Nature walks, musical performances, boating events, historical tours and more began today as part of the fifth annual Canal Splash!, a weekend dedicated to celebrating the Erie Canal.
“Eighty percent of New Yorkers live within 25 miles of the canal, so Canal Splash! presents a great opportunity for people to enjoy this nationally significant treasure right in their own backyard,” said Beth Sciumeca, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
Canal Splash! is a multi-location event that celebrates the history, culture, recreational appeal and beauty of the state canal system, the Canalway Trail and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
The event kicked off on Thursday with the opening of a handicapped-accessible pathway leading to new floating docks for canoes and kayaks at the Waterford Canal Harbor in Saratoga County. State Canal Corp. Director Carmella Mantello joined representatives from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Parks and Trails New York, state and local officials and community organizers for the opening in Waterford.
“The pathway and canoe and kayak launch project, funded by the Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program and the town of Waterford, enhances public access to the Erie Canal and will have both a beneficial effect on the character of the community and will be an economic and tourism boost to the region,” Mantello said.
The opening of the handicapped-accessible pathway to the new floating docks is the completion of the first phase of a $225,000 Canal Greenway grant project. The improvements will help enhance the recently announced Canalway Water Trail, an initiative by the Canal Corp. to promote launch and landing sites along the canal system.
“Today we celebrate another phase of our waterfront development,” said Waterford Town Supervisor John Lawler. “