Waterford Tug Boat Round-Up Cancelled

The annual Waterford Tugboat Roundup scheduled for Sept. 9-11, 2011, at the Waterford Harbor on the Erie Canal has been canceled because of the impacts from Tropical Storm Irene.

High waters and flood damage have hampered navigation along the New York State Canal system. The Hudson River also has high waters.

The Erie Canal remains closed to navigation between Lock 2 in Waterford, Saratoga County, and Lock 19 in Frankfort, Montgomery County. The Champlain Canal remains closed for its entire length. No date has been established on when these canal sections might re-open.

For updates and information monitor 1-800-4CANAL4 and www.canals.ny.gov.

Sixth Annual Canal Clean Sweep, April 15-17

In recognition of Earth Day 2011 and in preparation for the upcoming 187th consecutive navigation season on the New York State Canal System, the New York State Canal Corporation is partnering with Parks & Trails New York, and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) to sponsor the Sixth Annual Canal Clean Sweep during the weekend of April 15th-17th, 2011.

The Canal Clean Sweep highlights the growing significance of the Canal System and the Canalway Trail System as a recreational and tourism destination across the state by encouraging communities, not-for-profit organizations and volunteers to engage in cleanup and beautification activities along the Canal System and the Canalway Trail.

More than 90 communities, service groups, and businesses across the New York State Canal System are participating in the Canal Clean Sweep by hosting local clean up activities in Canal parks, along public promenades and on Canalway Trail segments in their region.

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.

For more information on the Sixth Annual Canal Clean Sweep or to help coordinate an event in your community, please visit www.ptny.org or contact Wally Elton with Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or [email protected]

Champlain Canalway Trail Plan Unveiled

At the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership meeting yesterday, Hudson Crossing Park announced the release of the Champlain Canalway Trail Action Plan for the 62-mile corridor between Waterford and Whitehall in Saratoga and Washington
Counties.

The Action Plan is intended to help focus and coordinate locally-based efforts to complete the Champlain Canalway Trail. It uses narrative, maps and photographs to describe the existing conditions, issues and opportunities along the proposed trail route. Each segment of the Action Plan can be used as a stand-alone by an individual community, to help focus attention and prompt constructive dialog.

The 62-mile Champlain Canalway Trail, together with the 9-mile Glens Falls Feeder Canal Trail, comprise one leg of the planned statewide Canalway Trail system. The 348-mile Erie Canalway Trail between Albany and Buffalo is the longest trail in the system. Now more than three-fourths complete, it is actively used by people in local communities, and is rapidly becoming a world-class recreational trail, attracting visitors from across the country as well as from abroad.

In the Champlain Canal corridor, about 17 miles of trail are complete, and another 14 miles are either in planning stages or expected to be completed within the next few years. Similar to the Erie Canalway Trail, the Champlain Canalway Trail is envisioned as an off-road trail wherever possible, with some on-road linkages. Once completed, the trail will provide connectivity between residential areas, business districts,
schools, parks and communities while reducing emissions and fuel consumption.

The Champlain Canalway Trail will be used by bicyclists, walkers, historical tourists, cross-country skiers and others. Sections will also be used seasonally by snowmobilers.

The completed Action Plan was produced by the LA Group of Saratoga Springs. It was funded by a grant awarded to Schuylerville-based Hudson Crossing Park, Inc, (www.hudsoncrossingpark.org) from the Rails to Trails Conservancy, a national organization that supports trail development.
Planning assistance was provided by the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service.

For further information contact:

Southern Champlain Canalway Trail representative:
Nelson Ronsvalle – [email protected]

Central Champlain Canalway Trail representative:
Marlene Bissell – [email protected]

Northern Champlain Canalway Trail representative:
Jeanne Williams – [email protected]

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.

Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History

The eastern edge of the Adirondack Park stretches into the middle of Lake Champlain, that great river-lake 120 miles long, four times the size of Lake George. Standing between the states of New York and Vermont, it’s the largest body of water in the Adirondacks, one that connects Whitehall and (via the Champlain Canal and Hudson River) New York City to Quebec’s Richelieu River and the St. Lawrence River. Two routes inland from the Atlantic Ocean that have had a historic impact on the entire North County, New York and Vermont. The book Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History celebrates what is unquestionably America’s most historic lake.


Four hundred years of Champlain history are conveyed in the coffee-table book’s more than 300 color photographs, drawings, maps and vintage images. Chapters on the towns along the lake, the Chaplain basin’s First Peoples, it’s critical military and transportation history, and the sports and recreation opportunities are eloquently contextualized by regional writers, including occasional Almanack contributor Chris Shaw who provides the book’s Prologue and Epilogue, and Russ Bellico who offers a chapter entitled &#8220Highway to Empire&#8221.

Published by Adirondack Life in Jay, Lake Champlain: An Illustrated History is a great book for those who love the lake, local and state history buffs, and nature lovers.

You can pick up a copy online.

You can here an interview with the book’s editor Mike McCaskey on the Vermont Public Radio website.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers.

Canal Society Symposium Announced

The Canal Society of New York State’s (CSNY) daylong 2011 Winter Symposium, will be held March 5th, 2011 at the Monroe Community College campus in Rochester, New York. The Symposium covers topics that are directly or indirectly related to historic or operating New York State Canals, canals and inland waterways worldwide, and the communities through which they run.

This year’s symposium will include a presentation, &#8220Clinton’s Ditch and Enlarged Erie Aqueduct Survey&#8221 by Capt. Rob Mangold, Vice President, CSNY- &#8220An Exploration of the Burlington and Desjardins Canals by Robert W. Sears, of the Canadian Canal Society- &#8220Managing NYS Canal Infrastructure in Difficult Economic Times&#8221 by Carmella R. Mantello, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation- &#8220Geographic Resources for the Erie Canal&#8221- &#8220Three Generations on the Erie Barge Canal: A Photographic Chronicle&#8221 by &#8220High Canals and Deep Rivers—Southern Germany Waterways Tour&#8221 and more.

CSNYS membership is not a requirement to attend. Pre-registration cost prior to February 23rd is $40 per person.

Contact:

David L. Kipp
61 Thistledown Drive
Rochester, NY 14617

The $40 per person cost covers a continental breakfast, coffee break, lunch, parking and speaker fees. Provide Davd Kipp with the names of the attendees and a telephone number. A check for $40 should be made payable to: Canal Society of New York State

Registration can be made on the day of the seminar at $50 per person.

A downloadable program can be found at the society’s website.

Snowmobilers Partner to Help Save Historic Bridge

On a chilly Sunday morning, January 23rd, the Washington County Association of Snowmobile Clubs presented Hudson Crossing Park with a check of $4000 as their contribution towards the local match of the transportation enhancement grant awarded to rehabilitate Dix Bridge, a centerpiece of the park that connects Saratoga and Washington Counties.

Hudson Crossing Park has been leading the charge to rehabilitate the historic bridge since it was closed in 1999. Marlene Bissell, president of Hudson Crossing Park said, “The Washington County Association of Snowmobile Clubs, with Dave Perkins at the helm have been exceptionally supportive of Hudson Crossing Park and rehabilitating the Dix Bridge. We are so grateful!”

The clubs of the Association value the opportunity to put in place a safe, non-ice trail crossing from Washington County into Saratoga County. With the restored Dix Bridge providing the trail connection, snowmobilers will finally be able to ride from many parts of New York State into Washington County and access the excellent trail systems of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The clubs that donated $500 from their own fund-raising efforts include Battenkill Snowdrifters, Granville Border Riders, Greenwich Trail Blazers, Hartford Ridge Riders, Hoosic Trail Masters, Kingsbury Barnstormers, Sno-Kats and Northern Washington County Trails Blazers.

The Board of Directors of Hudson Crossing Park undertook the challenge to preserve the Dix Bridge over ten years ago. In a pro-active intermuniciapal effort, Saratoga and Washington Counties, the Towns of Saratoga, Northumberland, and Greenwich, and the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership have come together to preserve a significant piece of history and provide safe passage over the Hudson River for hundreds of pedestrians, bicyclists, and snowmobilers. Funding for this significant project will be acquired primarily through a federal transportaion enhancement program. Local organizations and agencies are coming together to provide the remaining funds necessary.

Engineers from Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. have begun work on plans to rehabilitate the historic Dix Bridge. Extensive structural inspections have taken place to ensure proper stabilization of the bridge. Work on the Dix Bridge will commence in 2011. It is hoped the Bridge will re-open as a shared use recreational trail late in 2012. The bridge will not be open to automobiles.

In addition to providing safe passage across the Hudson River for snowmobilers, the Dix Bridge will serve as the link between Saratoga and Washington Counties for the NYS Canalway Trail. In the near future, a 67 mile-long Champlain Canalway Trail will link communities from Whitehall to Waterford and join the Erie Canalway Trail leading to Buffalo. The economic benefit of the Canalway Trail statewide was estimated in 2007 to be $27,705,731. The new Champlain Canalway Trail will help bring a portion of those dollars to our local communities.

For more information about the Hudson Crossing Bi-County Park, call Marlene Bissell at 518.859.1462 or visit: www.hudsoncrossingpark.org. Hudson Crossing is a bi-county educational park project centered on and near the Champlain Canal Lock 5 Island of the Hudson River.

Photo: Above, closed Dix Bridge. Below, attending the ceremony from left to right are: Dave Linendoll, WCASC President- Claudia Irwin, Hartford Ridge Riders- Mike Irwin, Hartford Ridge Riders- Sara Idleman, Supervisor, Town of Greenwich- Tom Richardson, Supervisor, City of Mechanicville- George Morrow, Battenkill Snow Drifters- Judy Dashnaw, Kingsbury Barnstormers- Doug Brownell, Sno-Kats- Marlene Bissell, President, Hudson Crossing- Cliff Howard, Greenwich Trail Blazers- Hank Dashnaw, Kingsbury Barnstormers- Dave Perkins, WCASC- Ben Gaines, Hoosick Trail Masters- Ed Leonard, Kingsbury Barnstormers- Jason Hammond, Greenwich Trail Blazers.

Glens Falls Feeder Canal and Towpath Trail Improvements

State and local officials have announced completion of connection improvements to the Glens Falls Feeder Canal and Towpath Trail, and officially opened the improved waterfront.

The &#8220Warren County – Improving Feeder Canal Community Connections Project&#8221 has expanded community connections along the Glens Falls Feeder Canal and the Towpath Trail with $140,585 funded by the New York State Canal Corporation through the Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program.

Warren County partnered with the Canal Corporation, the City of Glens Falls, the Town of Queensbury and the Feeder Canal Alliance, a not-for-profit entity whose mission includes preserving and expanding public use of the Feeder Canal Towpath and associated structures.

Work has been completed in both the Overlook Park in the Town of Queensbury and Haviland Cove in the City of Glens Falls. Site improvements to both parks included resurfacing of the roadways, trailways and parking areas, including Haviland Cove, where school buses park. Electrical services were also installed in both parks, including the pavilion in Haviland Cove. Benches, tables, grills, and a covered pavilion were installed in Overlook Park. Additionally, 3.6 miles of towpath trail was resurfaced by county work forces with stonedust for use as a bike and pedestrian trail.

In addition, the Canal Corporation provided $9,000 to complete signage along the seven-mile Feeder Canal Trail in both Warren and Washington Counties. Weathered signs were refurbished and replaced, and obsolete signs were replaced with new interpretive signs.

The Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program, administered by the Canal Corporation, was created to help spur community revitalization along the 524-mile Canal System. Fifty-four Greenway grants were awarded on a competitive basis to communities and non-profit organizations for capital projects that enhance and promote tourism, recreation, historic interpretation, and community revitalization in 19 counties along the New York State Canal System. All grants require a 50-percent match in local funds or in-kind services.

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.

The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority. In 1992 State legislation transferred the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Thruway Authority. Canal operating and maintenance activities are supported by Thruway toll revenues.

Photo: Glens Falls Feeder Canal Lock 1. Photo Courtesy of Tug44.org.

Registration for 5th Canal Splash! Now Open

The New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and Parks & Trails New York have announced that the Fifth Annual Canal Splash! will take place during the weekend of August 13-15, 2010. This year’s Canal Splash! will offer a series of locally organized events designed to highlight the history, beauty, culture and recreational appeal of the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail.

Any Canal Corridor community, business, club or non-profit organization may participate in the Canal Splash! and may register its event at www.nyscanals.gov/exvac/special-events/splash/index.html. Examples of local events include, but are not limited to, nature or history walks along the Canal or Canalway Trail- museum gallery features or exhibits- group bicycle rides on the Canalway Trail- rowing regattas- Canalside business or restaurant specials- kayak or canoe tours- cruise boat tours- Canal festivals, concerts and more.

The Canal Corporation encourages those along the Canal to help create awareness and generate additional exposure for their communities, businesses or events by participating in this year’s Canal Splash!. Last year’s Canal Splash! featured more than 120 events and attracted tens of thousands of visitors during the three day, multi-location celebration.

Canal Splash! will be promoted through a printed guide that will be distributed widely during July and August and will drive people to the online listing. In order to gain maximum exposure, it is encouraged that events be registered no later than June 3, 2010 to be included in the printed guide.

For more information about the Fifth Annual Canal Splash! or to register an event, please refer to www.nyscanals.gov/exvac/special-events/splash/index.html or contact the New York State Canal Corporation at (518) 436-3055.

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture.

History Groups Among Recipients of Canal Grants

The New York State Canal Corporation has announced the recipients of the 2010 Canal Corporation Tourism Matching Grant Awards Program and the list includes several public history organizations. A total of $30,000 is being awarded to a total of 16 projects for local and regional initiatives to promote the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail as a year-round recreational resource and tourism destination. A full list of the 2010 grant recipients is below, but it includes the Niagara County Historical Society, Schenectady Heritage Area, and Historic Palmyra among other groups whose goals include historical tourism.

The grant program was open to designated Tourism Promotion Agencies (TPAs), Chambers of Commerce, Nonprofit organizations and canal communities in New York State for the development of Canal System promotional material consistent with regional themes set forth in the Canal Recreationway Plan and recommendations contained in the state’s &#8220A Report on the Future of New York State Canals&#8221.

The grants provide up to $2,500 for the development of promotional materials that promote the Canal System and/or Canalway Trail, or specific Canal-related events, festivals or attractions.

Special consideration was given this year to applications that involved collaborative partnerships among several TPAs and/or private industry to create multi-county, regional thematic canal destinations and self-guided tours consistent with historical, cultural, urban and environmental assets and attractions contained along or within the Canal System and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Additionally, all awarded projects incorporated Canal Corporation logos and the New York Canal System’s promotional theme: &#8220Cruise the Past, Unlock the Adventure&#8221. Materials will be made available to the public at no charge.

The New York State Canal System is comprised of four historic waterways, the Erie, the Champlain, the Oswego and the Cayuga-Seneca Canals. Spanning 524 miles across New York State, the waterway links the Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the Niagara River with communities rich in history and culture. For more information regarding events, recreational and vacation opportunities along the Canal System, visit www.nyscanals.gov or call 1-800-4CANAL4.

The New York State Canal Corporation is a subsidiary of the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority). Since 1992, following State legislation transferring the Canal System from the New York State Department of Transportation to the Authority, Canal operating and maintenance activities have been supported by Thruway toll revenue.

2010 CANAL CORPORATION TOURISM MATCHING GRANTS (listed by Canal)

Agency Name – Contact – Grant Award

Canal System-wide

• Canal New York Marketing and Business Alliance, Inc., Victoria Daly, $2,500.00

Erie Canal

• Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc., Eric Hamilton, $2,500.00

• Schenectady Heritage Area, Maureen Gebert, $2,500.00

• Stockade Association, Lyn Gordon, $800.00

• U.S. Water Ski Show Team, Kara Pangburn, $2,000.00

• Town of Niskayuna, Lori Peretti, $500.00

• Historic Palmyra, Bonnie Hays, $1,050.00

• Fairport Village Partnership, Scott Winner, $2,500.00

• Niagara County Historical Society, Douglas Farley, $1,117.50

• Lockport Main Street, Inc., Heather Peck, $2,400.00

• Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, Joyce Santiago, $2,500.00

Champlain Canal

• Lakes to Locks Passage, Inc., Janet Kennedy, $2,500.00

• Hudson Crossing Park, Inc., Marlene Bissell, $2,500.00

• Rensselaer County, Christine Golden, $1,427.84

Oswego Canal

• Oswego County Dept. of Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Janet Clerkin, $2,500.00

Cayuga Seneca Canal

• Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, Sarah Osterling, $700.00

Historic Vessels Arrive in Plattsburgh For Events

The historic canal motorship Day Peckinpaugh arrived in Plattsburgh today as it travels the Champlain and Hudson Corridor on its 500-mile Quadricentennial Legacy Voyage. The 259-foot canal boat, built in 1921, will be joined by the replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure and 1901 Tug Urger at the Wilcox Dock in Plattsburgh on August 11-12 and at the Burlington waterfront on August 14-16. The public is invited to step on board free of charge (see tour schedule below for hours).

The Day Peckinpaugh was the first canal motorship ever built and is the only one that remains. Rescued from the scrap yard in 2005, it is now the largest single item in the collection of the New York State Museum. The tour marks its first voyage in its new role as a traveling museum.

Tour Schedule

Tuesday-Wednesday, August 11-12
Plattsburgh, Wilcox Dock
Free tours: 11 am &#8211 7 pm
Experience the breadth of maritime history on display with vessels including the canal schooner Lois McClure, Tug Urger, and the Day Peckinpaugh together on the dock at Plattsburgh. Enjoy music and food on shore throughout the day.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, August 14-16
Burlington, Perkins Pier
Free tours: Friday 4 – 7 pm- Saturday-Sunday10 am &#8211 6 pm
Working on Water Weekend- Tour the Day Peckinpaugh, Tug Urger, replica Canal Schooner Lois McClure, and Tug 8th Sea on Vermont’s own “great lake.” Also visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to learn about the history of Lake Champlain boating from the 1600s to the present.

Wednesday, August 19
Crown Point, Crown Point Pier
Free tours: 11 am &#8211 7 pm
Join the festivities as the Day Peckinpaugh is welcomed to the newly refurbished Crown Point Pier at the DEC campground in Crown Point. The Champlain Memorial Lighthouse also invites visitors to examine and explore its recently renewed sculpture and structure. A climb to the top offers breathtaking scenic vistas.

For more information and schedule of events at fourteen ports of call, visit: www.eriecanalway.org.

Photo: The Day Peckinpaugh docked at Albany’s Corning Preserve on it’s maiden voyage in 1921. The D&H Building can be seen in the background.