Top Ten New York Adventures

Run the Erie Canal
By Gary Fallesen

Boating the Erie Canal is no big secret, but who knew you could run the Western New York waterway that fell into disuse in the early 20th century after the railroads came to town? A relay team of 18 canal runners, known as the Frequent Flyers, earned the distinction of being the first to travel the length of the waterway—from Waterford to Niagara Falls—during the Erie Canal's 175th anniversary in 2000. The Flyers managed to run the canal in less than 57 hours by traveling around the clock for three days.

In order to succeed at running the canal in any length of time, you have to confine yourself mostly to roadways along the 365-mile route. So, stick to the Erie Canalway Trail, which starts in Palmyra and runs to Orangeport. This particular 83-mile stretch is well-suited for feet, bikes, and skates, especially in and around Rochester.

In general, you can find great fun in and around "Clinton'’s Folly," as the canal was mockingly called when Governor DeWitt Clinton conceived the idea.

Trip Facts

When to go: April—October

Difficulty rating: Moderate


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