Photo by Dave Warner – The Grande Mariner passes by the Little Falls Harbor on its way to Lock 17 during the summer of 2018.

WATERFORD, NY – The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation have teamed up to sponsor 26 festivals and events in 2021 to showcase the Canalway Corridor’s nationally significant heritage and the tremendous recreational appeal of the waterway and Canalway Trail. Events include recreational activities, tours, concerts, and heritage celebrations. The canal system opened on May 21.

“After a year with very few events, we are pleased to support community events that will bring people to the canals in safe and fun ways,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “We are proud to partner with these organizations to bring people to the waterfront to experience and celebrate New York’s extraordinary canals.”

Prior to the pandemic, cultural, heritage, and recreational events within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor delivered 1.3 billion each year in economic benefits to communities. While many large events are either scaled back or postponed again in 2021, support for these smaller community events is expected to attract upwards of 50,000 people.

“The events planned for our 2021 season are sure to highlight the Erie Canal for what it really is – a scenic water and trailway steeped in rich history with boundless opportunity for adventure,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “From waterfront concerts to community celebrations of local heritage, these events will encourage New Yorkers and beyond to enrich themselves in all that Canalside communities have to offer while driving outdoor recreation and boosting the local economy.”

This year’s event highlights include summer concerts on the Erie Canal in Newark, Pittsford, and Seneca Falls, Kayak Through History Tours in Schenectady, Amsterdam’s Riverfest in August, Local History Cruises on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville, and Doors Open Buffalo in September.

Visit events for events sponsored or see the attached PDF for a list.

The NYS Canal System includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca.  Spanning more than 500 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes, and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities.  The 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail from Albany to Buffalo, much of it along the canal’s former towpath.  Together the canals and trail create a world-class recreation way that is a vibrant, scenic, and unique New York resource.

Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. We achieve our mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York.

The New York State Canal Corporation, a subsidiary of the New York Power Authority, oversees the operation and promotion of the New York State Canal System. The Canal Corporation’s mission is to transform the Canal System into a world-class recreationway and inland commercial waterway and to foster recreation, tourism, and economic development while preserving the natural environment and cultural heritage of the canal. For more information on the New York State Canal System and the Canal Corporation, please visit

2021 Erie Canalway-CanalCorp Sponsored Events