Erie Canal Kayak Maps from Little Falls to Utica
in Southern Adirondacks

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For some time I’ve be interesting in kayaking the Erie Canal from Little Falls, NY through Rome, NY. While that trip involves riding up 4 locks heading west, and is like 40 miles long, I figured I’d start working on some maps for a future trip on this beautiful section of the Erie Canal that is flat water and gives you views of small cities, farm country, and the hills lining both sides of the Mohawk Valley.

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Tug Boat at Utica Marsh on August 20, 2011

The section from Utica to Rome will be mapped in a future fodder essay, and additional pictures will be added.

The Erie Canal with Launch Points Along the Way…

Most of the locks are pretty spread out, so if your only looking for a 5-10 mile round trip, you need not go through a lock. There is no charge to go through a lock in just a kayak, but usually you have to wait for another boat to share the lock before they will lock you up or down.

You can print out or download these maps by clicking on them, and then choosing Save As or Print. Put them in a zip lock bag to stay dry when kayaking…

Lock 17 Little Falls.

There are no DEC designated put-in locations at Little Falls, but there are many informal places one can put a boat in around Little Falls. If I recall right, there may be a boat launch here, but it’s not shown on the map. A little ways west of the city, there is a formal boat launch off of Industrial Drive, as shown on the map.

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Lock 18 (downstream) and Industrial Drive Boat Put-In.

A mile or so west of Little Falls, there is Industrial Drive Boat Launch off of NY 5. You can take 2-3 miles upstream before you hit Lock 18 in Jacksonberg.

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Lock 18 (upstream) and Lock 18 Wildlife Management Area.

Past Lock 18 is a Wildlife Management Area aka Public Hunting Grounds between the shallow Mohawk River and the Erie Canal. No camping is allowed there per federal regulations.

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Mohawk-Herkimer Area.

Beyond Lock 18 Wildlife Management Area is the small cities of Mohawk and Herkimer. A more urbanized section of the canal, should offer some interesting views of these cities. There is a boat launch off of South Washington Street.

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The Mohawk River winds past Illion, then past marshlands in this relatively flat land portion of the canal that follows the river.

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Lock 19 (downstream) and Frankfort.

In this section, the Mohawk River diverges from the Erie Canal. Portions of the Mohawk River’s marshlands from here should be explorable from the Erie Canal. Notice the Frankfort Boat Launch.

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Lock 19 (upstream) and West Schuyler.

Once you get beyond the City of Frankfort there is one more lock (19) before 10 miles without any more locks. Lock 20 in Marcy is quite a ways North-West.

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North Utica and the County Line.

From here, you cross into the developed portion of Utica. The mix of protected wetlands and otherwise undevelopable lands along this portion of the Erie Canal means except for the limited road noise and bridges you pass under, you might never know your entering a city. There is a kayak launch off of Sewage Treatment Road, which is off of Lealand Avenue in Utica. Some interesting marshy lands to explore before entering the beautiful Erie Canal in this area.

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Utica Harbor, I-790 Interchange, Utica Marsh.

There are no locks in this area, as you past the largely landfilled and developed area between the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal. While there is a lock down to the Utica Harbor, unless their is a barge, you have little reason to go here. Paddle up just beyond the I-790 Interchange Bridges, and pull your kayak out along the western shores, and follow the bike path up the hill for views of the Utica Marsh.

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… I hope these maps are helpful!

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Reflections of the Canal at Utica Marsh on August 27, 2011

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