Year-round program returns for summer with expanded offerings
√ Newest excursions include painting, cruising, accessible adaptive adventures
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a new season of free "On the Canals" excursions along the New York state canal system. Now in its third year, this free recreational program, sponsored by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corp., offers unique opportunities to experience the waterways of the canal system and the adjoining Empire State Trail. This summer's "On the Canals" excursions include kayaking, cycling, cruising, painting, birding, and accessible activities such as adaptive paddling and biking.
"I am thrilled this free program is returning for a third season and can think of no better way to spend the summer than 'On the Canals,' as these recreational activities bring New Yorkers and tourists alike to our waterways and trails and help support our local economies," Hochul said. "As a frequent boater on the Canal and having kayaked and cycled during the first two seasons of 'On the Canals,' I know firsthand how spectacular these recreational opportunities are. I look forward to this new season offering unique experiences that allow for families and individuals of all abilities to enjoy our historic Canal system."
This season's "On the Canals" program builds upon the first two seasons by expanding the types of activities offered, increasing participation by offering more outings over a longer period, and growing the number of locations across the canal system where excursions are held. "On the Canals" will also be on hand at various festivals this year, with adaptive equipment available to try out. Itineraries this season include:
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "The 'On the Canals' excursions program is an innovative use for New York's canal system, and one that has enticed travelers to visit and experience it for what it really is – scenic water and trailways steeped in rich history offering boundless opportunities for exploration and recreation. I am grateful to Gov. Hochul for continuing to invest in our canals, and I am certain that these excursions will continue to make New York's canal system a force for economic growth and recreation."
New York State Canal Corp. Director Brian U. Stratton said, "I am incredibly proud to join Gov. Hochul and our colleagues at the New York Power Authority as we officially launch this year's 'On the Canals' summer excursions with new offerings that make this program more accessible than ever. Our canal system is a fundamental part of our state's history and should be enjoyed to its fullest capacity by all New Yorkers and visitors who come looking for education, adventure and fun; and I encourage everyone of all ages and skill levels to spend their summer experiencing New York's most iconic waterways and trails 'On the Canals.’ ”
Those interested in learning more about the "On the Canals" program or to sign-up for an excursion may do so by visiting the "On the Canals" website. Additional excursions will be launched throughout the year.
Initially piloted in the summer of 2020 as "NY Canal Staycations," the "On the Canals" program has expanded as a year-round recreation initiative in New York after participation nearly tripled in 2021.
"On the Canals" is funded through the NYPA and Canal Corp.’s “Reimagine the Canals” initiative – a $300 million effort to revitalize the canal system as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and improving the resiliency of canalside communities.
The New York State Canal system officially opened this month for its 198th consecutive season of navigation.