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Virtual Erie Canal 10: Three Locks to Lake Ontario

The Oswego River is the second largest river flowing into Lake Ontario, but it feels in places like a stream.  I don’t have to tell you what the largest river into Ontario is, I hope. If you study the east bank, lots of traces of the original 1828 Oswego Canal, a verdant mudbank and even […]

Virtual Erie Canal 9: Three Rivers to Minetto

Last post ended with an aerial photo.  Here’s a higher one of the same area, taken in 1981, for a state agency.  The Oneida River flows from the bottom of the photo.  Notice the tanks below, or east of,  the bridge.  As we pass, notice vestiges of docks and pipes to those tanks, although the […]

Virtual Erie Canal 8: E-21 to Three Rivers

But first, check out this canal notice for the 2020 season. Three centuries ago canoes and bateaux followed Wood Creek from the Oneida carry (i.e., involving a short portage) into the east end of Oneida Lake. The 1825 and 1862 canals bypassed the south side of the Lake and formed the heart of Syracuse.  For […]

Virtual Erie Canal 7: The Summit Level

Let’s catch up on numbers using the distance table from tug Seneca.  At lock E-20, we are 95 miles west of Waterford.  Also, we have risen from 15′ to 420′ above sea level. For the next 18 miles, we’ll be navigating at the summit level in a laser-straight narrow channel, with a bike trail along […]

Virtual Erie Canal 6: Little Falls to Marcy

Seeing a waterway shrunk by the land forms around it like this, I find it miraculous that we can travel it from the ocean to the Great Lakes, but some of you, I know, might be starting to feel claustrophobic. The drone photo below is taken in Little Falls looking back east toward the the […]

Virtual Erie Canal 5: The Noses to Little Falls

This dissected ridge just beyond E-13 is referred to as the Noses, a gap already gouged, the opening to the west.  Looking west, notice that this break is used by the Thruway I-90 south of the River, north of it, a major railroad, and to the north of that, a major state road, 5N.  The […]

Virtual Erie Canal 4: Lock E-9 to Lock E-13

Get used to traveling through places you’ve never heard of, like Crescent, Scotia, Glenville, and Cranesville;  this is one of the many charms of the Canal.  Clinton’s Ditch created cities, not true for the Barge Canal, which took advantage of lakes and rivers. Be sure to watch for these sunken barges in the water just […]

Virtual Erie Canal 3: Crescent Lake to Rotterdam

After we leave E-6, Crescent Lake lies ahead of us.  Actually it’s an impoundment of the Mohawk behind the power dam and the flight.  Off to port are hazard buoys, demarcating the Mohawk flow that would take you over Crescent Dam and Cohoes Falls, mentioned in the previous post.  To avoid confusion, note that the […]

Virtual Erie Canal 2: the Waterford Flight

You won’t see the 80′ Cohoes Falls from the boat heading into the lock E-2, but this is the reason for the flight of five locks you climb right after leaving Waterford bulkhead to starboard.  The falls, shown here in September, is only about a mile, as the crow flies, from the Waterford visitor center. […]

Virtual Erie Canal 1: Waterford

Preface:  There’s a new heading at top of the page called “virtual tour.”  Covid-19 has changed everything. Now it’s not alarming to walk into a bank or business establishment wearing a mask.  Many people commute from bedroom to desk, and a really long commute is one that involves stairs.  I’ve been to a few remote […]