Syracuse was founded, as most towns were, right next to water. Luckily for us our ancient settlers decided to stay near the fourth cleanest lake in the United States, Skaneatles lake. Skaneatles provides the majority of our tap water supply, with the nearby Finger Lakes providing the rest. Onondaga creek is our Nile River of sorts, running through downtown and flowing north through the city. Our local government supposedly has plans intact to create a creek walk that will connect our Inner Harbor to Franklin Square, Armory Square, the Valley area and ultimately, the Onondaga Nation.

We have a great love for trees, with 890,000 trees covering about 27% of our land, a much higher average than our neighbors Albany and Buffalo. Our greatest percentage of trees is within the Valley Neighborhoods, with 46.6% of the land being under cover of trees.The sugar maple accounts for 14.2 percent of Syracuse's trees, followed by the Northern white cedar (9.8 percent) and the European buckthorn (6.8 percent).

Our geography is mostly flat with a few neighborhoods like Tipperary hill and University hill providing an exception. The north side of Syracuse is generally the flattest, while the south is more hilly. The city has a total area of 25.6 miles, but many residents outside the border still consider themselves Syracusians. The city was originally much smaller until the nearby towns began to assimilate to form Syracuse.