197th Erie Canal boating season will run from May 21 to Oct. 13

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 March 2021 at 3:26 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: These two people and a dog pass underneath the Ingersoll Street lift bridge in Albion on Oct. 14, 2017, when it was a 70-degree fall day.

The State Canal Corp. today announced the schedule for the upcoming boating season with the canal opening on May 21 and continuing until Oct. 13.

That is close to being back to normal after last year’s start was pushed back until June 26. The start in 2020 was supposed to be May 15 but was delayed because canal staff and construction crews were sidelined early in the pandemic. That prevented the State Canal Corp. from doing some of the work needed before the canals could be opened.

In an announcement for the upcoming season today, the Canal Corp. said, “This proposed schedule of operations could be impacted by the Covid pandemic and/or the need to repair critical infrastructure.”

The Canal Corp. also again won’t be charging any tolls or fees for recreational use of the canal system. This is the fifth straight year the tolls have been waived. Those tolls were normally $25 to $100 for a season pass, depending on the size of the vessel.

The upcoming boating season will be the 197th continuous season. Last year the system was in danger of not opening due to Covid, but it opened later than usual.

Standard hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The following lift bridges in Orleans County will operate on demand from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. until September 15: Holley, Hulberton, Ingersoll Street in Albion, Main Street in Albion, Eagle Harbor, Knowlesville and Medina.