ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation launched on Tuesday “On the Canals” excursions. This free, recreational program offers opportunities to experience the outdoors on the New York State Canal system and the adjoining Empire State Trail.

As part of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals initiative, “On the Canals” excursions will highlight six free outdoor excursions in the five canalside communities of Medina, Macedon, Waterloo, Savannah, and Amsterdam in summer 2021. The program will also support and promote local businesses through a comprehensive marketing effort, increasing visitation to villages, towns, and cities along the Canal system.

“As New York continues to reopen and New Yorkers get outside to enjoy everything our State has to offer, we are pleased to provide free recreational opportunities to explore our State in a way that has never been done before,” said Governor Cuomo. “The ‘On the Canals’ excursion program, part of our Reimagine the Canals initiative, will breathe new life into the Canal system, inviting both residents and visitors to kayak, bike, and fish along our historic waterways. I encourage all New Yorkers to come out and celebrate the natural beauty of our State’s Canals and support our local canalside communities and economies.”

Building on last year’s “NY Canal Staycations” program, which featured kayaking on the Canal system and cycling on the Empire State Trail, this year’s “On the Canals” itineraries will expand the types of activities offered to also include birding tours, hydrobiking, and fishing.

The “On the Canals” locations and itineraries include:

  • Travel a Lock: A Kayak & Bike Adventure in Amsterdam: A trip between Port Jackson and the historic Yankee Hill Lock
  • Cruise the Canal by Kayak & Hydrobike in Medina: Free guided kayak and hydrobike tours on the Erie Canal at the Medina Canal Basin
  • Fish & Kayak at Medina Falls: Guided fishing excursions on Glenwood Lake to see Medina Falls and the historic aqueduct
  • Off Road, On the Water: Bike & Kayak in Palmyra-Macedon: Paddling on the Erie Canal and pedaling along the Empire State Trail
  • Biking & Boating in the Finger Lakes Wine Country: Bike and water taxi loop via the Cayuga-Seneca Trail and Cayuga-Seneca Canal
  • Montezuma Wetlands: In Search of the Bald Eagle: Guided birding tour via kayak in the Montezuma Wetlands

In addition to the free “On the Canals” excursions being offered this summer, the New York State Canal system opened for its 197th season in May. All locks and lift bridges on the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals will operate through Wednesday, October 13. Boaters seeking information on lock hours and locations should visit the Canal Corporation’s website.