In-Land Boating in New York
For many years Barbara and I boated on various parts of the Erie Canal, the Finger Lakes, and the Great Lakes. The first is of course man made, and the other two made much earlier by God.
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that travels 363 miles from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of approximately 565 ft. First proposed in 1807, it was under construction from 1817 to 1825 and officially opened on October 26, 1825.
It was the first transportation system between the eastern seaboard (New York City) and the western interior (Great Lakes) of the United States that did not require portage, was faster than carts pulled by draft animals, and cut transport costs by about 95%. The canal fostered a population surge in western New York State, opened regions farther west to settlement, and helped New York City become the chief U.S. port. It is generally understood that the legend “The Empire State” is an adjective directly attributable to the enormous social, economic and political impacts caused by the Erie Canal.
The Erie Canal, now renamed the New York State Barge Canal, has some truly fascinating history and some unique facts. Examples:
- It took 8 years to build the Erie Canal. The original Erie Canal was constructed between 1817 and 1825.
- It is 363 miles long. The canal spans New York State from Albany to Buffalo.
- There are 83 locks to solve the difference in elevation from near sea level on the Hudson River to 565 feet at Lake Erie
This is inland boating at its best!
***This article was written by one of our contributing writers: Malcolm Noden