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.
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
Despite a shortened season and less than excellent weather, a 14% increase in the boat count, 135 in 2016, 156 this year, was noted. Many of our visitors had docked here before, often several times. The presence of the Lois McClure during its state wide tour and the Sam Patch during Pirates Weekend boosted the season’s people count to 527, a remarkable number.
Also noted was the use of the marina for fishing, dog walking and simply enjoying the view. It also appears to be a stop for tour busses. Taking into consideration that the marina is open dawn to dusk every day and that Harbor Hosts are there a maximum of 6 hours a day, these are impressive numbers.
There are two crucial components that make this service continue: the support of local merchants and organizations and the Harbor Hosts, who represent Palmyra for our visitors. Participating this season were the following merchants:
Akropolis Family Restaurant
Brick House Antique Center/ Rug Center
Custom 31 Tee Shirts
Dog Eared Book
Gallery of Styles
Happiness Garden Chinese Restaurant
Hill Cumorah & Other Historic Sites
Lock 29 Grill & Tap Room
Nima’s Italian Restaurant
Palmyra Canal Shop
Towpath Antique Center
Support was provided by:
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission and Foundation
Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site
Museums of Historic Palmyra
New York State Canal Corporation
Village of Palmyra
Wayne County Office of Tourism
Without the Harbor Hosts themselves there would be no program. They make it happen.
Michael Braell Josie Naeye
Bob Daly Patti Rising
Vicky Daly John Robbins
Barbara Furgeson Mary Ann Stager
Carole Hack Deb Trombino
Sparky Hall Pat Wilson
This year we were pleased to have the assistance of twelve LDS couples who were in Palmyra as volunteers at the Mormon Temple. While in Palmyra they are expected to donate time and energy to local worthwhile efforts. We were pleased to be perceived as such. This season was a learning experience but it went well and their time and enthusiasm were appreciated. They would be welcome again in 2018 as would additional local volunteers.
Don’t miss this free, family oriented festival located in the quaint village of Spencerport. There’s plenty to see and enjoy, including unique arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, outstanding live entertainment, and a delectable wine tasting area with farm market stands selling fresh produce and honey. Enjoy a carriage ride on some of Spencerport’s scenic streets. Visit the car show at the American Legion on Trimmer Road where over 200 cars will be on display. Take your children to The Depot Museum where they can play historic games or make a rag doll.
Free parking will be available (TBA), where free shuttles will take you to and from the festival site.
The festival will be open 10 am – 5 pm Saturday, July 28th and Sunday, July 29th.
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.
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.
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.