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

Plans announced to close gap in Erie Canalway Trail in Onondaga County


New York state has released a concept plan that closes the gap in the Erie Canalway Trail System between Camillus and DeWitt. It would extend the recreation trail through an urban area.

From the start, bridging the 14-mile gap has been the most challenging part of creating a seamless trail that closely follows the path of the Erie Canal.

“This segment of the trail goes through the most heavily urbanized areas of Onondaga County,” said Town of DeWitt planner Sam Gordon.

Gordon says there are several elements of the Elevating Erie concept plan that addresses that, but the most visible is arguably a multi-use, landscaped trail and green space running down the center median of Erie boulevard from Syracuse into DeWitt. It’s something that could ultimately change the traffic pattern of a road that was once a main thoroughfare from DeWitt into Syracuse.

“Erie Boulevard itself was designed before 690 was built,” Gordon said.” So there is a lot of excess capacity along Erie Boulevard East. And part of this project will investigate reducing the number of travel lanes.”

Other aspects of what the state is calling the Elevating Erie Concept Plan include a trail bridge over 481 near the Butternut Creek Canal Park and connecting downtown to Onondaga County’s Loop the Lake trail. 

Lawmakers have approved spending almost $22 million to complete the trail as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Empire State Trail initiative. The project still needs final approval and there are opportunities for public input. Plans are for construction to begin next year so the trail would be in place by 2020.

Article originally written by Ellen Abbott


Cycle the Erie Canal Tour

Did you resolve to spend more time outside in 2018? We’ve got the perfect way for you to achieve your resolution! Join us July 8-15 for Parks & Trails New York’s 20th annual Cycle the Erie Canal tour. The tour offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America.. The tour offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience great cycling while taking in the rich history of the legendary canal that helped transform America. Sign up today to join over 600 cyclists ride across New York this summer along the historic Erie Canal, which is celebrating its 200th birthday this year.

This year, the Cycle the Erie Canal tour offers:     2-Day and 4-Day Options: You can still enjoy a cycling adventure even if you can’t make the entire 8-day trip. Weekend and 4-day options allow you to fit a world class cycling experience into your busy schedule. These shorter options are great for families as well. Return Shuttle: Riders from Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and points west will be happy to hear we’ll once again be offering our return shuttle from Albany to Buffalo at the end of the ride to make your vacation relaxing and worry free from start to finish. Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for only $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and help PTNY promote the Erie Canalway Trail and bicycle tourism! Registration includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer jersey and guidebook and special recognition on the tour. Learn more. If you have any questions about Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or email [email protected]. Also, check out our Cycle the Erie Canal website to learn more about all the Erie Canalway Trail has to offer.

Town of Niskayuna Cuts Ribbon on New Bike Hike Trail Extension


Town Has Completed Two Extensions in 2017 and Has Three Projects Planned for 2018

Posted on: November 3, 2017 – 5:00pm

Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry and Town Board Members John Della Ratta, Lisa Weber, and Bill McPartlon cut the ribbon for the new Flower Hill Multi-Use Path Connection, located at the end of Flower Hill Ct off of Pinecrest Drive. The Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail has over 263,757 trips a year in portions of Niskayuna. 

The Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike trail is a regional multi-use trail that traverses the Town and provides an important transportation alternative and recreational resource that connects a number of residential neighbors with parks and work destinations. The Flower Hill Multi-Use Path Connection was identified by Niskayuna Safe Routes Committee as a high priority project

EERIE HALLOWEEN! At The Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum

While the Erie Canal has closed for the season the events keep coming and at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum Museum October is full of events starting with pumpkin carving on Oct. 19th. & 20th.


                Thursday Oct. 19th. 5pm-7pm

                Friday Oct. 20th. 5pm-7pm


Deadlines to attend for free is Oct. 18th. noon for Oct. 19th. Carving night and Oct. 19th. by noon for Oct. 20th. Carving Night.

For more information on Carving Night contact Sullivan Parks and Recreation to sign up (315) 687-3471

Or https://sullivan.recdesk.com

One free pumpkin per family member, food and drinks will be provided. Event is free for those who register by above deadlines or $5.00 per family at the door. All pumpkins carved will be entered into the pumpkin carving contest and placed on the Candlelit Pumpkin Path for all to see at the Eerie Halloween

1 free pumpkin per family member, food and drinks will be provided. Event is free for those who register by above deadlines, or $5.00 per family at the door. All pumpkins carved will be entered into the Pumpkin Carving Contest and placed on the Candlelit Pumpkin Path for all to see.

Eerie Halloween Family Fun Event!!!


            Saturday, October 21st. 2017

            3:00pm – 7:00pm


Bring the family out for this family-friendly event that is sure to be a new favorite tradition. Event will be held rain or shine, with events happening both indoors and outdoors. Please dress for the weather conditions

            *Pumpkin Carving Contest * Haunted House * Scavenger Hunt *Costume Contest

            *Crafts *Refreshments (for purchase) *Candlelit Pumpkin Path * Blacksmith Demos

Come out and join us in some community spirit, fellowship and fundraising at this year’s  Eerie Canal Towpath Run Best Costume Awards for runners and walkers!!

Come out and join us in some community spirit, fellowship and fundraising at this year’s event.

Time: 11 am – 2:30 pm on Sat. (3.5 hr. cut off time) 11 am. 15 mile run start, 11:30 am 5K start. 11:45 2-mile walk starts.

Registration and packet pick up: 9:30am-10:45am on 10/21/17

The run is hosted by Chittenango Rotary Club, Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum and the town of Sullivan Parks and Recreation Department and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.





The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal


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  

New Shuttle Service For Cyclists On The Erie Canal

A new shuttle is available for cycle tourists visiting the Erie Canal Corridor. Erie Canal Bike Shuttle is poised to bring more visitors than ever to the wonderful 360 mile Canalway trail and all that it has to offer. With promotions like Bike and Stay packages in addition to daily cyclist shuttle transport, this much-needed service brings cyclists of all abilities to the fun and adventure of the Canal.

“There is something for everyone here, great local flavor, rich history, beautiful scenery and tons of attractions for both kids and adults. I fell in love with the area and quickly realized that cycle touring was one of the best ways to take it all in, however not necessarily the easiest” said Diane Kolifrath, owner of Erie Canal Bike Shuttle. “Our goal is to make it fun and easy for people to plan an exciting multi-day vacation on the Canalway trail. We’ve been designing trips for cyclists of all abilities as well as putting together an incredible pocket guide with detailed maps and merchant listings that connect visitors with accommodations, restaurants, attractions and events.”

With a variety of shuttle options and prices, and tour packages starting at $125, Erie Canal Bike Shuttle is dedicated to making the Erie Canal a vacation destination that everyone can afford. For Shuttle reservations, tour package or other cycling information, visit www.gobikeerie.com.

19th Annual Erie Canal Bike Tour Buffalo to Albany

Join Cyclists from around the country and the world from July 7th through July 16th. for Parks & Trails New York  19th annual Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour. Each year this event grows in popularity as Bicyclists gather to enjoy this unique cycling experience.

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