This summer, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Canal Corporation are taking Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals initiative to a whole new level. Following the success of last year’s “NY Canal Staycations” program, which featured kayaking on the Canal system and cycling on the Empire State Trail, NYPA and the Canal Corporation have teamed up with local vendors to expand and rebrand the program with several new offerings and unique recreational opportunities.
Enter “On the Canals” excursions – a free, recreational program offering unique opportunities to experience the outdoors on the New York State Canal system and the adjoining Empire State Trail. This brand-new program, launched in June, highlights six, free outdoor excursions in the five canalside communities of Medina, Macedon, Waterloo, Savannah, and Amsterdam.
The itinerary for “On the Canals” includes guided kayak and hydrobike tours on the Erie Canal at the Medina Canal Basin, guided fishing excursions on Glenwood Lake to see Medina Falls and the historic aqueduct, paddling on the Erie Canal and pedaling along the Empire State Trail in Macedon, a bike and water taxi loop via the Cayuga-Seneca Trail and Cayuga-Seneca Canal, guided birding tours via kayak in the Montezuma Wetlands, and an opportunity to take a trip between Port Jackson and the historic Yankee Hill Lock via bike and kayak.
In addition to the free excursions along the Canal, travelers looking for a relaxing weekend getaway should look no further than Camp Rockaway nestled along the banks of the Champlain Canal and Hudson River. Located in Schuylerville at Lock C-5, Camp Rockaway is a new, luxury glamping site attracting visitors to the State’s historic upper Hudson Valley.
Also, NYPA and the Canal Corporation have partnered with Tentrr to establish four more, fully-equipped campsites along the Canalway, offering travelers even more opportunities to camp in style after a day out on the water and trails. Tentrr campsites are located at Yankee Hill in Amsterdam, Oak Island in Waterloo, near Montezuma at Lock E-26, and in Palmyra at Lock E-29.
There is so much to explore along the Canal, and these new opportunities are transforming some of New York’s hidden gems into popular tourist destinations, breathing new life into the Canal system and supporting local businesses in the villages, towns, and cities in Upstate New York.
And the best part? No matter which site travelers choose to visit, they will be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Canals and the bucolic landscape that surrounds these areas, all of which are being supported by Governor Cuomo’s $300 million investment over five years to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor.
There has never been a better time to visit the Canal system, and now with several new adventures for people of all ages and all skill levels, New Yorkers can make a visit to the Erie Canal a summer travel staple. Whether you are into hiking, biking, camping, fishing, birding, or boating, there is something for everyone “On the Canals” this summer.