The NYS Canal Corporation has announced that its maintenance and construction projects are set to resume on a regional basis under the “NY Forward Reopening” plan.
The tentative schedule calls for segments of the canal system to start opening beginning July 4th.
Boaters will not be able to transit between regions or travel through the system to reach the Finger Lakes, Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, or Canada until work is completed at several key locks later in the summer. The Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals are expected to open for passage in a staggered fashion.
Note the following:
- The NYS Canal System is not fully operational. Use caution if you are boating. Until construction work is completed at a number of locks, dams are put in place, and the canal is “watered-up,” boats will be unable to pass through locks or travel from region to region or end-to-end. Navigational buoys are not in place at this time.
- Boating and paddling on lakes, rivers, and some land-cut sections of the Canal System where water levels are adequate may be open. Getting on and off water safely, river currents, and dams are key factors that will determine which areas are safe.
- Getting in and out of the water may be a challenge. Public and private facility owners may not be able to install floating docks or kayak launches in low water conditions and many boat ramps may be high and dry. Lower water levels will also make it harder to get out of a boat when docked in communities with vertical concrete walls.
- The NYS Water Trail Guidebook was written for the Canal System operating under normal water levels and full operation. Some of the information may not be accurate until the canal is fully operational. Updates and critical safety information for paddlers can be found here.
Check the Canal Corporation’s Notice to Mariners for up-to-date information on canal conditions.
Photo of Lift Bridge at Adams Basin by Tony Solpietro.