hour minimum on all motorboats.

Sam Smith’s Boatyard, Otsego Lake

All bookings are completed online at or Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Sam Smith’s Boatyard is also home to the popular waterside dining spot The Blue Mingo Grill as well as clothing and gift shops to round out your day.

Other rental opportunities are available on Otsego Lake as well by operations that deliver boats to your preferred location on Otsego Lake and some will deliver to both Canadarago Lake or Goodyear Lake as well.

Time Out Boat Rentals has a fleet of three pontoon boats of various sizes that can accommodate from 8 to 18 passengers and can also provide canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. To check availability and reservation details, call Gerry at 607-287-7737.

CJ’s Powerboat Rentals at Jones Marine is another excellent option and delivers boats to all three major Otsego County Lakes. CJ’s offers, bowriders, deck boats and pontoon boats — all spacious enough for the whole family to enjoy.

Jones Marine also offers a wide variety of boats for sale, so if you catch the boating bug from your rental experience you can power up for good! For information, availability and booking, call CJ’s at 607-434-6410.

If people power is your preferred method of transport, the County’s premier destination is Canoe and Kayak Rentals and Sales, which has three locations — two on Otsego Lake, and one at their longstanding flagship location in Portlandville, just south of Cooperstown. The Portlandville operation offers the calm waters of man-made Goodyear Lake as well as the beauty of the Susquehanna River on its way from Otsego Lake to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Otsego Lake locations are at Brookwood Point, just north of Cooperstown on State Route 80, and at Glimmerglass State Park at the Lake’s north end. Brookwood Point, owned and preserved by the Otsego Land Trust, boasts the beautiful gardens and remaining structures of the 19th century Townsend Estate. All locations are open daily, but the Otsego Lake locations are only available June through August. For information and booking call 607-286-7349.

Regardless of whom you choose as your rental provider, the lakes and rivers of Otsego County offer a pristine and quiet beauty that comforts the mind and soothes the soul.

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