Governor Hochul Launches New Season of Free “On the Canals” Tours Along the New York State Canal System

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a new season of free “On the Canals” tours along New York State’s canal system. Now in its third year, this free recreational program, sponsored by the New York Power Authority and the New York State Canal Corporation, offers unique opportunities to experience the waterways of the Canal system and the adjacent Empire State Trail. This summer’s “On the Canals” tours include kayaking, biking, cruising, painting, bird watching and accessible activities such as adaptive paddling and biking.

“I’m thrilled to have this free program returning for a third season, and I can think of no better way to spend the summer than ‘On the Canals,’ as these recreational activities bring New Yorkers and tourists to our waterways and our trails and help support our local economies,” Governor Hochul said. “As a frequent boater on the canal and having kayaked and cycled for the first two seasons of ‘On the Canals’, I know firsthand how spectacular these recreational opportunities are. I look forward to this new season offering unique experiences that allow families and people of all abilities to enjoy our historic canal system.”

This season’s “On the Canals” program builds on the successes of the first two seasons by expanding the types of activities offered, increasing participation by offering more outings over a longer period of time and increasing the number of places throughout the canal network where excursions are organised. “On the Canals” will also be present at various festivals this year, with suitable material to try out. This season’s itineraries include:

  • Paddle/Pedal in Brockport with adapted equipment available
  • Buffalo Bike Safety Rodeo and Repair Shops
  • Buffalo’s Black Rock Historic Bike Tour
  • Hydrobike & Kayak the Canal Aqueduct in Medina
  • Fishing and Kayaking at Medina Falls and Glenwood Lake in Medina
  • Paddle sports for children on the canal in Oswego
  • Introduction to Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Oswego
  • Sunset Paddling and Urban Paddle in Oswego
  • Montezuma Wetlands: Searching for the Bald Eagle in Montezuma
  • Painting by the canal (En plein air) in Amsterdam and other places by the canal
  • STEAM Workshops for Kids and Teens in Schuylerville and Utica
  • Schuylerville Bike and Boat Cruises
  • Bike Tours in and around Schuylerville
  • Guided kayak tours in Buffalo, North Tonawanda, Waterloo and Macedon
  • Historic boat tours in Schuylerville, Herkimer, Buffalo and Seneca Lake
  • Youth kayaking and water safety in Macedonia
  • Introduction to Cycling and Bike Maintenance in Schuylerville
  • Paddle/Pedal in Halfmoon

NOTYork Power Authority Acting President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said: “The ‘On the Canals’ excursion program is an innovative use of New York’s canal system, and one that has inspired travelers to visit it and experience it for what it really is – scenic waters and trails steeped in rich history offering unlimited opportunities for exploration and recreation. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for continuing to invest in our canals and I am certain that these excursions will continue to make New York’s canal system a force for economic growth and leisure.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said: “I am incredibly proud to join Governor Hochul and our colleagues at the New York Power Authority as we officially launch this year’s ‘On the Canals’ summer excursions with new offerings that make this program more accessible than ever. Our canal system is a fundamental part of our state’s history and should be enjoyed to its fullest potential by all New Yorkers and visitors who come in search of education, adventure and fun, and j ‘encourages everyone of all ages and skill levels to spend their summer discovering New York’s most iconic waterways and ‘On the Canals’ trails.'”

Those interested in learning more about the “On the Canals” program or registering for an excursion can do so by visiting the “On the Canals” website. Additional excursions will be launched throughout the year.

Originally piloted in the summer of 2020 as “NY Canal Staycations”, the “On the Canals” program expanded as a year-round leisure initiative in New York State after participation almost tripled in 2021.

“On the Canals” is funded by the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation’s Reimagine the Canals initiative – a $300 million effort to revitalize the canal system as a tourist and recreational destination while simultaneously stimulating the economic development and improving the resilience of neighboring communities.

New York State’s canal system, which offers unique and unparalleled experiences, officially opened this year for its 198th consecutive boating season in May.

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