New York State Canal System
The main sections are the Erie Canal, extending west from Waterford opposite Troy on the Hudson to Tonawanda on the Niagara River; the Champlain Canal, joining the Erie Canal at Troy extending north to Whitehall on Lake Champlain; the Oswego Canal, connecting the Erie Canal at Three Rivers with Oswego on Lake Ontario to the north; and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, joining the Erie Canal with Cayuga and Seneca lakes to the south. The canals (12 ft/3.7 m deep), with 57 electrically operated locks, can accommodate 2,000-ton vessels and, unlike the original Erie Canal, include large sections of canalized rivers and lakes in the waterway. Commercial shipping had largely disappeared from the waterway by the 1990s, and leisure craft now predominate in the waterway's traffic. In an effort to improve recreational facilities and increase tourism along the canal, a major renovation of the system was undertaken in the late 1990s.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Physical Geography