Get on the water

Become a "canaller"

It’s easier than ever to explore America’s most iconic inland waterway. You’ll discover scenic vistas, abundant wildlife, and more than 200 unique communities in the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. Miles of adventure await on water and on land!


Boating Tips

Make the most of your travels along New York's canals:

  • Expect a leisurely pace on the water. Distance in miles can be misleading, since you must account for both running time and locking. Plan about 20 minutes to pass through each lock.
  • Know your comfort cruising times, e.g., a four, six, or eight hour travel day. You’ll be able to plan a more enjoyable trip if you know your limits and have some sense of where you'll stop for the night.
  • Bring guidebooks and charts. These resources are invaluable for everything from finding gas to knowing the water depth and bridge clearances to planning overnight accommodations. Plan ahead for the services you need and make advance reservations when possible.
  • Follow proper etiquette and rules for safe boating. Stay within the canal speed limits and rules. Remember: You are responsible for your wake along the entire canal.
  • Stop along the way to enjoy canal communities. You'll find unique shops, dining, and a variety of cultural attractions. There are plenty of places to tie up and many canal communities provide visitor centers with restrooms, showers, power, and other services.

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