Old Erie Canal Trail hosts seasonal fun

The Erie Canal in New York State is a 363-mile man-made waterway started in 1817 and finished in 1825 and celebrated the commencement of its bicentennial in 2017. The canal was built to allow mule and horse-drawn packet boats to haul materials on the east-west travel route between Buffalo and Albany.

The original canal was enlarged three times and eventually re-aligned in places to form the current NYS Canal System, managed by the NYS Canal Corporation and used by newer, larger shipping vessels. But part of the original canal east of Syracuse and its towpath, where the mules and horses historically walked along the water, is still there, with a trail on one side or both and is known today as Old Erie Canal State Park.

Old Erie Canal State Park is a 36-mile stretch at the heart of the 360-mile cross-state Erie Canalway Trail, which follows the alignment of the present day as well as the historic Erie Canal and is open to multiple user groups. And, soon, the Erie Canalway Trail will be part of the statewide Empire State Trail, a 750-mile connecting trail from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo, which is slated to be finished in 2020 as announced by Gov. Cuomo in 2017.

The Old Erie Canal State Park trail is one of the key connection points for local snowmobile clubs. The waterway portion along the Old Erie Canal State Park is navigable by canoe and kayak for short segments throughout, and offers many fishing access points as well. Several footbridges afford glimpses of remnants of the many old stone canal aqueducts.

Learn more here…


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