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TThe Canalway Water Trail is designed for both the 'day user' looking to spend a few hours on the Canal and the long distance traveler who wants to traverse the entire length of the Canal. The immediate need for the day user is to provide access points at approximately ten mile intervals on both sides of the Canal.

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Plans for New York State Canalway Water Trail announced


photo of wide canal

Along the erie canal: both water trails and bike paths

 

The New York State Canal Corporation has announced plans for the New York State Canalway Water Trail, a coordinated trail with boat launches, landings and campsites along the 524-mile New York State Canal System. There are more than 100 launch and landing sites currently available to both motorized and non-motorized boaters along the Canal System that are now listed on the new interactive map on the Canal Corporation's website, www.canals.ny.gov/maps/water-trail/index.html.

Governor David A. Paterson said, "The Canal System, which crosses through hundreds of communities across much of Upstate New York, provides countless recreational opportunities to residents and visitors. The new Canalway Water Trail and interactive website will provide customers with a plethora of information concerning the availability of access sites along the storied waterway."

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said, "The Erie Canal has been and will continue to be an important recreational destination for both residents and visitors to the Tonawandas. For more than a decade, scores of pleasure boats have tied up at the canal wall at Gateway Harbor. Now, with the launching of the Water Trail, there are more opportunities to attract visitors with smaller boats, canoes, kayaks and other watercrafts to the canalway. The Erie Canal and its communities offer a variety of natural and cultural wonders to explore whether it's for a day, a week or a lifetime."

Canal Corporation Director Carmella R. Mantello said, "The Canal System offers numerous recreational opportunities statewide, including excellent paddling and camping. The new interactive map will enable Canal users to better understand the launch options and amenities available to them as well as offer them invaluable assistance for planning their trips. The Canalway Water Trail is a coordinated effort that will allow small boaters to intimately explore the Canal System's natural, cultural and historic wonders for a day, a week, or a lifetime."

Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, said, "This is a great step forward in advancing the Canal Corridor as a world class destination. The combination of activities, heritage sites, and access points available here is exceptional."

The Canalway Water Trail is geared toward small boaters along the 524-mile New York State Canal System. The Water Trail contains access points (launches and landings), campsites and day use sites (attractions) along the Canal System. The Canalway Water Trail is featured on a new interactive map on the Canal Corporation's website. The new webpage features a map of the water trail using Google Maps, as well as information pages for water trail users, a detailed listing of amenities available at each access point and photos of the access points.

The Canalway Water Trail is designed for both the 'day user' looking to spend a few hours on the Canal and the long distance traveler who wants to traverse the entire length of the Canal. The immediate need for the day user is to provide access points at approximately ten mile intervals on both sides of the Canal. To meet the needs of long distance paddlers, the Canal Corporation is working with volunteers, non-profit groups, communities and other State agencies to continue to build a long distance water trail system throughout New York State.

The Canal Corporation plans to continue to develop the Water Trail by working with partners to add launch and landing sites, develop more camping sites and continue to improve existing sites by identifying the sites with flags and kiosks. As part of the Canalway Water Trail, the Canal Corporation will support local water trail or 'blue way trail' efforts. The goal is to develop and promote the trail as a statewide trail and to connect the Canalway Water Trail with the Hudson River Valley Greenway Water Trail and other local and regional water trail efforts.

Many new water trail facilities are being developed along the Canal System as a result of the 2006 Erie Canal Grant Program and other local, regional and State initiatives. When completed, it will create a link to the Hudson River Valley Greenway Water Trail in Waterford, providing a network of continuous water trails from Manhattan to multiple regions in upstate New York.

 

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture. For more information regarding events, recreational and vacation opportunities along the Canal System, please visit www.canals.ny.gov or call 1-800-4CANAL4.

The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority). Since 1992, following State legislation transferring the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Authority, Canal operating and maintenance activities have been supported by Thruway toll revenue.

 

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