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New York State Canal Recreationway Plan

Canal Recreationway Plan and Canal Revitalization Program

Upon its formation, the Commission was instructed to develop a conceptual framework for fostering the development of the Canal System into a recreationway system. As a result, the Canal Recreationway Plan was prepared and was adopted by the Commission in August 1995. In September 1995 the Canal Corporation Board adopted the Recreationway Plan with the stipulation that a detailed schedule of costs, funding and phasing be prepared for the Plan’s proposals prior to implementation.

The New York State Canal Revitalization Program was completed in September 1996. The $32.3 million, five-year program presented a realistic approach to Canal System development. It focused on four major elements: Canal Harbors, Canal Service Port and Lock Projects, the Canalway Trail, and a Canal System Marketing Plan.

Canal 2025: Canal Recreationway Plan Update

As the Erie Canal approaches its bicentennial, the New York State Canal Corporation is inviting New Yorkers to share their ideas for the future of the Canal system.

Public input will play a central role in updating the Canal Recreationway Plan, a long-term framework for development of recreational opportunities throughout the Canal system. The plan was developed for the Canal Recreationway Commission, an advisory body to the Canal Corporation. It was initially adopted in 1995 and will be updated for the first time this year.

The New York State Canal system includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca Canals as well as the adjacent Canalway Trail. Construction on the original Erie Canal began in 1817, and was completed in 1825.

Canal 2025 will summarize the accomplishments made since the Canal Recreationway Plan was completed and recommend new projects and initiatives going forward through 2025, the bicentennial of the opening of the original Erie Canal.

Individuals and groups wishing to submit comments should complete the survey at Leaving NYS Canal's Website .

Recent studies have determined that the Canal system helps support $6.2 billion in annual economic activity, as well as $380 million in tourism-based spending.  Another study recently released by Parks & Trails NY established that the Erie Canalway Trail – which parallels the Erie Canal from the Hudson River to Lake Erie -- has an economic impact of approximately $253 million annually and supports 3,440 jobs in the trail corridor.

Canal Recreationway Plan

Front Cover and Title Pages

Table of Contents

Part 1 – Foundations of the Plan

Part 2 – The Canal Recreationway Plan

Part 3 – Implementing the Plan