Visit Fort Stanwix National Monument and the Erie Canal

Reenactors at Fort Stanwix

Discover why all roads lead to Rome when it comes to water, transportation, and settlement in this part of New York State. Visit a vital frontier fort that shaped the course of American history. Then head to the water, where Mohawk River and Erie Canal merge. Choose from boating, cycling, and hiking options to add active adventure to your journey.

Start Your Trip Here

Youth regimen at Fort Stanwix.
Kids enjoy interacting with reenactors at Fort Stanwix.

Fort Stanwix National Monument
100 N. James Street, Rome
(315) 338-7730
Prepare for the sound of musket fire echoing over this 1777 frontier fort! You’ll soon be immersed in sites and stories of the nations that fought for control of the Oneida Carrying Place, Mohawk Valley, homelands of the Six Nations Confederacy, and the rich resources of North America. Start at the visitor center, where a ranger and engaging exhibits will orient you to the park. Follow one of the park’s trails to explore the fort on your own or join a ranger-led program to gain a greater understanding of the events that happened here. If you are traveling with kids, be sure to pick up a Junior Ranger book and inquire about children’s activities at the fort.

Bellamy Harbor Park
Race Street, Rome
(315) 339-7656
Head to the Bellamy Harbor to see the place where different eras of water transportation meet. Quiet waters of today’s Erie Canal belie the site’s long history as the crucial “Oneida Carrying Place.” Prior to the canal, boats had to be carried miles overland between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek. During the Revolutionary War, Loyalist American camps set up in this area were attacked and destroyed by Continental soldiers from Fort Stanwix during the British siege of the fort in August of 1777. The park is just 1.5 miles from Fort Stanwix and is a good place to picnic, fish, or launch a canoe or kayak on the Erie Canal. From Fort Stanwix: Go east on East Dominick Street. Take the first right turn onto Mill Street. The park is located on the right at the Erie Canal.

Verona Beach State Park, Light House, and Sylvan Beach
6541 Lakeshore Road South, Route 13, Verona Beach
(315) 762-4463
The Erie Canal meets Oneida Lake at the lively summer community of Sylvan Beach. This popular family destination offers an amusement park with classic kiddie rides, beach, and lots of boating along the canal and lake. At nearby Verona Beach State Park, you can swim, stroll, or hike. The park boasts lovely views of Oneida Lake, a swimming beach, nature trails, and some of the best sunsets in New York. Just past the entrance to the park, make a short detour to see the Verona Beach Lighthouse. Fully restored and functioning, this 85-foot lighthouse was built in 1917 to guide canal traffic across Oneida Lake.

How far? Sylvan Beach and Verona Beach State Park are located along Rte. 13, 17 miles west of Rome. Consult your preferred map or map program for directions.

Get Active!

The Erie Canal meets Oneida Lake at Sylvan Beach.
The Erie Canal meets Oneida Lake at Sylvan Beach.

Head to the waterfront for great recreational options.

Cycle the Erie Canalway Trail- The best places to access the trail are just west of Rome at Lock 21 or east of Rome at Lock 20 in Marcy. If you go east, you’ll follow today’s canal. West from Lock 21 you’ll enter the 36-mile-long Old Erie Canal State Park and follow the canal and towpath of the 1800s. It’s a linear trail, so you can go out and back as far as you like.

Paddle- If you plan to paddle, launch your kayak or canoe from Bellamy Harbor Park in Rome. Paddle upstream and return with the current. You can also launch at Verona Beach State Park and explore Oneida Lake.

Take a Canal Cruise- Get on the water for a narrated tour:

  • Erie Canal Cruises, Herkimer:
    Located right off the Thruway in Herkimer, 29 miles east of Rome. Daily cruises at 1pm and 3pm.

Explore More

Tug boat and cyclists at Lock 21
See a lock in operation and pick up the Canalway Trail at Lock 21.

Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site
7801 New York 69, Oriskany
(315) 338-7730 
Explore the grounds where men fought so bravely to protect their homes, their families, and their ways of life during the battle of Oriskany. Fought on August 6, 1777, the battle has been described as one of the bloodiest of the Revolutionary War.

Lock 20 State Canal Park
9050 River Road, Marcy
See a lock in action and enjoy a picnic or fishing along the Erie Canal. The park is located on the Erie Canalway Trail, so you can walk or cycle as far as you like. Cycle three miles west to visit Oriskany Flats State Wildlife Management Area or go four miles west to visit Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site.

Lock 21 and the Old Erie Canal State Park
7150 Lock Road, Rome
(315) 336-8229
On July 4, 1817, workers dug the first shovelful of dirt for the Erie Canal in Rome. From there, they dug the canal along a long level stretch of land to Syracuse. Visit Lock 21 and the Old Erie Canal State Park to see today’s canal and compare it with the canal of the 1800s. Lock 21 has restrooms and picnic facilities. You can easily access the Erie Canalway Trail from Lock 21 for cycling and walking.

Oneida County Tourism Information

Best Bet Dining Options

Both Rome and Sylvan Beach have numerous dining options. Picnic tables are available at Bellamy Harbor Park and Verona Beach State Park, as well as at Lock 21 and Lock 20 State Canal Park in Marcy.

Find other adventures in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor at

Last updated: March 24, 2015