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Old 12-01-2010, 07:11   #1
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Erie Canal Transit...

Has anyone transited the Erie Canal? Curious about your experience in general..............good time in and of itself?? Or just a passage thru............a press to move on? Would this be the prefered route to the Atalantic?


Cheers,

Steve and Jules
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:21   #2
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Could be a bit rough over Niagra
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:30   #3
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Yeah...........thats for the barrel.

S
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:43   #4
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google "erie canal drop that stick" for an article with photos about cruising the NY State Canal System.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:47   #5
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I have been through about 30 times. Not from Buffalo but from Oswego to Waterford. About 5 locks in the Oswego Canal and then on to the Erie at Three Rivers. It is a wonderful trip and should be taken leisurely. The lockmasters are very helpful and there is a free tie up every stop, some with power. The Canal authorities try to make the trip as pleasant as possible. You go through a part of America that is seldom seen. Off the beaten track, small upstate NY towns, many in decline due to the death of manufacturing but trying to put a new face on. I have not been through in a few years but have fond memories of the little towns and small restaurants and grocery stores and even an occasional butcher shop. A lot more info at their site The New York State Canal System - Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga Seneca Canals

Take your time going through it, bicycles will help you explore.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:05   #6
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I went on a canal trip last summer from Palmyra (where Joe Smith, the founder of the Mormons, had his vision) to Lockport (last locks before Lake Erie). As Vasco says it is very much off the beaten path - very relaxing trip through parts of upstate NY where people still dont lock their houses. The canal is amazingly empty for such a big thing - we went through at the peak of the summer season and probably didnt pass more than a dozen boats a day. The bridge tenders and lock masters are very helpful. You definitely want to get the state Waterway guide which you can find at the website Vasco links to above. It will tell you where to get fuel, where you can plug in, etc.

TAKE LOTS OF FENDERS. The currents in the locks can be pretty intense and the other boats in there with you may or may not stay where they should. Fender boards are a good idea since many of the old walls are pretty rough cement.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:16   #7
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I recall seeing a TV docu a while ago about the pioneers who opened up this route to the Great Lakes and beyond.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:54   #8
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Here is a link to distant shores canuks Paul and Cheryl Shard going through canal. I saw the video, very informative.
Heading South - Erie Canal | None | Distant Shores
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:12   #9
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Great trip! We spent a month cruising the canal on our way south.
Free dockage, lots of historical places to visit, take your time and check
things out.
Have a ball.
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Old 14-01-2010, 22:41   #10
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Erie Canal

Hello,

The Erie Canal is what you make of it. It can be a relaxing trip, taking your time to see most towns along your way, or it can be a boring trip if you try and get as many miles in as possible each day.

The main draw to the canal is that it is different. Its real small towns, friendly people, and dirt cheap! Once you buy a permit, that covers docking at all terminal walls. Depending on where you are they may charge for electric/water/restrooms,etc. Once docked, make your way into town or take a walk/bike ride on the Canalway trail to stretch your legs.

The only people who seem to not like the canal are those in a hurry. Check out the online Erie_Canal guide, it has information that will help. You can enter at Buffalo if coming from Lake Erie or Oswego if Lake Ontario (Oswego Canal to Erie Canal). Both are good.

The only other two options include the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, then either south through Lake Champlain to the Hudson River or straight out to the Atlantic. The Erie Canal is probably your best bet. The Lake Champlain Route, though beautiful is best done in a motorboat (too much canals/rivers) and the straight out is a long way around.
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Old 16-01-2010, 06:39   #11
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does anyone know reliably what is the maximum draft that can be accomodated?
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Old 16-01-2010, 06:59   #12
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"Specified*" Bridge Clearances & Channel Depths:
Minimum Depth: 12 feet
Minimum Bridge Height: 15.5 feet

NY State Canals ➥ New York State Canals: Excursions and Vacations: Boating on the Canal

* Certain natural elements of the system are likely to carry less depth.
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Old 16-01-2010, 12:03   #13
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I dont know what the depth actually is but I do know that many Canadians with a 6 ft. draft routinely use it every year to head south and then back again.
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Old 16-01-2010, 12:26   #14
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The depth is highly variable with high water in spring and llow water in the fall. Boats with 5' 6" draft have occassionally had some difficulty late in the season.
Contact the canal authorities a few weeks before you go and they can
update you. I've known this canal to be closed due to too high water
and low water but its still one of my favourite cruising areas.
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Old 16-01-2010, 12:43   #15
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im trying to plan a passage from the other side of the atlantic. we draw 9' 8"... anyone like to say if this definitely a no go? boatpoker, do you have a contact number for the canal authorities? ive ordered and looked through a few of the lakeland boating books but they dont say for sure what the skinny is on this. it sounds like it would make a nice alternative route out to the atlantic vs the st lawrence.
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