With traditional summer vacation plans on hold, the New York Canal Corporation created six unique itineraries across the Canal system highlighting opportunities for New Yorkers to get outside and get moving, safely and close to home.
The NY Canal Staycations program gives New Yorkers the chance to hike, bike, swim, and paddle while enjoying the iconic canals, celebrating our state’s history, and supporting canalside businesses. Visitors can sample local favorites—from pizzas to ice cream to gluten free baked goods and local craft brews—just steps from the Empire State Trail.
Just recently, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul got out on the water at Chittenango Landing, taking advantage of one of the program’s free kayaking excursions. After the trip, she encouraged New Yorkers to take advantage of the chance to experience the program for themselves: “It’s exhilarating and clears the head – something we all need right now.”
These programs—many of which are free—run through Labor Day. More information and contact information for reservations can be found at www.canals.ny.gov/canalstaycations.
The Champlain Trifecta: Hike, Bike and Paddle Schuylerville and Saratoga
Visit one of New York’s most historic villages—Schuylerville, on the banks of the Champlain Canal—and learn about how its residents helped shape the history of our country. Stroll through nearby Saratoga Springs to hike the pristine trails and experience storied mineral springs in Saratoga Spa State Park or enjoy Saratoga Lake via kayak or Brown’s Beach. After these outside excursions, stop at local award-winning breweries and restaurants overlooking the water.
Paddle-Peddle the Mohawk: Schenectady and Niskayuna
The Lower Mohawk offers endless outdoor recreation opportunities right along the banks of the Erie Canal. Visitors can take in nearby landmarks such as the Historic Stockade District and the Rose Garden at Central Park in Schenectady. For dinner, head to the Mohawk Harbor for unique restaurants on the waterfront.
Creek to Canal: Paddle the Tonawandas
The Tonawandas has it all: crystalline blue waters, the confluence of the Erie Canal, Niagara River and Ellicott Creek and the nearby Niagara Falls, one of our greatest national treasures. Historic bridges arch over the waterways to Gateway Harbor, knitting together two waterside communities. Visitors can explore this active waterfront area by canoe, kayak or water bike, while those interested in New York’s industrial heritage can visit the Wurlitzer Organ Factory Building and Remington Lofts and Tavern.
The History Lap: Bike and Paddle the Old Erie Canal in Chittenango Landing
From biking and kayaking to a whole host of family-friendly attractions, the Old Erie Canal Historic State Park offers opportunities to learn about the waterway’s history, celebrate its iconic infrastructure, and enjoy biking along the Empire State Trail. Start at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum to see watercrafts of the past, explore the dry dock complex and trails, and watch blacksmiths demonstrate their craft on the shores of the Old Erie Canal.
In Search of Seneca Falls: Paddle the Cayuga-Seneca Canal
The Seneca Falls region has been home to some of our country’s most iconic events, from the first women’s rights convention to Jimmy Stewart’s famous walk across the George Bailey Bridge in the film It’s a Wonderful Life. Explore the scenic trails of the Finger Lakes region, and take advantage of opportunities to get on the water—including a history tour by kayak along the Seneca Falls waterfront and Van Cleef Lake.
The Confluence: Bikes, Boats and Beer along the Genesee River and Erie Canal
The confluence of the Genesee River and the Erie Canal is a hub of hiking, biking, and kayaking in and along beautiful local parks: explore the creeks of Genesee Valley Park by boat, bike by the Genesee Falls and Court Street Dam, and check out some of the area’s many waterside dining options and local breweries between Rochester, Pittsford, and Fairport.