Kayaking on the Hudson

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Erie Canal: St. Johnsville to Canajoharie

St. Johnsville to Canajoharie
Kayaking at Lock 15 on the Erie Canal
July 5, 2012.  On the third day of our trip we launched right from our campground.   The paddle to Canajoharie included locks 15 and 14.  I know I’ve said it before, but “locking through” never gets old.  It continues to be one of the most interesting components of our Erie Canal trips and it is the part that most of the paddlers get excited about.  It truly separates canal paddling from other destinations.  

Keeping cool - Note the soccer & basketball
After lock 15, we ran into a bit of snag when we tried to stop for lunch.  The only reliable navigation guide for the Erie Canal is the Cruising Guide to the New York State Canal System, which is published by the New York State Canal Corp. (The organization responsible for running the canal system).  Unfortunately, the Guide was last updated in 2006.  Take my word for it, a lot has changed on the in the past 6 years.  When we completed our 2011 trip, fully half of the put-ins did not exist just 4 years earlier.  In fact, the take out spot for this day wasn’t on the map.  We found it by visiting Canajoharie and snooping around.  On the map, there is a fishing access listed just after lock 15.  In reality, the fishing access—our lunch spot—was no longer there.  So we had to improvise and pull off under a highway overpass.  After lunch, we paddled another mile only to find the new and improved fishing access with a beautiful new ramp!  

Kayaking with my pumpkin on the Erie Canal
Around this time, we also found some entertainment floating in the canal.  We scooped up a soccer ball and a plastic pumpkin.  The soccer ball was used for a game of on-water polo, while the pumpkin made for a nice adornment to my kayak.  After a bit of splashing about, we arrived in Canajoharie at our newly found take out spot.  Then it was off to the Parkside for ice cream.
Canajoharie has a great pavilion for boaters

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