Appointments filling up to use kayaks, hydro-bikes for free in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 July 2021 at 1:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul rows in a kayak in Medina on June 15 to promote a free kayaking program in the Erie Canal. She was joined in kayaks by Brian Stratton, state canal director; Greg Reed, director of the Orleans County YMCA; and Mike Sidari, Medina mayor.

MEDINA – The appointments have been filling up to use kayaks and hydro-bikes for free this summer in Medina. However, there are still many open slots.

The State Canal Corp. announced the 8-week program on June 15, in an event that included Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and State Canal Commissioner Brian Stratton, who both were in Medina for the announcement. They both tried kayaking in the canal that day, and Stratton even rode a hydro-bike.

Medina is one of five canal communities offering free “On the Canals” outdoor excursions this summer as part of the state’s Reimagine the Canals initiative. The other communities in the program include Macedon, Waterloo, Savannah and Amsterdam.

Stratton said the state is pushing to make the canal a bigger impact in the canal towns. Hochul on June 15 said the state is making a big tourism push to get New Yorkers and out-of-staters to vacation and experience sites all over the Empire State. She believes Medina will appeal to many people, especially with a historic downtown filled with local businesses.

In the new program offering kayaks and hydro-bikes, the New York Power Authority (which oversees the canal) will partner with the Orleans County YMCA. The hydro-bikes and kayaks are available to rent with appointments made online. The YMCA will lead excursions at Glenwood Lake and the Canal.

Click here to make an appointment.

Brian Stratton, state canal director, is on the hydro-bike and Greg Reed, Orleans County YMCA, is in the kayak in this photo on June 15 at Medina’s Canal Basin.