The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal

About:

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.

 

Facts:

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.

 

 

History:

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 on the Erie Canal

Locktoberfest

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 info@romechamber.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.

Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises

While the Erie Canal is busy celebrating its 200th birthday, Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises is celebrating its 30th year of providing visitors to the Erie Canal a great opportunity to get out on the water on one of their cruise boats. In addition, if you’re looking for a venue for a company event or a wedding you won’t need to look any further.

Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises was started by Mike and Sharon Murphy back in 1987. They started with two pontoon boats and a dream. The business has been built to be one of Niagara County’s most popular tourist attractions, and with the acquisition of their property located at 210 Market Street in Lockport, the company can boast having one of Western New York’s most unique banquet and meeting facility.

The main building, originally built in the 1840’s was renovated to resemble an 1800’s Canal Town and with over 100 windows overlooking the historic Erie Canal, the Canalside which is open year-round and houses banquet and meeting space for over 200, a café, gift shop and outdoor landscaped picnic area with 100’foot shelter that can accommodate another 300 people.

The original stone walls are the remains of what was once Niagara Preserving Company one of the first companies to effectively preserve food in metal containers. The property at one time was also home to the Western Block Company, a business that manufactured block and tackle for pulleys used on canal boats. Many of the original artifacts can still be found throughout the spacious building.

Across the parking lot from the main building stands a 4-story stone building also built in the 1840’s. The building was a flour mill that used water from the Erie Canal as its main power source. The water was brought down an open aqueduct, known as a raceway which was used to power the waterwheel. The remains of the raceway can be seen in the sheltered picnic are. The excess water was then discharged into a spillway which was adjacent to the building.

Today the spillway still caries water under the Canal into an 18-mile creek and on to Lake Ontario. The building still in it’s original condition serves as the Lockport & Erie Canal Heritage Museum with hands-on canal related exhibits, a working model of a lock and many interesting and educational displays and artifacts.

Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises is located Canalside at 210 Market St. Lockport NY (716) 433-6155

 

Cruising The Erie Canal From Lyons

Cruising the Erie Canal from Lyons

On Saturday August 26 and Sunday, August 27, The Lyons Rotary and the Lyons Erie Canalway Greeters are sponsoring 3 Erie Canal Cruises. Passengers will travel aboard the 48 passenger Seneca Lake Reel Tours tour boat and will depart from the Lyons dock behind the fire Department Building.

On Saturday, narrated tours of 1 ½ hours will leave the dock at 4 and 7 PM. Heading west, passengers will experience 2 locks and have a “from the water view” of the location of the former NYS Canal Corp Port, the original Clinton’s Ditch, the Hotchkiss Essential Oil Peppermint Museum, Dobbin’s Park and the first Mural Mania, the Enlarged Erie aqueduct remains, the NYS Canal Corp Drydock, and the location of the double chambered Lock E 56 and canal store. Passengers will also receive a short instruction on the operation of Locks!

Heading east, passengers will then view the former Chevron Asphalt Barge landing, last used in 1990, view the location of a recently sunken sailboat, and see Creagers’s Bridge from the water. A cash bar, beverages, and munchies will be available. Ticket prices are $20.00 adult and $15.00 child for the 4 PM cruise, and $25.00 per person for the adult 7 PM cruise.

On Sunday, the narrated cruise will leave the dock at 10:00 AM and cruise to Stiver’s Seneca Marine, adjacent to the Crow’s Nest. Passengers will experience 3 canals- the Erie Barge, The Seneca, and the Cayuga- Seneca. They will “lock through” 6 locks, including the double lock in Seneca Falls.

On Sunday, passengers will travel west from Lyons, cruise under Creager’s Bridge, cruise under the lowest bridge on the Western Erie Canal just east of Clyde, cruise through the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, witness Bald Eagle nests, see the world famous Richmond/ Montezuma Aqueduct remains, glide across Van Cleef Lake, view the world famous Trinity Church, and pass under Bailey’s Bridge, featured in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

A cash bar, beverages, and munchies will be available. Cruise will last approximately 4 ½ hours. A continental breakfast and return transportation to Lyons are included in the ticket price of $65.00 per person…. For tickets or information, please contact Rotarian Keith Bridger (315-945-316) or Canalway Greeter Bob Stopper (315-573-1068). Tickets are also available at Dobbins Drug Store and Lyons National Bank in Lyons.

  

Thank You: Robert Stopper  rastopper@gmail.com       H: 315-946-6224       C: 315-573-1068

Canal Splash

Canal Splash

Celebrate the history, culture, recreational appeal, and beauty of the New York State Canal System and Erie Canalway Trail during the 10 days of Canal Splash!

Friday, August 11 – Sunday, August 20, 2017

Canal Splash! is a coordinated series of locally organized events and activities, that take place along the Canal System and Canalway Trail, including nature and history walks, museum and gallery exhibits, rowing regattas, kayak and canoe outings, musical performances, boat tours and more.

 

Brockport Arts Festival

Event Location: Main Street Brockport

Event Date: August 12-13th, 2017

Event Time:   10am. – 6pm

Event Cost:   FREE

Event Description: The Brockport Arts Festival is an arts and crafts fair with loads of very talented artisans, a variety of foods, music, wines and beers. It takes place on Main Street in Brockport, a classic Victorian Village by the Erie Canal.

For More Information: http://www.brockportartsfestival.com

 

Lockapalooza

Event Location: Lock 32 Whitewater Park

Event Date:   August 19th, 2017

Event Time: 9:30 am – 8:30 pm.

Event Description: One of the largest Whitewater competitions in Central New York. Watch paddlers from around the region compete in Whitewater Kayaking events.

For More Information: (585) 329-6266 or http://www.lock32.com/lockapalooza.html

 

Palmyra Pirate Weekend

Event Location:   East Main Street Palmyra

Event Date:   August 11th – 12th.

Event Cost:   FREE

Event Description: Pirates of the Erie Canal invade the Village and Port of Palmyra during the 10th annual Pirate Weekend Aug. 11th & 12th. Friday night movie at dusk: The Princess Bride. Saturday Bed Racing, 5K, vendors, food, wine tasting, music, parade, Treasure Hunt and Games, Canal Trail tours, Pirate tales and museum tours.

For More Information   (585) 368-8081 or Palmyra Pirate Weekend

 

 

Wayne County Fair

Event Location:   300 W. Jackson St.

Event Date:   August 14th – 19th.

Event Time: Events start at 9 am.

Event Cost: Admission $5 Adults-17and older, $3 youth ages 6-16 ages 5 and under FREE

Event Description: Horse Races, Music, Food and Family Fun.

For More Information: www.waynecountyfair.org

 

Sylvan Beach Canalfest

Event Location: Village Park, Sylvan Beach

Event Date: August 11th-13th.

Event Time: Friday 6pm. – 10 pm. Saturday 9 am. – 9:30 pm. Sunday 9 am.- 7:30 pm

Event Cost: FREE

Event Description: Join us at our annual Canal Fest. Great fun throughout the weekend. Enjoy free entertainment throughout the weekend with crafters, vendors, entertainment in the Village Park. Events include the Waterski Show, and concerts.

For More Information: http://www.sylvanbeachny.com/canal-fest

 

Herkimer County Fair

Event Location: Herkimer County Fair Ground

Event Date: August 15th – 20th.

Event Time: Tuesday 3 pm.-10:30 pm. Wednesday – Friday 9:30 am. – 9:30 pm. Saturday 9:00 am. – 9:30 pm.

Event Cost: Adults $10.00, Children 5 – 12 $3.00 Children under 5 FREE

Event Description: Demolition Derby, Tractor and Truck Pulls, Pageant and Junior Pagaen, Talent Showcase, Horse Show, Live Music and Fireworks.

For More Information: (315) 895-7464 http://www.herkimercountyfair.org

 

River Through Time Festival

Event Location: Haslett Park Fort Plain NY

Event Date: August 12th, 2017

Event Time: 12 noon – 4 pm.

Event Cost: FREE

Event Description: Come for an afternoon of live music, food and fun in Fort Plain.

For More Information: http://mohwakvalleycollective.com/upcoming-events

 

Taste and Tunes

Event Location: Generations Bank, 20 E. Bayard St. Seneca Falls NY 13148

Event Date: August 18th. 2017

Event Time: 6 – 9 pm.

Event Description: In Seneca County alone there are more than 3700 families in need that depend on the Seneca County House of Concern, the Seneca Falls Backpack Program and Trevor’s Gift. These organizations rely on our support as community members and business owners to help them be successful to their cause. On Friday, August 18th. 2017 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 we will be holding the 3rd. Annual Taste & Tunes Festival which features local wineries, breweries, restaurants and musicians to benefit these local charities.

For More Information: (315) 568-1151 http://directory.fingerlakesgateway.com/events/details/taste-time-3585

 

 

Spencerport Heritage Days

Spencerport Heritage Day August 19th – 10am-3pm

Take a step back in time! Spencerport Heritage Day is in its third year.  This event is the official August event on the Ogden Bicentennial/Spencerport Sesquicentennial celebrations calendar.   It is a day of celebrating history and looking back at how we used to live and what items looked like in the past.   We have spinning and yarning demonstrations, a variety of displays, historic games and activities to suit people young and old. We will have bands playing all day.  The Golden Eagles String Band will be entertaining us with their Folk songs and Erie Canal songs from 10am-12pm.  From 1pm-3pm, The Crawdiddies, an Americana Band will be performing for us.

All Day Events include:

Displays and Demos

Before and After Photos Spinning and Weaving

Old Tools Ogden Historical Display

Spencerport Fire Pumper

Entertainment 10am-12pm Golden Eagles String Band 1pm-3pm The Crawdiddies

Activities

Historic Games Yarn Doll Making

Toy and Musical Instrument Making

Writing with a Quill Pen

Historic Spencerport Village Walks

Fishing on the Canal FREE ENTRY Snacks and Refreshments on Sale For more info, please call Simon on (585) 352-0942

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“This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts at the Livingston Arts Center, a member supported organization.”

First Ever “Taste of Wayne County” to be held in Newark

First Ever “Taste of Wayne County” to Be Held in Newark

The Village of Newark, the Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce, and the Wayne County Farm Bureau have joined forces to host the first ever Taste of Wayne County. This exciting outdoor event will be held on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 from 4:30 to 8:30 PM along VanBuren Street from Main Street to East Avenue, and in the T. Spencer Knight Canal Park.

The Taste of Wayne County was created to showcase vendors, restaurants, and other food and drink related businesses solely from Wayne County through samples of their “signature” dishes, food products, or beverages. This community event will coincide with VoteTilla, a week long navigational celebration that will take place along the Erie Canal from July 17-22, 2017, starting from Seneca Falls and ending in Rochester with a parade and celebration at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Their stop in Newark will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State with a historical reenactment. Additional entertainment will include music from Frankie and Jewels from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

 

Pre-sale tickets are $10 for 15 samples, or $1 per sample at the door. The first 300 event goers will receive a free “swag bag”. For more information regarding how to participate or attend this event, please contact the Greater Newark Chamber of Commerce office at 315-331-2705 or via email: support@newarkchamber.org.

 

 

Palmyra Canal Town Days

Don’t miss one of the best of events as summer comes to an end. The 50th annual Palmyra Canal Town Days is once again being held on Sept. 16th from 10am – 6 pm. and on Sunday Sept. 17th. from 10am – 4pm. With vendors of all types, Bands, Pony Rides, Car Show, 5k Run / walk, Civil War Reenactors, Antiques, Grand Parade, Barn Dance sponsored by the Wayne County Fair Association. CanalPoster2017

 

Car show-Saturday at 11am. (rain date Sunday) Grand Parade on Main Street, Saturday at 4pm.

Barn Dance at the Fairgrounds-Saturday at 7pm.

Visit www.palmyracanaltowndays.org

Historic Palmyra’s Pirate Weekend Aug. 11th & 12th!

Historic Palmyra’s Pirate Weekend is all set for Friday & Saturday August 11th & 12th. The Pirates of the Erie Canal invade the Port of Palmyra Marina and other venues throughout the Village of Palmyra, bearing a boatload of fun for all ages. A full weekend of adventure and action is planned including: FREE Movie in the park on Friday night at Dusk. (Princess Bride…new for this year!!!) On Saturday, a Pirate Regatta Bed Race, Pirate & Kazoo Band Parade, Painted windows along Main St., BIG Vehicles to climb, Chicken BBQ, Canal Boat Rides, Dunking booth, Old time photos, (We’ll let you borrow pirate gear if you don’t have any!) Vendors and Artisans. Puppy Parade, Historic Palmyra Museums and Walking tours, pirate tales, live music, food, and artisan vendors, children’s games, Healthy Living Treasure Hunt’ Jolly Roger 5K race (to benefit Pal-Mac Select Choir!) and much more. Dress Like A Pirate and join the parade!! Don’t forget to bring home some swag from the Pirates Bazaar, a sidewalk sales extravaganza from Palmyra’s Main Street merchants. Pre-Built pirate beds available to borrow for the bed-race-teams of 5, age 16 years and older please. Visit www.eriecanalpirates.com for details and complete schedule of call William Unterborn at (585)368-8081