Paddle the historic Erie Canal at the Old Erie Canal Boat Float

Paddle the historic Erie Canal at the Old Erie Canal Boat Float

Paddlers are invited to bring their kayaks, canoes, and even stand-up paddleboards to paddle the scenic, calm waters of the historic Erie Canal as part of The Old Erie Canal Boat Float event Saturday, June 16.

All paddlers end at the Boat Float Bash at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum in Chittenango (immediately adjacent to the Old Erie Canal waterway) which includes food trucks, music, blacksmith demonstrations, family activities, and more. A drone will be on site to a take a final, fun aerial photo of all the paddlers too. All paddlers that attend will receive a copy of the brand new Old Erie Canal Paddle Guide.

The event is free to participate in and takes place along historic Erie Canal waterway within the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park.

“It is exciting to see people of all ages come out to fill the canal with colorful kayaks and canoes,” said Jamie Kowalczk, member of the Old Erie Canal Community Working Group putting on the event. “Paddlers can expect to see wildlife along the way, view sunken canal boats near Chittenango Landing, and have the experience of paddling through historic working aqueducts. The flat, calm waters of the canal make it a perfect place for beginner paddlers and families too.”

There are four locations to start from so paddlers can self-select the mileage of their paddle. No matter which of the four locations participants choose to launch from, all paddlers end at the Boat Float Bash at 2 p.m.

At each of the four launch locations participants will be greeted by a Canal Ambassador who will also paddle to the Boat Float Bash at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum. Launch locations and starting times include:

  • Launch Site 1: Cedar Bay Park launch in DeWitt. Meet at 8 a.m. Total Distance to Boat Float Bash 9.4 miles.
  • Launch Site 2: Manlius Center Rd launch. Meet at 10 a.m. Total Distance to Boat Float Bash 7.2 miles
  • Launch Site 3: Pool’s Brook Park launch. Meet at noon. Total distance to Boat Float Bash 3.2 miles
  • Launch Site 4: Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum launch right at the site of the Boat Float Bash. Meet at noon. Out and back paddle.

All paddlers end at 2 p.m. at Chittenango Landing for aerial photo and activities at the Boat Float Bash.

More detailed directions to the launch locations can be found on the event website

Participants need to bring their own kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard as well as a PFD. Kayak rentals are available from Oswego Expeditions. Participants are responsible for their own return transportation.

Registration isn’t required, but it does help event organizers prepare the right amount of materials. Register for this free event at

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