Erie Canal opens Friday for 198th navigation season

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Big Apple in Medina, just west of the Glenwood Avenue canal bridge, is shown on Tuesday while nearby trees are in bloom. The apple sculpture was created by local artist Richard Bannister.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2022 at 11:45 am

The Erie Canal will open Friday to boaters for the 198th navigation season.

The entire system is scheduled to open at 7 a.m. The standard hours of operation are 7 to 5 p.m. daily until the season closes on Oct. 12.

However, the lift bridges from Spencerport through Orleans County to Gasport will be operational from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. through the peak navigation season from May 20 through Sept. 14. There are seven lift bridges in Orleans County – Holley, Hulberton, Ingersoll Street in Albion, Main Street in Albion, Eagle Harbor, Knowlesville and Medina. There are 16 lift bridges on the canal and the seven in Orleans are more than any other county in the state.

For the sixth straight year, the Canal Corp. is waiving the recreational boating fees. Those tolls were normally $25 to $100 for a season pass, depending on the size of the vessel.

It’s a colorful sight along the canal right now during the spring bloom.