A Winter Excursion “On the Canals!”

Sleigh bells, holiday jingles, and snowshoe hiking—the air is getting colder, and the snow is about to start falling, but the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Canal Corporation aren’t slowing down when it comes to reimagining the incredible ways to spend time outdoors enjoying all that the Empire State has to offer.

Golden-crown Kinglet. Photo credit: Nick Saunders

Starting January 8th and through February 26th, a new free winter “On the Canals” excursion will be available. For the first time, New Yorkers can take part in a leisurely guided 1-mile snowshoe hike around the Montezuma Audubon Center, home to one of the largest wetland conservation projects in the nation, the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.

The complex is one of the Empire State’s greatest bird sanctuaries and a Globally Important Bird Area – providing habitat for over 240 different species of birds. The wetlands are also a migratory stopover for more than 1 million birds each year, making it a popular attraction for bird watchers who flock to observe Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and Tundra Swans that travel over a thousand miles to the Arctic Circle each year.

Sandhill Cranes spotted by Montezuma staff December 1, 2021. Photo Credit: Alyssa Johnson/Audubon

Every Saturday, two groups of 20 people will hike in the freshly fallen snow to partake in this relaxing birdwatching and to witness firsthand all the beautiful and wonderous natural wildlife that the Montezuma Audubon Center offers.

No snowshoes? No problem! We want this unique winter experience to be accessible to as many people as possible, so snowshoes, binoculars, and bird guides will be available to all participants.

Bald Eagle. Photo credit: Larry Venus

“Throughout 2021 we worked around the clock to bring the splendor of the Empire State’s historical Canal system to New Yorkers and tourists alike through adventures for all ages,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “Now as we prepare to enter 2022, I’m especially excited for people to experience winter in Upstate New York in a way that truly reveals the beauty of our natural landscape while supporting our local businesses and communities.”

During a season we mostly spend inside, this is a great all-ages opportunity for the entire family to get outside, get some light exercise, and experience the beautiful landscape and nature that New York has to offer. Get the family together to usher in New York’s most picturesque season and experience the Erie Canal Corridor in a new way with NYPA and New York State Canal Corporation.

For more information or to book an excursion, please visit the “On the Canals” website.

Contributed by New York State Canal Corporation

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