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The New York State Canal System


The 524-mi./843-km. New York State Canal System consist of four canals with 57 locks and 16 lift bridges. Here is a rundown of the four canals.


The Erie Canal--363 mi./584 km., runs between Lake Erie to the west and the Hudson River to the east. The canal averages 125 ft./38 m. wide and at least 12 ft./4 m. deep and has 34 locks. It passes through Oneida Lake. Designated a National Historic Landmark.


The Champlain Canal--60 mi./96.5 km., from the Hudson River north to Whitehall.


The Oswego Canal--24 mi./38.6 km., from the Erie Canal at Three Rivers Point to Lake Ontario and beyond.


Seneca Falls Harbor in Seneca Falls, New York USA. Seneca Falls is on the Seneca-Cayuga Canal in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York.The Cayuga-Seneca Canal--from the Erie Canal near Montezuma south to Cayuga Lake and west to Seneca Lake.


Two of these four canals--the Erie and the Cayuga-Seneca--are in the Finger Lakes. These two canals provide a wealth of recreational opportunities from boating, canoeing, kayaking, sailboarding, and other water sports, to hiking, biking, and other land-based forms of recreation along the Canalway Trail.

Dates of Operation

The Canal System is open from May 1 through November 15, weather permitting. For specific hours of operation visit http://www.canals.ny.gov/news/notices/index.shtml.

Pull the Plug Regatta

When: Last Saturday before the Erie Canal is drained in November.

Where: On the Erie Canal, Pittsford, NY 14534

Contact: 585-381-9560

A 4110-meter/2.2-mile race with crews in various categories on the Erie Canal to celebrate the end of the canal season. The entire race can be viewed from the canal towpath. Food tent. Sponsored by the Pittsford Crew


The State of New York has published The Cruising Guide to the New York State Canal System. This 185-page guide has information about marinas, bridge clearances, the Canalway Trail, as well as maps. The guide is $19.95 and can be purchased at www.canals.ny.gov/exvac/cguide.


For information about the Canal System and to purchase canal passes, visit www.canals.ny.gov.



Updated 30 August 2011








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