• Black and white photo of a girl and her family on a canal packet boat in Rochester, NY

    Erie Canalway

    National Heritage Corridor New York

Directions

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor covers 524 miles and encompasses over 200 communities. Here are Internet links to some affiliated organizations to help assist you in your travels:

**Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor --official site
Parks & Trails New York
Western Erie Canal Heritage Corridor Commission
New York State Canal Corporation

Several interstate highways cross the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. The New York State Thruway (I-90) roughly parallels the Erie Canalway route from Albany to Buffalo.

Perhaps the best way to explore canal country by car is along state and county roads that hug the water more closely and thread through the hamlets, villages, and cities that grew along the waterways. These are:

  • NY Rt. 31 in western New York
  • NY Rt. 5 and 5S in the east
  • NY Rt. 481 along the Oswego
  • ...and a host of smaller roads in between them.

The Lakes to Locks Passage along the Champlain Canal and the Mohawk Towpath along the eastern end of Lake Erie have been designated National Scenic Byways.

Did You Know?

A closeup image of several people in a boat being towed along the Erie Canal.

Once known by skeptics as "Clinton's Ditch," the Erie Canal trumped its doubters by opening faster and cheaper transportation across New York State and advanced Euro-American settlement of the Northeast, Midwest, and Great Plains.