WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The original Erie Canal took eight years of year-round construction, from 1817 to 1825, to cover the 363 miles between Albany and Buffalo. What was once a two-week stagecoach trip was cut down to five days by barge.
This four-foot deep, 40-foot wide waterway opened up the interior of the country and turned New York into the Empire State.
The Town of Waterford is the eastern end of the Erie Canal. The harbor boasts Lock 2, the start of the Waterford Flight. The Flight is a series of locks spanning just over a mile and raising the canal way by 165 feet.
Construction started in 1907 to get around the Cohoes Falls. The falls are second only to Niagara Falls.
There are hiking trails along the old Champlain Canal that runs through the heart of Waterford, where you can stop in one of the many restaurants for a bite to eat.
On the opposite side of the Mohawk River, across from the Waterford Harbor Visitors Center, is the Friends of Peebles Island State Park. You can walk the trails and learn about the rich history of the island.
If you are making a weekend of it, Saratoga National Historical Park is just 30 minutes to the north or explore the New York State Capitol in Albany.