New York State Canal System

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New York State Canal System,

waterway system, 524 mi (843 km) long, traversing New York state and connecting the Great Lakes with the Finger Lakes, the Hudson River, and Lake Champlain. The waterway, a modification and improvement of the old Erie CanalErie Canal,
artificial waterway, c.360 mi (580 km) long; connecting New York City with the Great Lakes via the Hudson River. Locks were built to overcome the 571-ft (174-m) difference between the level of the river and that of Lake Erie.
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 and its branches, was authorized (1903) by public vote. Work was begun in 1905 and was completed in 1918, when it was opened as the New York State Barge Canal. The system was given its present name in 1992.

The main sections are the Erie Canal, extending west from Waterford opposite Troy on the Hudson to Tonawanda on the Niagara River; the Champlain Canal, joining the Erie Canal at Troy extending north to Whitehall on Lake Champlain; the Oswego Canal, connecting the Erie Canal at Three Rivers with Oswego on Lake Ontario to the north; and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, joining the Erie Canal with Cayuga and Seneca lakes to the south. The canals (12 ft/3.7 m deep), with 57 electrically operated locks, can accommodate 2,000-ton vessels and, unlike the original Erie Canal, include large sections of canalized rivers and lakes in the waterway. Commercial shipping had largely disappeared from the waterway by the 1990s, and leisure craft now predominate in the waterway's traffic. In an effort to improve recreational facilities and increase tourism along the canal, a major renovation of the system was undertaken in the late 1990s.

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References in periodicals archive ?
To find out more about the New York State Canal System, including ways you can seethe Canalway Trail for yourself, visit or call 1-800-4CANAL4.
A leisurely cruise along the New York State Canal System offers vacationers a truly unique experience--the chance to explore the heart of upstate New York via one of the most spectacular inland waterways and recreational trail systems in the world.
For a list of cruise operators or travel opportunities along the New York State Canal System, visit www.canals.state.ny, us or call 1-800-4CANAL4.

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