More of the New York State Canal System is located in the Finger Lakes than any other vacationland. The Erie Canal runs in a general east-west direction in the north central section of the Finger Lakes region. First constructed for inland commerce, the canal in recent years has become increasingly popular for recreational purposes. The canal is normally navigable May 7 through November 4. The maximum vessel size is 300 ft. long, with a beam of 43.5 ft. and 15 ft. high. The average locking time is 20 minutes. Hours of lock operation vary during the season. Visitors from other states may use their boats on Finger Lakes waters without a NYS registration for a period of 90 days, provided that such crafts are numbered according to federal law.
There are many other opportunites to learn about and enjoy the canal. The Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse is located in the only remaining Weighlock building. There are also many canal parks, and launches where one can simply stroll along the shore, or rent a kayak for the afternoon.
For further information on the New York State Canal System, call 1-800-4-CANAL-4 (422-6254) or visit its website: www.canals.ny.gov