Feature Friday - Erie Canal

Erie Canal

After visiting Niagara Falls, we stopped in Lockport, New York to take a boat trip on the famous Erie Canal. Cruises are about 2 hours long and go through a couple of the locks. They are narrated so you learn a lot of interesting information during your excursion.


The Erie Canal is part of the east-west, cross-state route of the New York Canal System.

Construction began July 4, 1817 at Rome, New York.

It was completed October 26, 1825.


The Erie Canal begins at the Hudson River near Albany (Waterford), New York and ends at the Niagara River near Buffalo, New York. It originally ran about 363 miles or 584 kilometers.

It takes approximately 7 days to cruise through the canal.

There were 36 locks along the canal and the elevation differential is about 566 feet or 172 meters. The present canal has 35 locks from tide-water level at Troy, through the Mohawk Valley to Rome, 420 feet above sea-level.


It was faster than carts pulled by draft animals and cut costs of transportation by 95% back in the day. Boats were pulled by horses and mules on the towpath. It was still a slow means of travel but using the canal did shrink time and distance for transporting goods.

1855 was its peak year with 33,000 commercial shipments taking place.

In 2000, it was designated the Erie Canal Heritage Corridor.

By 1994, the canal saw mostly recreational boats and ships but there has been a surge in commercial traffic since 2008.

The original song, Low Bridge, has also been referred to as Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal. That was the number of miles the mules and horses walked in a day.


Links of Interest:

The Erie Canal - http://eriecanal.org/

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor - http://www.eriecanalway.org/

Erie Canal Song - http://www.eriecanalsong.com/

Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises - http://lockportlocks.com/cruisesch.php


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