For the second straight year fees for recreational boaters are being waived for all recreational boaters on the Erie Canal Season. That’s the good news, of course that notice came out right after the notification from the New York State Canal Corporation related to the once again shortened schedule for the 2018 navigation season. The revised schedule is posted here.
It is very important that the recreational boaters of the region get out on the water this year, the only way to the Canal Corporation and it’s parent the NY Power Authority will return to a full navigation season is by the boaters and the communities along the canal getting out on the water, attend the waterfront events, use the locks. A record is kept of every lock through done on the entire system. If you’re concerned because the locks in your community are only open to 5, get out and use them. The amount of locking’s in any specific lock is the only way the Canal Corp. can determine the boat traffic in a particular area.
Dates & Hours of Operation during the 2018 Navigation Season on the Erie Canal
The New York State Canal Corporation announced once again that the navigation season on the Erie Canal will be shortened to a schedule similar to the 2017 season.
Boaters are advised that, conditions permitting, the Eastern Erie Canal (locks E-2 Waterford through E-23 Brewerton will be opened on Tuesday May 15th. at 10:00
The balance of the New York State Canal System, including the Champlain Canal, Western Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and the Cayuga/Seneca Canal will be opened on Friday May 18th. at 7:00 a.m. conditions permitting.
The entire Erie Canal System will close for the season on Wed October 10th. at 5 p.m.
The standard hours of operation for the 2018 season are 7 a.m. to 5 pm. with the following locks and lift bridges having extended hours until 10 p.m. from May 18th. to Sept. 12th.
Lock C-1, Halfmoon
Lock E-7, Niskayuna
Lock E-23, Brewerton
Lock O-1, Phoenix
Lock O-2, Fulton
Lock O-3, Fulton
Lock E-24, Baldwinsville
Main Street Lift Bridge, Fairport
Lock E-32, Pittsford
Lock E-33, Henrietta
Spencerport Lift Bridge
Adams Basin Lift Bridge
Park Avenue Lift Bridge, Brockport
Main Street Lift Bridge, Brockport
Holley Lift Bridge
Hulberton Lift Bridge
Ingersoll Street Lift Bridge, Albion
Main Street Lift Bridge, Albion
Eagle Harbor Lift Bridge
Knowlesville Lift Bridge
Medina Lift Bridge
Middleport Lift Bridge
Gasport Lift Bridge
Exchange Street Lift Bridge, Lockport
Lock E-34/35, Lockport
Lock CS-1, Cayuga
Lock CS-2/3, Seneca Falls
Lock CS-4, Waterloo
In addition to the structures listed above, Locks E-2 through E-6 and Guard Gate #2 in the Waterford Flight will operate on demand from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Thursday through Monday from May 18th to September 12th. During the same period, the hours of operation for the Waterford Flight will be 7:00 am to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Due to roving operations, some delays may be experienced during certain periods in the Waterford Flight.
Vessels are required to arrive at a lock at least 15 minutes prior to closing to ensure being locked through, and at a lift bridge at least 5 minutes prior to ensure an opening.
If there is any positive information out of the Canal Corporations continued reduction in the length of the navigational season it’s the fact that they have once again suspended the fees associated with recreational boating.
We welcome your comments on this years schedule. All comments will be forwarded to the Canal Corporation.
Explore the juxtaposition of art and history along the Oswego and Erie canals in Oswego and Onondaga counties. Experience vibrant arts centers and interesting tours of modern and historical facilities. Take a walk down a quaint historic street, through fascinating museums, shops and a thought-provoking gallery.
Begin your tour along the historic Oswego Canal in the Port City. Explore 300 years of maritime history at the H Lee White Maritime Museum, located on a pier overlooking the harbor of America’s oldest freshwater port. Climb aboard the National Historic Landmark “LT-5,” a U.S. Army tugboat and veteran of the Normandy Invasion of World War II; “Lance Knapp,” the last steam-powered vessel on the Barge Canal; and Derrick Barge No. 8, a 1925 NYS Canal boat. View a vast display of artifacts including ship models, navigation equipment and nautical paintings.
Continue from the pier along historic West First Street to take in the exquisite architecture of an Underground Railroad site, the Buckhout-Jones Building. Stop into Canal Commons to find the perfect gift at the artist-owned co-op, Riverside Artisans; browse a fine selection of wines, coffee, or tea at Andrew’s Wine Cellar and Taste the World; or pick up a sweet treat at Man in the Moon Candies.
Head over to Fulton for a delectable lunch with views of the historic Oswego Canal at Tavern On The Lock
After lunch, walk along the Oswego Canal to Lock #3. Along the way, view the Salvation Army Building mural by local artist Ben Jerred which depicts the city’s history on the canal and pays tribute to the former L.C. Smith Hunter Arms Company. Enjoy a guided tour of the canal facility, learn what it takes to operate a lock, and possibly see a lock operator in action. (This is a seasonal venue.) Step across the street to the Arts Center to view assorted artwork in a variety of mediums from local artists. Browse the gallery and add a new piece to your own collection.
Make your way to Syracuse to visit the Erie Canal Museum where you will learn more about the history of this incredible man-made endeavor. Located in the only weigh-lock building still in existence in the U.S., the museum tells the story of the canal through exhibits, prints, photographs, documents and rare books.
The Erie Canal, the eighth wonder of the world is currently celebrating the bi-centennial of its creation. It is one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world and it might be the most underutilized recreational resource within New York State. Organizations such as Canal NY actively work to promote the system as well as the businesses within the Erie Canal Corridor.
Erie Canal Floating homes is a program designed to
1)Promote increased use of the Canal
2)Enhance economic impact throughout the communities within the Erie Canal Corridor.
It’s all about the water right, and getting out on the water is the number one way to experience the canal.
People utilize the canal in three ways.
Boaters travel the Canal on their own boats, they visit communities along the Canal, on vacations and long weekends,
They spend time on their boats at their home port marinas, or they use their boats as day boats for being out on the lakes, for activities such as fishing, tubing, raft ups at swim areas, or visiting dock & dines
People looking to visit the Canal can take advantage of day trips provided by tour operators, or even rent a boat for a week or more and chart their own course on the Canal.
The biggest challenge to boating the canal is time, the time necessary to experience the Canal.
The idea of encouraging the use of floating homes along the Canal system to allow for more tourists to travel to and experience the Canal is exciting.
There are basically two different types of docking opportunities available to transient boaters, the first are from the communities along the Canal System that offer boaters the opportunities to spend the night, visit the community and avail themselves of the resources within these communities. The second docking opportunity comes from the marinas that are in close proximity to the communities, this dynamic sometimes puts these two entities in direct competition with each other and in some communities has forced the elimination of the amenities normally available to the boater
What if these marinas had the ability to fill their slips, maybe even utilize areas of these facilities that have proved difficult in the past, such as those areas that have access issues or low water depth.
What about marinas located in areas where transient boaters typically have passed them by? What about areas of the Canal that have been totally ignored by companies investing in similar businesses. Are there portions of the Canal that the State would like to see economic impact improvements within? Are there locations which once housed marinas that could be re-opened. These marinas could be much simpler to construct. They wouldn’t need fueling infrastructure, they wouldn’t even need to be constructed with travel lifts, the floating homes could be easily lifted out of the water after the season by the use of a crane hired for a day to lift out all the boats and place them on shore, same process could be done in the spring. Boats could be built with lift points built in place to simplify the process.
These boats could also be placed in areas that have been identified as flood plains and other areas where construction has proved to be challenging!
Sanitation for these boats could be built using a site wide pump out system connected to either a municipal sewer system or onsite treatment plant. The technology even exists to install a system that incinerates all liquid and solid waste and the results are a small amount of sterile ash that can be removed once a week or so for those areas that are truly remote.
These boats could be purchased by individuals for docking in existing marinas or waterfront campgrounds, or by the marinas themselves to be placed in rental fleets
The Canal systems could easily accommodate 100 boats or more throughout the 524 miles of waterway. Each of these boats could generate thousands of dollars annually to a marina from docking and storage revenues. Organizations which wanted to own and operate rental units could be placed in systems such as Airbnb or VRBO. Boats placed in marinas could generate additional revenue such as pontoon or fishing boat rentals, or create opportunities for marinas to update their facilities like adding a workout room or maybe even a pool.
Another version of a floating community is located in Clinton Ohio at a marina just off of Lake Erie, these floating homes are set up a little different and allow each owner the ability to park a boat adjacent to their floating homes as part of their monthly slip fees.
Floating Homes originated on the west coast in cities like Seattle, and a company call eco-sea cottages has created a product that can be delivered to any city or town in the country and will even locate a slip for your boat should you wish to purchase from them. They too offer outboard engine and steering packages which would allow you to move a boat in limited situations. For more info visit their web site www.eco-seacottages.com
The H Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego is pleased to host our annual Christmas at Sea Open House on Sunday, December 10th from 1-4:30 pm. Come and celebrate the holiday season in Oswego’s Historic Maritime District, located on the West First Street Pier.
In addition to enjoying homemade cookies and punch, visitors are encouraged to enjoy new Museum exhibits, view maritime themed holiday trees and see the model train village exhibition courtesy of the Oswego Valley Railroad Association and Museum. Santa Claus will arrive at 2:00 pm via US Coast Guard boat but there is no need to have your child wait in a long line to see him, as there will be crafts, festive stories and music to enjoy while you wait!
This event is free and open to the public. The Museum and Treasure Chest Gift Shop are open daily, 1-5:00 pm for your holiday shopping convenience. For more information call (315) 342-0480, visit www.hlwmm.org or www.facebook.com/hlwmm
Pictured is a USCG vessel from the USCG Station Oswego delivering Santa to the West Pier at last year’s event.
The Erie Canal, often referred to the NYS Barge Canal includes 524 miles of navigable waterways throughout NYS. The Canals that make up the Erie Canal System include the Cayuga / Seneca, The Champlain, The Oswego and the Erie itself. These 4 Canals allow for travel from inland NY to anywhere in the world.
The 4 individual canals today total 524 miles of navigable waterways. There are currently 55 locks and 18 lift bridges amongst the Canals. Total lift is 568’ and the largest lift is lock at Little Falls with 49’of lift. It is also the only lock on the system that uses a drop door instead of the standard swing doors used elsewhere. The flight of 5 which consists of locks 2-7 just west of Waterford is the greatest elevation change on any navigable waterway in the Western Hemisphere. The Erie Canal is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is also a National Park Historical Site.
The Erie first envisioned in the early 1800’s by NY’s then governor Dewitt Clinton was first dismissed as crazy and was referred to early on as Clinton’s Follies. Hope was that the Federal Government would help fund the project, but that never happened and New York State went it alone. Construction began in 1817 and was completed in 1825 at a cost of $8 million dollars, the Canal ended up paying for itself in less than 8 years. New York City soon became the largest port in the United States as a direct result of the construction of the Erie Canal. The opening of the canal in 1825 allowed for goods and people to be shipped in half the time and at one tenth the cost of the conventional methods of the time.
The Canal has evolved throughout the years from what was originally referred to as Clinton’s Ditch where mules walked the tow path towing barges and boats up and down the canal. The advent of mechanically powered vessels allowed for the use of the lakes and river sections which continued to speed travel along the Canal. The final version of the Canal was opened in 1915 and is what we travel on today. The infrastructure visible along the Canal today is the same technology that was designed and built back in 1915 and still amazes visitors to the Canal each day.
New York State understood the value of the Canal when it guaranteed its continued existence by amending its constitution in 1938 during a constitutional convention.
The Canal Today:
Continues to be used for commercial shipping albeit in a limited fashion. It is used as a source of water for agricultural purposes, it is used to generate electric through it’s more than 2 dozen hydro-electric power plants scattered throughout the Canal System. The Canal is also used as a very important means of flood control. Today the greatest use of the Canal System relates to tourism. The Erie Canal passes through 5 of NYS’s travel regions. Whether Boating, Bicycling, Hiking or Road Tripping through the Erie Canal System, the opportunities are virtually limitless. The Canalway trail is now more than 75% complete, NY has committed to completing 100% of the trail by 2020. Boaters have access to the 524 miles of waterways, with marinas throughout the system available for transient and seasonal docking or the many communities that open their doors to boaters many with free docking, free electrical, wi-fi, bathrooms and shower facilities. The Cayuga/Seneca connects the Erie Canal to the two largest Finger lakes. From Fishing to Wine tasting those lakes offer boaters and visitors alike world class opportunities for enjoyment.
The Oswego Canal connects the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario and beyond. The Lake Ontario region offers visitors World Class Fishing, and the ability to travel by water to Canada and beyond.
The Champlain Canal region is steeped in history dating back to the formation of the United States. Allowing travelers to transit from the Hudson River to Lake Champlain and onto the Chambly Canal.
The Discover the Erie Canal site has been designed to be the most comprehensive online resource on the Erie Canal. It not only provides travelers who wish to experience the Erie Canal with all the information they need to maximize their trip, but also provides visitors with information on the history, news and events and information on the more than 200 communities that surround the Erie Canal
Locktoberfest is a NYS Canal Corporation sponsored series of events located throughout the Erie Canal corridor. This year is no different with events located in five communities on all 4 sections of the Canal
Lockport located on the western section of the Erie Canal. Locktoberfest in Lockport is scheduled for Sept. 30th from the hours of 12 noon – 6 pm. A celebration of their local heritage, their farms, food, crafts, and community all built on the shores of the Erie Canal. For more info on the event in Lockport visit their web site at www.locktoberfest.org.
Seneca Falls hosts there first annual Locktoberfest celebration on Oct. 7th. The event is scheduled to last all day with vendors, music, food, and boats.
This will be the last weekend of boating on the Canals and Seneca Falls will be the place for boaters as Seneca Falls welcomes boaters with more than 900’ of docking available. Free electric, wi-fi and boater amenity center all make for a great experience while visiting Seneca Falls
Rome, where the first shovel for construction of the canal 200 years ago went into the ground celebrates Locktoberfest on Oct. 7th from 11 am. – 8 pm. Rome celebrates Locktoberfest on the waterfront in Bellamy Harbor. Craft Beer and Wine Tent, Food Trucks, Pony Rides, and celebrate the grand opening of the Navigation Center and the lighting of the Water Tower at 6pm. More info at email@example.com
Phoenix home of the bridge house brats celebrates Locktoberfest on Oct. 7th. Their event runs from 11 am – 8 pm. Visit the Stage Street Food Court which will be featuring over 30 food trucks & vendors offering $1.00 samples and full menus of festival favorites.
Two full Beer & Wine Gardens including NY’s finest craft beers, ciders, wine, slushies, smoothies and more!
Live music will be featured during the event on the Great Outdoors main stage along with acts appearing on their new second stage located on the northern end of State Street.
Countless Crafters and artisans will be on hand selling locally made unique creations!!
Fort Edward on the Champlain Canal celebrates on Oct. 14th. with an all-day event.
Oswego’s Harborfest is a four-day festival which takes place each year on the last full weekend in July and is typically attended by more than 100,000 visitors.
Since its founding in 1988 Harborfest has brought to its stages more than 600 national, regional and local performing artists. The event is spread over 5 different venues throughout the city with shuttle bus service available throughout the event.
This year Harborfest will include more than 50 musical acts, and this year the Harborfest Midway will be returning and so will the classic carnival favorite, the Ferris wheel. Oswego’s own Ferris Wheel Supper Club has offered to sponsor the popular attraction that is sure to draw crowds all weekend long. Strates Shows, America’s only railroad carnival, travels the United States during a seven-month season, transporting personnel and equipment with 61 rail cars and 34 trucks. Traveling with the show are some 400 employees and families who operate the rides, games and concessions. The show and its legacy have been a fixture of Central NY for over six decades and continues the grand tradition with its third trip to Harborfest.
Again, this year you’ll be able to enjoy a Grucci Fireworks show over the Harbor on Saturday Evening. For more information on Harborfest visit their web site at www.oswegoharborfest.com
The city of Oswego is located on the northern terminus of the Oswego Canal, part of the 524 miles of navigable waterways of NYS’s Erie Canal system. If you’re planning a visit to Oswego check out www.visitoswegocounty.com for more information.
The Bicentennial Canal Theatre Project is proud to present on August 18th, at 8pm an outdoor theatre production on the historic Derrick Boat 8 located at the H. Lee White Maritime Museum
The Oswego Canal Play, a one act play written by Oswego native Rick Sivers is based on historical characters that lived in Oswego in the 1830’s, a time when the Erie and Oswego Canals played an important role in the development of American as people migrated west.
One night only, admission is FREE to the public. Bring your own seating, alternative rain-date will be Saturday the 19th.
The event is supported in part by the City of Oswego, The H. Lee White Maritime Museum and Pathfinder Bank. This event is appropriate for the entire family
The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego is proud to host Dr. Dan Ward as part of its 2017 History Lecture Series on Saturday, June 24th at 1:30 pm. Ward is a co-producer of “Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal,” a documentary that tells the story of industrial expansion and decline along the Erie Canal. After a screening of the film, Ward will discuss his upcoming journey with fellow co-producer, Steve Zeitlin, who will be traveling by canal boat from Brooklyn to Buffalo screening “Boom and Bust” in canal ports large and small along the way in celebration of the bicentennial of the Erie Canal’s construction.
Ward is an historian, folklorist and film maker based in Syracuse, NY. He is also a member of the Board of the Canal Society of New York State and serves as the Education Curator for the Canal Society’s newly-opened Old Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron, NY. He holds a Master’s degree from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a PhD in American Culture from Bowling Green State University. Mercedes Niess, Executive Director of the Maritime Museum stated “we have a long history of successful projects with Dan Ward, and are excited to feature him in our exceptional 2017 lineup of speakers.”
The Maritime Museum’s History Lecture Series will also be featuring notable lighthouse author Ted Panayotoff on Saturday, August 5th at 1:30 pm. Panayotoff, longtime Maritime Museum and Oswego Lighthouse supporter, will be presenting on aids-to-navigation along the New York State Canal System, continuing with the Museum’s canal themed lineup.
The Maritime Museum is partnering with the City of Oswego to host a one act play written by local playwright, Richard Sivers. The Oswego Canal Play will take place on Friday August 17th at 8pm. The story will focus on early Oswego Canal life in the 1830’s. This event is also part of the Erie Canal celebration.
This event is free and open to the public. The Maritime Museum and Treasure Chest Gift Shop are open daily, 1-5 pm with expanded hours from 10-5 pm in July and August. For more information regarding this or other Museum programs, contact the Museum at (315) 342-0480, or visit: http://www.hlwmm.org