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The Cayuga-Seneca Canal: From Waterways to Wineries

Connecting the Erie Canal with upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal is 12 miles long and combines the unique experience of inland water and deep-lake cruising. Whether by boat, or by car, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal provides the perfect link into New York’s premier wine region. As you cruise towards the Finger Lakes and continue along the Seneca River section through Cross Lake, watch above as great blue herons glide gracefully overhead near Montezuma’s Wildlife Refuge. Located at the confluence of the Erie and Cayuga-Seneca Canals, the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge is a 7,000-acre haven for migratory birds and other marsh animals. At the refuge’s southerly tip, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal’s first lock appears. Enjoy a picnic by the water, launch your boat or gather brochures at the information center as you begin your journey.

Continuing south, relive history in Seneca Falls, home to the Woman’s Suffrage Movement. Stop by and visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame, featuring displays and exhibits honoring the achievements of America’s extraordinary women. Less than five miles from Lock CS-4 lies the Village of Waterloo where in 1866, the community celebrated the first observance of Memorial Day.

Surrounding both the Cayuga and Seneca Lakes are numerous state parks and almost 40 wineries for visitors to stop at and visit. If coming by boat, several wineries can be accessed by water for tours including Goose Watch Vineyard and Lakeshore Vineyard on Cayuga Lake.

If fishing is your hobby, this area is sure to offer the avid fisherman options from shallow waters to deep clear channels. There are numerous charter boat operators on each lake, so be sure to cast your reel and catch the "big one!"


Self-skippered boat companies

  • Erie Canal Cruise Lines – 1-800-962-1771
  • Mid-Lakes Navigation Company – 1-800-545-4318

Tour boats

  • Liberty Boat Tours– 315-246-7
    Liberty (day and specialty cruises)
  • Captain Bill’s – 607-535-4541 –Stroller IV & Columbia (day and specialty cruises on Seneca Lake)
  • Mid-Lakes Navigation – 1-800-545-4318 - Judge Ben Wiles (day & specialty cruises on Skaneateles Lake)

Charter boats w/captain & crew

  • Force Seven Charters – 7166-349-7399 – Meta
  • Seneca Cruise Co. – 315-789-1822 - RxtaSea