Description - Explore America’s most famous and influential man-made waterway along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Stretching 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, the Erie, champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals are among our nation’s great successes of engineering, vision, hard work, and sacrifice.
The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor encompasses New York’s canal system and the communities that grew along its shores. It’s a place with stories to tell, great works of architecture to see, history to be learned, and hundreds of miles of scenic and recreational waterway and trails to explore.
Whether you travel 15 miles or 500, there’s much to discover on the waterway that shaped our nation.
- Within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor are many historical and cultural destinations that interpret the life and times of the canals as well as the unique natural features in the region. The Canalway Corridor offers a wide range of exciting features and activities to suit everyone’s interests including boating, canal trails, natural areas, and cultural events.
Be sure to visit the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Visitor Center at Peebles Island State Park in Waterford, NY. It is open weekends from May to October and daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The hours of operation are 10am-5pm and you can contact the Visitor Center by calling 518-237-7000, ext. 206.
Recreation - Recreational Activities along the canalway include
Water Sports, and
Winter Sports. there is a Visitor Center
Climate - New York experiences four distinct seasons, with spring and fall being the most pleasant times to travel through the region. Humidity in the southeastern areas of the state can make summer travel uncomfortable, although many festivals and special events occur during that season. Summer highs in the lower elevations of New York usually don't surpass 90 degrees F. Thunderstorms occur a few times a week and can bring needed relief from the heat.
Several interstate highways cross the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The New York State Thruway (I-90) roughly parallels the Erie Canalway route from Albany to Buffalo.
Perhaps the best way to explore canal country by car is along state and county roads that hug the water more closely and thread through the hamlets, villages, and cities that grew along the waterways. These are:
NY Rt. 31 in western New York,
NY Rt. 5 and 5S in the east,
NY Rt. 481 along the Oswego,
...and a host of smaller roads in between them.
The Lakes to Locks Passage along the Champlain Canal and the Mohawk Towpath along the eastern end of Lake Erie have been designated National Scenic Byways.