The eastern gateway to the Erie Canal, the Town of Waterford

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WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10)–The original Erie Canal took eight years of year-round construction, from 1817 to 1825, to cover the 363 miles between Albany and Buffalo. What was once a two-week stagecoach trip was cut down to five days by barge.

This four-foot deep 40-foot wide waterway opened up the interior of the country and turned New York into the Empire State.

The Town of Waterford is the eastern end of the Erie Canal. The harbor boasts Lock 2, the start of the Waterford Flight. The Flight is a series of locks spanning just over a mile and raising the canal way by 165 feet.

Lock 2 is said to be the most visited lock on the Erie Canal.

Construction started in 1907 to get around the Cohoes Falls. The falls are second only to Niagara Falls.

At 75 feet Cohoes Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in New York State.

There are hiking trails along the old Champlain Canal that runs through the heart of Waterford, where you can stop in one of the many restaurants for a bite to eat.

Along the old Champlain Canal are place to hike and picnic.

On the opposite side of the Mohawk River across from the Waterford Harbor Visitors Center is the Friends of Peebles Island State Park. You can walk the trails and learn about the rich history of the island.

Peebles Island history goes back to when the Dutch settle the area.

If you are making a weekend of it, Saratoga National Historical Park is just 30 minutes to the north or explore the New York State Capitol in Albany.

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