Kayaking on the Hudson

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Erie Canal - Genesee to Palmyra

Kayaking through Genesee Valley Park
Day 1: A leisurely paddle along the Erie Canal.  We started in the afternoon on the Genesee River south of the Erie Canal.  We paddled down river to the canal and headed east.   We took out at Lock #33 where our friend met us and helped shuttle our kayaks to the Jewish Community Center—our campground for the night.  It was a short paddle, but the scenery was fantastic.  We were surrounded by the green of Genesee Valley Park while Blue Herons flew along the banks.  The sheer size and complexity of the canal guard gates left us in awe.
Guard gates on the Erie Canal
Richardson's Canal House in Bushnells Basin

Day 2: Without our friend’s station wagon, we had to belay our fully-loaded kayaks down an embankment which took some time and effort.  But it was well worth it, because our first stop for the day was Pittsford.  Pittsford is a quaint little canal village with excellent shops and restaurants (we had crepes for breakfast).  After getting our fill of food, shopping and just plain walking around, we headed east to Bushnells Basin where we camped at a nice park alongside the canal.  Our friends Rich & Val met us again and gave us a ride to Wegmans, where we picked up a variety of tasty foods.  (You can read all about Wegmans at ) After our cookout at the park, we wandered about Bushnells Basin taking in the wonderful architecture.
Kayak Camping at Lock 30 in Macedon

Day 3: Launching from the park proved to be difficult.  We ended up lowering the kayaks off of the dock with ropes-like the lifeboats being lowered off the Titanic.  In the end, we did fare a bit better than those poor folks.  We headed out early to Fairport where we met a dozen members of the Genesee Chapter of the ADK.  We enjoyed a beautiful day of paddling with them including a stop for a picnic lunch.  We ended up at Lock #30 in Macedon where there is a designated camping area. We set up camp while our new friends went through the lock just for fun.

Day 4: A short but wonderful day of paddling brought us to Palmyra where we took out.  We left the canal knowing that we would return.  There was just so much good paddling left, that we vowed to complete the entire canal—one section at a time.

Note: (This was an ADK trip, so all camping was prearranged and required insurance from the ADK-so please don’t camp where we camped without permission.)
See you on the water,
Don Urmston

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