The Chenango Canal was opened in 1836 to connect the Erie Canal to the Susquehanna River, Utica to Binghamton. Madison Brook was dammed up to create Madison Reservoir as a water source for the new canal.
After it became popular as a recreational site, Madison Reservoir was renamed Lake Moraine in 1905, in recognition of the glacial moraines on its shores.
The lake is now under the jurisdiction of the Canal Division of the New York State Thruway Authority.
The North Basin, above the Causeway, has approximately 79 acres, and the South Basin has approximately 182 acres.
At its narrowest point—from Mitchell Point to the east shore—the lake is approximately 150 feet wide.
Under normal conditions, the North Basin has a maximum depth of 12 feet, while the South Basin has a maximum depth of 47 feet.
Lake Moraine is approximately 1,220 feet above sea level.