Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal was a way to transport people and goods more easily from Albany to Buffalo. The Canal quickly made an impact on this region, and beyond, due to the relative ease at which goods could be transported. Although the Erie Canal isn't used very often as a means of transportation anymore, it still provides us with recreation. Watersports and waterbound recreation like boating and fishing are popular nowadays along the canal as well as a number of shoreline parks attracting visitors to stop down and relax along its banks.
34 locks are in place along the Erie Canal today, allowing vessels to change elevation. These locks operate from early May to November. There are also guard gates along the canal; these gates are used in case of emergency (extreme high water, break in a canal wall) and when a section of the canal needs to be drained for winter protection.
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