The Erie Canal is an unusual cruise destination for the northeast if you are used to boating on the ocean or sound. There is something very different and special about taking your boat through the entire mid-section of New York State. Here over the course of 339 miles, you take in the pretty countryside while stopping in some quaint and architecturally significant towns along the way. On a lighter note, you will never have bad seas on this voyage.
The Erie Canal opened the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean in 1825 securing New York City as the lead port in the United States. Governor DeWitt Clinton barged his party the entire length of the canal and then sailed down the Hudson River with a keg of Lake Erie water. Upon reaching New York City he poured the keg into the harbor proclaiming a “Wedding of the Waters” thus connecting the Great Lakes and Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean. The canal lowered freight costs by 95% overnight and secured New York City as America’s top port.
Boaters cruising the Erie Canal start at sea level at the federal lock in Troy, New York where they lift up before entering the Erie Canal to the west or the Champlain – Hudson Canal to the north (see www.liboatingworld.com and search Hudson-Champlain March 2017). For the Erie, boaters get lifted to 566 feet while going through 36 locks. We added another 40 miles round trip for a visit to historical Seneca Falls and Lake Seneca. Our total mileage from Glen Cove was 1100 miles roundtrip. It is because of this length that this story will be in two parts.
During our cruise, we came across a dozen boaters that were traveling the Great Loop and chatted with them. We learned that taking your boat 5500 miles around the entire eastern United States can be a great adventure indeed. Their boats ranged from a small, simple 30-year 32-foot trawler to a modern 55-foot boat yacht. Some were at the beginning of their adventure while others were going through the canal to finish it somewhere in the Midwest.
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Hauser, Tab. “Up and Down the Erie Canal – Part I.” Up and Down the Erie Canal – Part I, 2018, www.liboatingworld.com/single-post/2018/09/25/Up-and-Down-the-Erie-Canal—Part-I.