Kayaking on the Hudson

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Erie Canal - Niagra River to Lockport

Kayaking on the Erie Canal, Amherst, NY

Old swing bridge on the Erie Canal
Busy terminal wall in Tonawanda
Our second trip on the Erie Canal was short but memorable.  We launched in Amherst and paddled west (for the first time) towards the end of the canal.  We stopped at the busy terminal wall in Tonawanda and had a great lunch at the Dockside Inn.  After lunch we paddled out onto the Niagara River.   We had reached the end of the canal and the seeing the sign that said “Welcome to the Erie Canal” gave me chills.  Or was it the sign that said “Danger Niagara Falls only 5 miles ahead?”  Let’s not go that way.  So we headed back to where we started for the day and completed our only 2-way paddle on the canal thus far.
The end of the Erie Canal

On the second day we returned to Amherst and paddled east to Lockport.  This section of the canal is my favorite so far.  We did not pass through any towns or meet any interesting people, but this section contains a large portion of the original canals from 1825 and 1849.  Much of the canal was rerouted in the early 1900s so seeing the old stone walls and the old overgrown towpath just made this part of the trip seem so authentic.  It was quiet, peaceful, and serene.
Kayaking on the Niagara River

As usual we also picked up trash out of the water (like we always do when kayaking) but this day I got my first painting.  It was oil on canvas, still stretched onto a frame.  It wasn’t good enough to keep—too abstract for me-- but I continued to be amazed at the things I find floating in the water.
Paddling under the old tow path

It was a very satisfying, albeit too brief, trip.  As we had the first year, we left wanting more and when we returned for the third year, we were not disappointed.  But that story, I will save for another post.

Taking out just before Lockport

See you on the water,
Don Urmston

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