Thursday, June 24, 2010

Began traveling the Erie Canal at the Waterford Lock

Above and following are various locks along the way.

View of canal approaching 1 of 19 locks I traveled on Wednesday

A lock house

A dam next to a lock

The Erie Canal has been terrific; traveled 100 miles of it yesterday (to Utica, NY) beginning in Waterford at the east end and will travel another 70 miles of it tomorrow. Then 20 miles of the Oswego Canal to Oswego on the shore of Lake Ontario. Today was a rest and weather day as storms and winds were predicted. Could not have crossed the 30 miles of Lake Oneida today due to wind so I'm glad I stayed put in Utica. The Erie Canal continues on to Buffalo if I were not turning north to Oswego. I liked the east half of the Canal yesterday. It was more reminiscent of the early days with more frequent locks, some restored barges, and bike and hiking trails along the canal. All of the lock control houses and grounds are nicely manicured preserving their historical flavor.

So far all the locks have lifted so when the rising water takes you to the top of the lock, you can look around the area. Until then all you see are the lock walls while you hang onto the rope on the side to keep the boat along the wall and watch the water rise. Tomorrow the locks begin to take you down; had to cross the Adirondacks going east to west. Almost all of the various canals (there are many more of them in New York state and the remainder of the U.S. and Canada) were begun in the 1700 to 1800s to facilitate travel and trade routes. Some of the early wars in this region were fought with the native Indians but even more so between the British and the French.

Today gave me a chance to plan for the next two days, first to Oswego tomorrow and next day, weather willing, the open water crossing of the tip of Lake Ontario to Kingston and on towards Trenton, Ontario. Trenton is the beginning of the Trent Severn Waterway with 42 locks over 240 miles to the beginning of the Georgian Bay and North Channel and eventually down to upper Lake Michigan - back in the U.S.A.


  1. It's fun to see what a Canal looks like compared to the open waters and tidal waves. The photos help to visualize the operation of the locks. My son Mark lives along Lake Erie, just outside of Cleveland, so perhaps you can connect.

  2. I had an opportunity to bike about 50 miles along the canal on the towpath. It was really fun to do. Seeing the locks brings back great memories. I'm glad you had a good experience with the locks and the canal. Good luck with crossing Lake Oswego. You are making great time! Our prayers are with you! Jean

  3. We ahave really enjoyed following your adventure. Your descriptions are not only colorful, but interesting as well. Makes me wonder if Tom and Huck had had your set-up, how far would they have gone??!! Be safe and travel well. Cliff and Marcia