The New York State Canal Corporation today announced that, conditions permitting, all portions of the New York State Canal system are scheduled to open on Friday, May 17, 2024.
This year marks the 200th consecutive season of navigation along New York’s Canals. The 200th anniversary of the original Erie Canal’s completion and opening will be commemorated as the Erie Canal’s bicentennial in 2025.
There are no tolls or fees for recreational use of the Canal system this year.
Additional information about this year’s season, including hours of operation and more details on the Canal Corporation’s continued collaboration with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to mitigate aquatic invasive species, will be issued in subsequent Notices to Mariners.
The Canal system is scheduled to close to navigation on Wednesday, October 16, 2024.
As more information on the hours of operation is made known we will update this article
To report an issue or incident along the Canal system, please call the Canal Corporation’s Emergency Call Center at 833-538-1042.
The E-Houseboat is being designed and built to be the first all-electric propelled and powered houseboat commercially available within the US.
The design team at East Coast Houseboats has been actively working on a completely unique way of building houseboats, and the E-Houseboat will be the first to benefit from this method. ￼
Starting with a fiberglass pontoon platform, the hulls are designed to minimize weight and provide less resistance as it travels down the waterway. The cabin is built completely with lightweight composite materials but without sacrificing the level of year-round comfort that is common to our standard boat designs
East Coast Houseboats has been fortunate enough to partner with marine industry leaders such as Yanmar Mastry and Glendenning Marine to provide the propulsion and control engineering.
The design includes the necessary infrastructure to not only propel the boats, but re-charge it’s battery bank as she plies the Erie Canal in part due to the large rooftop array of lightweight solar panels.
Capitalizing on the latest lithium-Ion battery technology, controls, and propulsion from industry leaders, and including features such as 12v led lighting throughout, 12v refrigeration, 12v HVAC. All of which include products chosen for their ability to be integrated into the overall design and build of the boat.
At 30’ LOA, with a beam of 12’ the E-Houseboat will comfortably accommodate a family or 4 as a cruising houseboat or can be configured as the perfect day boat anchored in a cove.
Looking to design your own version, we can build these boats from 22’ to 30’ and in beams from 10’ to 15’9”. The engineering can be configured to focus less on daily cruising and more on daily living, as an example these boats could be completely off the grid cabins located in remote locations.
Outdoor spaces include a front deck, as well as a large roof deck space perfect for great views and sunsets.
E-One the first boat of its kind is scheduled to launch on the waters of the Erie Canal System in New York during the 2024 Navigation season. The boat during its sea trials will be available for lock tours, boat shows and on the water events throughout the year. E-One will then be available for bareboat charters on the Erie Canal.
1.5 Billion Dollars Generated Annually Through Events Along The Erie Canal
Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor just released a study which shows that an estimated 1.5 billion dollars is generated annually by events such as boat tours, bicycle and paddle-sport rentals and historic site and museum tours along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Events and tours drew more than 3.3 million visitors in 2017
Erie Canalway commissioned this study in part to determine the impacts of tourism throughout the Canal Corridor. The analysis was conducted by Level 7 Market Research and supported by a grant from Market New York through I Love NY.
Over the last 10 years, the number of events along the Canal system has increased dramatically to include concerts, art festivals, cycling and paddling events as well as celebrations of local foods and beverages and events that focus on history and heritage. The NYS Canal Corporation website calendar listed more than 470 events.
The Erie Canal from Waterford to Brewerton is scheduled to open on May 15th. weather permitting with the entire canal system scheduled to open on May 18th.
In 2018 events include the 20th. Anniversary of Cycle The Erie Canal Bike Tour organized by Parks & Trails New York and the cross-canal journey of the Corning Museum of Glass GlassBarge, traveling with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Canal Schooner Lois McClure
For the full Canal Event Analysis and Visitor Research Study, click here.
The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, encompassing the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca, Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more than 230 canal communities. Read the entire report
Four roundtables celebrating the Champlain Canal Centennial have been scheduled for May. Each will feature a presentation, an informational sharing session, networking opportunities and a discussion period.
The roundtables are designed to bring together museum professionals, historical societies, archivists, local historians and community members to foster collaboration and to create unique thematic experiences for visitors
May 4th. 2018 from noon to 3pm. at the Waterford Harbor Visitor Center located at 1 Tugboat Alley, Brad Utter will present Community Building: The Growth of Canal Communities. Brad Utter is Senior Historian / Curator for Science and Technological History at the New York State Museum. His research focuses on the New York State Canal System and its impact on the community. He was curator for the exhibit marking the 200th. anniversary of the canal, Enterprising Waters New York’s Erie Canal
May 8th, 2018 from noon to 3pm, at the Silos, Maple Street, Hudson Falls, Jeanne Williams and Kim Harvish will present Immigration, Industrialization, and Innovation. Jeanne Williams is Executive Director of the Feeder Canal Alliance and Kim Harvish is educator at the Chapman Historical Museum. Williams focuses on the past, present, and future of the Feeder Canal that was once the economic engine of the area. Harvish uses the resources of the Chapman Historical Museum to integrate local history into programs that incorporate visual literacy components and primary documents
May 17th. 2018 from noon to 3pm. at the Schuyler Room of the Saratoga Town Hall 12 Spring Street Schuylerville. Craig Williams will present Building the Champlain Barge Canal: Treasurers in the NYS Archives. Craig Williams is a retired senior historian at the New York State Museum and a trustee of the Canal Society of New York State. He has spent over 50 years researching and documenting New York’s canal heritage. Using the unique resources of the New York State Archives along with oral histories. Williams will present stories about the engineering achievements and the people involved in the construction of the Champlain Canal.
May 19th. 2018 from 1pm. to 4pm. at the Crandall Public Library, 251 Glen St. Glens Falls. Erica Wolfe Burke will present Researching the People of the Feeder Canal. Erica Wolfe Burke is an archivist and special collections librarian at the Folklife Center at the Crandall Public Library. She assists families and genealogists researching upstate New York ancestry and has offered a series of family history workshops. Her presentation will culminate in a community archiving event with the Folklife Center as the repository for the images shared.
Preregistration is required for all events. $15 includes material and lunch. “Researching the People of the Feeder Canal” is free and does not include lunch.
Each year to correspond with Earth Day, communities and organizations up and down the Canal organize to clean the banks of the Canal This year 38 separate events are scheduled. This event now in it’s 8th. year continues to grow in size.
To learn more about all the events along the Canal visit the https://www.ptny.org/events/canal-clean-sweep
Barge Canal Centennial Celebrations Planned For Rochester
We currently travel on the third generation of the Erie Canal, commonly referred to as the “Barge Canal” 2018 celebrates the centennial of the opening of this version of the Canal system. The fact that we travel today on infrastructure designed and built 100 years ago is a great testament to the engineers and builders of the Barge Canal and the foresight of NYS to embark of its construction
The Canal Society of New York State in conjunction with the New York State Canal Corp and in partnership with the Centennial Celebration Committee are hosting two events to mark the centennial opening of the Erie Barge Canal in 2018.
When: Saturday May 5th. Canal Conversation & Symposium
Join the conversation at this daylong public forum in which presenters discuss canal history and its continued value today and for the future. Registration $40, includes breakfast, coffee breaks and lunch.
Thursday May 10th. Centennial Celebration: Watering of the Erie Barge Canal
East Guard Lock just west of Kendrick Rd.
Witness the re-creation of the first inflow of water into the 20th century Erie Canal as “Teddy Roosevelt” sponsors, and other dignitaries greet the public and ceremoniously commemorate the event using the authentic shovel used 100 years ago on May 10th. 1918. Dignitaries will also unveil a bronze plaque to celebrate the designation of the NYS Canal System as a National Historic Landmark. FREE
Canal by Coach Tour: Following the festivities join Canal Society of New York State President Emeritus Tom Grasso and other experts for a guided tour by motor coach of the remarkable canal sites in eastern Monroe County Registration: $60. Includes lunch, bus, printed guide and more.
On the morning of May 10th. 1918 a group of engineers, contractors, workers and a few prominent citizens gathered on the east side of the Genesee River in Genesee Valley Park to inaugurate a monumental, audacious and revolutionary accomplishment in New York State’s long and storied canal history. Water for the first time was let into the newly completed expansion of the Erie Canal or “Teddy Roosevelts Ditch”. Five days later the new Erie-Barge Canal was opened for through traffic from the Great Lakes to the Hudson River. A new era had begun.
Sponsors: New York State Canal Corporation, Canal Society of New York State, Create a Brand, City of Rochester, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Bergman Associates, and John & Eve Graham.
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
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
History in your Backyard Series: A behind the scenes look at the Revolutionary War
History in Your Backyard Series: A behind the scenes look at the Revolutionary War
We make history fun and exciting!
Have you ever wanted to get an insider’s look into history? Would you like to see recently uncovered artifacts that provide insight into the region’s long history, explore a historic home that served as a Revolutionary War field hospital, or interact with a “real” soldiers at a military encampment? You can do all of this plus enjoy wine tasting, take a boat ride, and enjoy an incredible local farm to table lunch just by signing up at www.akibatravel.com. This inaugural guided tour will take you to of some of the region’s hidden gems for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Learn archaeologist’s techniques and view recently discovered artifacts from the Revolutionary War era; experience harsh camp life of Revolutionary War soldiers at Saratoga Battlefield’s Annual Encampment; take a boat cruise on the historic Champlain Canal; and, discover the unmarked destinations and under-told stories that provide a new look into our region’s past. We will even visit a historic home that was once a Revolutionary War field hospital and view remnants of blood stained floors, a 1777 cannon ball lodged in a beam, and the basement where the Baroness Riedesel, wife of the General Riedesel hid with her three children during the siege.
This day-long trip will begin at 8:30AM at 12 Spring St. Schuylerville, NY, and return by 5:00PM. Farm-to-table lunch is included in the price with an add-on option for a dinner reception after the tour. Cost is $75 per person. Price includes: transportation, boat ride, guides, lunch, access to all attractions and more.