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Paddle the Canals: Mohawk River Expedition

Paddle the Canals:
Mohawk River Expedition

Friday-Sunday, June 21-23, 2024

Paddle through history on the scenic Mohawk River and celebrate 200 years of the Erie Canal!

EVENT IS FULL!

To join the waitlist, email mona_caron@partner.nps.gov

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Built between 1817 and 1825, the original Erie Canal traversed 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo. We will traverse part of the Eastern section, which was moved from the original land-cut canal to the Mohawk River in 1918.

Join us for an unforgettable 3-day, 2-night exploration of the Erie Canal from Canajoharie to Schenectady. Experience the region's natural beauty and enjoy an outdoor adventure on this professionally guided and supported trip for experienced paddlers.

We will paddle between 8-15 miles per day for a total of 40 miles, travel through six locks, camp at two historic sites, learn about the region's history, and celebrate 200 years of the Erie Canal. The trip will be guided by St. Regis Canoe Outfitters.

$500 includes camping, meals, gear transport, and interpretive sessions.

Daily Itineraries

A sign sits in front of water with kayakers behind it.
DAY 1: FRIDAY, JUNE 21
Canajoharie to Schoharie Crossing
Total Miles: 15
Itinerary:
1. Check-in, registration and safety review at Mohawk Harbor, Schenectady

2. Transport to Canajoharie, launch

3. Paddle to Lock E13 (7 miles), break for lunch

4. Paddle to Schoharie Crossing (8 miles), aqueduct remains walking and paddling tour

5. Dinner at Schoharie Crossing Yankee Hill
Overnight: Camping at Schoharie Crossing
A group of paddlers smile on the water in kayaks
DAY 2: SATURDAY, JUNE 22
Schoharie Crossing to Mabee Farm
Total Miles: 13
Itinerary:
1. Breakfast, gear check, itinerary review and launch at Schoharie Crossing

2. Paddle to Lock E10 (6 miles)

3. Lunch at Lock E10

4. Paddle to Mabee Farm (7 miles)

5. Tour/interpretive session at Mabee Farm

6. Dinner at Mabee Farm
Overnight: Camping at Mabee Farm
Two kayakers paddle in front of a large modern building
DAY 3: SUNDAY, JUNE 23
Mabee Farm to Freeman's Bridge
Total Miles: 8
Itinerary:
1. Breakfast, gear check, itinerary review and launch from Mabee Farm

2. Paddle to Freeman's Bridge Boat Launch (8 miles)

3. Take out at Freeman's Bridge Boat Launch

4. Transport to Mohawk Harbor

5. Lunch at Mohawk Harbor

6. Sign-out, unload gear, pack up at Mohawk Harbor
Depart from Mohawk Harbor

Expedition Details & Policies

ACCOMMODATIONS

Food & Beverage
We will provide fresh and delicious breakfasts and dinners. Lunch stops will be catered by local food trucks. Please let us know in advance of any food restrictions and/or food allergies so we can try to accommodate everyone's needs. You may bring your own food, but you must supply your own cooler or storage. Meal locations will be outfitted with portable restrooms and handwashing stations.

Camp & Accommodations
We will be camping along the Mohawk River. You must supply your own tent. If needed, tent rentals may be arranged in advance through St. Regis Canoe Outfitters. A 24' tent in the center of camp will be used for common space, meals, socializing, and announcements.

The camp locations will have access to traditional toilets and/or shower/restroom trucks. An electronic device charging station will also be available.

Participants who wish to stay in a hotel may do so but will be responsible for the cost (not covered in the registration fee) and transportation to and from basecamp.

PACKING & PREPAREDNESS

Packing
Participants should plan to pack and separate gear as follows:

  • Overnight Gear in a duffel bag;
  • Day Excursion Gear; and
  • Paddling Gear

We will carry your overnight gear (duffle, tent, and cot/mat) with the land crew. All boats and gear will be secured overnight. Additional items should be carried in your boat. Please see the recommended packing list for more information.

Please keep in mind that it's always possible for gear to get wet during water recreation. Each participant will be provided a dry bag. We recommend bringing more dry bags or storage containers if you have them.

Valuables
We recommend keeping all non-essential valuables at home. Wallets, phones, and other essentials should be securely packed in dry bags when on the water and always kept in your possession. Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and St. Regis Canoe Outfitters will not be responsible for personal items other than providing security for your paddlecraft, gear and luggage.

WEATHER

We will conduct the trip rain or shine. However, in cases of thunder, lightning or other challenging weather, we will delay or pause paddling until it safe to continue.

The water temperature may be in the upper 60s-low 70s. We recommend moisture wicking layers and sun protection during the day and layers at night. Please see the Packing List for more information about suggested clothing.

EXPERIENCE & ELIGIBILITY

A level of stamina will be required to complete the journey. We will be averaging 12 miles of paddling per day over approximately 5-6 hours. The first day requires 15+ miles of paddling. If you are capable of a few hours of moderate exercise each day we expect you will be fine. Paddling requires general good health. Sometimes a high wind or current will require an extra push.

The more time you can spend on the water before this trip, the better your general well-being and conditioning will be for the 3-day trip. St. Regis Canoe Outfitters is our paddling partner and can suggest several ways for you to get ready. Please contact Steve Cerri at St. Regis Canoe Outfitters for their recommendation. They can be reached at 518-891-1838.

To get started, here's some quick tips.

  • Condition early, paddle often. Build up distance over time. Consistency is key.
  • Mobility prevents injury. Paddlers are often prone to injury getting in and out of the boat, so stretching upper and lower body routinely helps with long days.
  • Test out your gear if you can. Try doing a few test trips in the boat you plan to use. This will help optimize the fit. Also, there's no harm in testing out your camping setup in the backyard before you come!

All participants must be at least 16 years of age. Anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Paddlecraft
Paddlers should bring craft that fit the following guidelines. Not sure your boat quite fits? Please reach out if you are unsure if your boat meets our recommendations.

  • Kayaks must be at least 14 feet.
  • Tandem canoes must be at least 15.5 feet.
  • Kayaks should have two hatches, or a single hatch and a front float bag. Boats without flotation can't be used.
  • Tandem canoes should have enclosed flotation in the bow and stern, or float bags.
  • Solo canoes will be considered based on model type and experience; however, most pack boats are likely unsuitable due to wind.
  • Stand up paddleboards (SUPs) are not permitted to lock through the NYS Canal System.

CANCELLATION, LATE ARRIVAL & EARLY WITHDRAWAL

Cancellations more than 30 days prior to the departure date will receive a full refund. Cancellations less than 30 days before the departure date will not be refunded.

If for any reason a participant fails to arrive prior to the departure time, there will be no refund.

It may be possible to paddle only a portion of the expedition's itinerary. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Mona Caron to arrange in advance at mona_caron@partner.nps.gov

If you decide to leave the tour early, you will not receive a refund. If you feel unable to complete a day's itinerary because of ability, stamina, illness or injury we can provide a shuttle ride to camp.

SAFETY

All participants are required to complete and submit a survey, health form, and waiver by Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at 4pm. Each person in your party should submit individual forms.

A mandatory virtual orientation will be conducted on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 6pm. All participants are required to attend. Please contact Mona Caron at mona_caron@partner.nps.gov if you are unable to make this session.

Each participant will be required to wear their personal flotation device (life jacket) while on the water at all times. There are no exceptions. You will not be permitted to participate if you are unable to abide by this rule.

St. Regis Canoe Outfitters is our paddling partner for the event. Their guides are all New York State Licensed Guides with a great deal of experience in the field. Although our staff is well versed in the North Woods, they're excited to learn about the Erie Canal and its history.

Our guides are highly skilled at performing recoveries and will quickly get participants back in their boats in case of a flip. We'll share with you the tips on how to recover on your own after an inadvertent swim or how to assist another.

No pets are allowed.

EVENT IS FULL!


To join the waitlist or ask questions, please email mona_caron@partner.nps.gov

Complete and submit to mona_caron@partner.nps.gov
by May 28 to participate.

Be prepared for the expedition with our recommended packing list.


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