Old Erie Canal State Historic Park is a 36 mile linear park that preserves the remains of the historic Enlarged Erie Canal as both an educational and recreational resource. In most places, the park's trail is the old canal's towpath.
When the Barge Canal was constructed (between 1905 and 1918), most of the older Erie Canal was either destroyed or abandoned. The stretch of the Enlarged Erie Canal between DeWitt and New London was retained as a feeder to the Barge Canal, and a junction lock was constructed at New London to connect the two canals and maintain navigation. In 1926, some of the bridges across the old canal were replaced with new lower ones which made navigation impossible. The junction lock was converted for use as a drydock, and the old canal was maintained simply to supply water to the Barge Canal.
The 1960s brought a renewed interest in history, and legislation introduced in 1966 laid the groundwork for creating a state park along the old canal. Today, Old Erie Canal State Historic Park preserves the historic resources of the Enlarged Erie Canal. [Text edited from the State's official Old Erie Canal State Historic Park brochure and map.]
Below are links to the major features along the old canal, and a few scenes along the way from DeWitt to Rome. A walk along the trail will reveal even more smaller remains such as culverts and a sunken canal boat
|Butternut Creek Aqueduct, DeWitt, (no. 1 on the map above)|
|Cooper's Tubular Arch Bridge at Cedar Bay Picnic Area (no. 2 on the map above)|
|Limestone Creek Aqueduct, near Fayetteville (no. 3 on the map above)|
|Chittenango Creek Aqueduct, at the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum (no. 4 on the map above)|
|Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum|
|Cowaselon Creek Aqueduct, east of Canastota (no. 5 on the map above)|
|Oneida Creek Aqueduct, Durhamville (no. 6 on the map above)|
|The Enlarged Erie Canal on the Long Level, between Durhamville and Rome|