Erie Canal / Mohawk River
“In order to open the country west of the Appalachian Mountains to settlers and to offer a cheap and safe way to carry produce to a market, the construction of a canal was proposed as early as 1768. However, those early proposals would connect the Hudson River with Lake Ontario near Oswego. It was not until 1808 that the state legislature funded a survey for a canal that would connect to Lake Erie. Finally, on July 4, 1817, Governor Dewitt Clinton broke ground for the construction of the canal. In those early days, it was often sarcastically referred to as “Clinton’s Big Ditch.” When finally completed on October 26, 1825, it was the engineering marvel of its day. It included 18 aqueducts to carry the canal over ravines and rivers, and 83 locks, with a rise of 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. It was 4 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and floated boats carrying 30 tons of freight. A ten foot wide towpath was built along the bank of the canal for the horses and/or mules which pulled the boats and their driver, often a young boy (sometimes referred to by later writers as a ‘hoggee’).” eriecanal.org
The Mohawk Valley / Erie Canal Corridor is steeped in the history of the migration to, and settlement of, the West. Today the Canal is used mostly for recreational purposes including tourist destinations for boating, canoeing, kayaking, history researching, fishing, hiking and biking along the pathway that follows the canal.
For current information on:
- Attractions, activities, and events taking place along the Erie Canal http://paththroughhistory.ny.gov/
- Erie Canal http://www.canals.ny.gov/index.shtml
- Erie Canal History http://www.eriecanal.org/
The Erie Canal and Herkimer County
This Historic Erie Canal is over 200 years old and stretches for more than 20 miles throughout Herkimer County. There are beautiful marinas located in Little Falls, Herkimer, Ilion and Frankfort where you can enjoy a picnic, kayaking, or fishing. Ilion even offers an RV park!
Standing at over 40 feet high, Lock 17 in Little Falls provides an opportunity to view an engineering marvel. Until recent years, this lock was the largest in the world. This site also offers picnic tables, benches, and full access to a bicycle and pedestrian walkway along the canal.
Be sure to stop by “Gems Along the Mohawk” at Exit 30 off the New York State Thruway! This Visitor’s Center offers a truly local shopping experience.
West Canada Creek
West Canada Creek is one of the most renowned trout streams in central New York, providing anglers with good fishing for both brown trout and brook trout. Beginning with its headwaters in the southeastern Adirondacks in Hamilton County, West Canada Creek provides good fishing opportunities throughout its length as it flows east and then south through Herkimer and Oneida counties, emptying into the Mohawk River near Herkimer, New York. The above and much more information can be found at http://www.troutpower.blogspot.com/
A little history: The West Canada as a creek is deceiving in name – as it appears more powerful and massive as a River would. The series of waterfalls in the Prospect gorge, principally Trenton Falls, was a major tourist attraction in the past. Today, the West Canada faces challenges as public utilities utilize the waterway for power generation – and it’s believed by many the often unpredictable, pulsing of the river not only poses a danger at times due to fast rising waters. To find more West Canada Creek history, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Canada_Creek
The Fulton Chain of Lakes
The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a string of eight sparkling lakes located in the scenic Central Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The chain begins with Old Forge Pond in Herkimer County and ends at Eighth Lake before it reaches Raquette Lake in Hamilton County. All of the lakes in the chain are known for their excellent fishing, and campgrounds around the lakes make the waterways a canoeist’s paradise.
The Fulton Chain of Lakes was the dream of steamboat inventor Robert Fulton, who envisioned connecting the lakes and creating an “Adirondack Canal.” Although the canal system was never built, the lakes still bear Fulton’s name. Today, the Fulton Chain is the start of the internationally known Adirondack Canoe Classic, a three-day, 90-mile canoe race. The race is limited to 250 boats and fills up soon after applications are made available. Paddlers from around the world compete in this event.
Visit http://www.lakelubbers.com/fulton-chain-of-lakes-1224/ for a wealth of information on the Fulton Chain of Lakes.