Recreation & Events

Whether you’re looking to explore hundreds of miles of trails and waterways, or in the mood for something more relaxing, there’s no shortage of activities and events to enjoy along the New York State Canal System.
Kayakers in Lock E-2 on the Erie Canal, Waterford, NY. People enjoy a sunny day as kayaks pass through the open gates, with spectators above. Capturing the activity of the Tugboat Roundup.

Events Spotlight

Stay in-the-know about all upcoming events and notable dates.
  • Event Festivals & Celebration Erie Canal 7/16/2024
    Taste the flavor of local culinary businesses as you sample signature dishes, unique local food products, and craft beverages. Presale tickets include a Taste of Wayne County cup/glass and a commemorative spork. Tickets also available at the door.
  • Event Cycling Erie Canal Rochester Western New York 7/18/2024
    Experience Erie Canal history via a one-hour guided cycling tour followed by a pint in this statewide summer series along New York's Canals from the Erie Canal Museum. All miles count toward the Canalway Challenge. Registration required: $25 per ride.
  • Event Festivals & Celebration Erie Canal Rochester Western New York 7/19/2024
    Enjoy an entertaining evening of local food trucks and live music at this inclusive event on the Erie Canal.
A delighted kayaker shares a special moment with her canine companion on a serene lake. The woman gently paddles the bright yellow kayak, while her attentive dog appears ready to navigate. Their joyful 'paddle for paws' adventure is epitomizing the joy of human-animal bonding in the great outdoors.

Cycling and Paddling the Canals

Featuring 524 miles of canal waterways and over 300 miles of networked trails, there’s boundless potential for exploration by bicycle or paddleboard along the canals. Prep and plan for your trip, and map your journey with precision using our interactive map.

A jovial group of cyclists gathers at a canal, with a fleet of e-bikes ready for a ride, embracing the 'Ride Before It Snows' spirit. They stand near a historic exhibit, under a clear blue sky, as one holds a ukulele, symbolizing the harmony of active living and camaraderie 'On the Canals'.

E-cycling on the Canalway Trail

The Canalway Trail is for everyone to enjoy. To make sure everyone is safe and having a good time, the Canal Corporation has some light restrictions on the types of e-bikes allowed on the trail. There are also reasonable speed limits, and policies regarding the use of electric scooters.

An aerial view of the canal bend with a parking lot and a few parked vehicles on one side and green foliage from the side of a hill on the other side. Several small boats are sitting in the water. The water looks slightly rough.
People loading kayaks onto a truck at Minekill State Park, North Blenheim, New York. A man in a green tank top lifts a colorful kayak onto the truck bed, while a woman assists. Other kayaks are already loaded, ready for the Schoharie County Paddle for Paws event.

Boat Launches

Find the exact location from which you'll launch your paddleboard on our boat launch page.
Two active individuals enjoying a leisurely day of cycling alongside a serene canal under a partly cloudy sky, with a bright blue 'On The Canals' sign promoting local biking and boating in Finger Lakes, Wine Country Waterloo, NY.

On the Canals

It might be hard to believe, but there’s even more to do along the New York State Canal System than the activities on this page. On the Canals provides free and accessible activities happening along the canals.
A child, attentive and geared up for fall fishing, casts a line under the watchful guidance of an adult on a river brimming with fellow anglers. The backdrop is a stunning mosaic of autumn colors painting the trees along the banks, reflecting in the water's surface and setting a picturesque scene of outdoor education and recreation.

Fall Fishing Program

Thousands of gallons of water are released annually from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario, creating the ideal conditions for a longer, more bountiful fishing season. Learn more about the Fall Fishing Program and plan your angling trip to coincide with the water release schedule.