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Ride on the Erie Canal

Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal was a man-made waterway, 363 miles long, connecting Buffalo with the Hudson River and the Atlantic. Boats, towed by mules on paths next to the canal, carried flour, grain, lumber and passengers. The Erie Canal, a main source of 19th century industrial transportation, is still in use today.

Erie Canal Village (Rome) - This outdoor living history museum is situated where the Erie Canal began, at a groundbreaking ceremony on July 4, 1817. A 15 minute video is a good orientation about how the canal was built, then kids can run around authentic 19th century buildings - blacksmith's shop (demonstrations in summer), one-room schoolhouse, church, houses, livery stable, railroad station. The Harden Museum has a collection of horse-drawn vehicles, and there's also a nature trail.
The Erie Canal runs through the village, so take a 40 minute ride on a "packet boat" pulled by a mule on a towpath. (Boat rides daily through the summer.)
Check for seasonal events at the village.
Erie Canal Cruises (Herkimer, near to Utica) - Take a 1 ½ hour cruise on the canal, passing through one lock (Lock 18). Kids will enjoy watching the lock in action, passing other boats on the river, and this section of canal is scenic, lined with leafy green trees in summer.
Lockport Locks (Lockport) - Check out the famous "Flight of Five," the five double-stair locks, glide through parts of the canal that were hand cut through the rock, and pass under drawbridges. Two hour cruises daily, May to October.

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