Category: 2017: Trent Severn & Erie Canal

Palmyra to Pittsford, NY


Woke up to a picture perfect morning in Palmyra and continued our way west on the Erie Canal. The canal today transitioned from the river to parts of the canal that were dredged out, and in doing so the scenery opened up on both sides with a lot of park like settings. The communities along this section of the canal had taken advantage of the pathway's along the canal, and have converted them into walking and biking paths – really pretty settings.


While en-route to Pittsford, we stopped at Fairport just ahead of our first lift bridge. The lift bridge in Fairport is in "Ripley's Believe it or Not" because of a number of interesting aspects. First, its 700+ tons in weight, but is counter-balanced such that a 40 HP motor can lift it. Second, because no two angles are the same and there are no 90 degree angles.


We ended up stopping here for about 2 hours, had a great lunch at the "Tow Path Grille" (definitely recommended), and Melodie got very upset because I said no to Ice Cream, to which I finally succumbed to after her having a tantrum in front of several bystanders (just kidding). I also came across a GREAT guitar store on the south side of the canal – this place was jam packed with a lot of very fine instruments. A good place to explore for the guitar buff. No, I came away empty handed, but had a nice look-around.



Anyhow, after that we continued on to Pittsford. Pittsford, like Fairport, is a really nice town.  Lots of restaurants and stores to browse. Despite that we ended up eating onboard as lunch had pretty much filled us up. While walking around Pittsford I came across a "lumberyard" there that I decided to check out, and frankly, I was dumbfounded. Right alongside the canal it sits, and not only had a great old yellow lab at the entrance, had an amazing selection of lumber, both domestic and exotics in a variety of sizes. A truly awesome find. In addition, while looking around I came across a old Stanley "Bed Rock" plane for sale in really good condition, as well as some beautiful curly maple wood. Of course I could not resist, and ended up with both – my find for the trip.

Melodie also had success in one of the stores uptown, purchasing a bracelet that I needed to help her remove, after she purchased it of course. Hmm.. part of a shopping strategy?

The following morning we walked up to a terrific bakery by the canal, and indulged in Quiche, fresh fruit, and almond croissants. Not a bad start to the morning!

Off to Holley – All the best!



Seneca Falls to Palmyra, NY

_DSC0654We got an earlier start than our normal 10:55 AM today to make the trip from Seneca Falls to Palmyra, leaving just before 9:00 AM. Beautiful day all the way, quite warm and sunny. We took our time staying well below the speed limits ranging from 10 to 30 MPH, and we probably averaged around 8 knots all day. We arrived at Palmyra at 3:30 or so, after traversing through 7 locks in total.

New routine on the locks.
At the last lock prior to Palmyra, we did our normal thing, I let Melodie know what line to reach for on the bow, counting from the entrance to the line desired, and then I grab the stern line after shutting the engine off. Well, what we didn’t notice on the starboard/north wall of the lock was how bad the concrete had deteriorated on our preferred starboard tie. We were in the bottom of the lock, maybe 20 feet. I pulled on the stern line to bring the stern in, and a five to ten pound chunk of concrete literally fell off of the top of the lock, just missing both me and the side of the boat. Kerplunk!! After that fragments continued to fall, but since we kept the boat about four feet off the wall, everything proceeded without incident.
Suggested locking procedure for anyone using the lock, and our new plan:

  1. Look at the quality of the sidewalls of the lock.
  2. Select the sidewall in the best condition.
  3. Then select which line to use as the forward tie.

Palmyra has a really unique facility for boaters, in that their dock wall is actually in a cove off of the canal. Includes power and pump out capability at each tie. Couple that with free shore power and dockage and it all stack up into a nice offering from the towns along the Erie Canal – SWEET!  Went for a nice bike ride through town, nice old buildings. Definitely a nice place to stop for the night.


Montour Falls, NY


Friday morning started out a bit cloudy, but all in all the weather was warm and perfect for a trip down Lake Seneca to Montour Falls, NY. As such we proceeded through 1 more lock to get to Lake Seneca, for the 38 mile run to the bottom.

The lake was pretty calm, waves of one foot or less, so we made really good headway at 20.5 knots, and slowed down for the last 45 minutes or so as we were going to arrive a bit earlier than Jim, who had planned to get there around 3:00 PM to guide us to a slip for the weekend. _DSC0520Around 3:30 or so we got to Montour Falls Campground to meet up with Jim, Shelley, Heidi, and her children, Emerson and Cooper. We started getting introduced to all of their friends, and frankly got the feeling that they had known us for a long time (I wonder what kinds of stories in preparation Jim and Shelley had provided everyone? 🙂 ).

Anyhow, we were treated very kindly and found everyone to be really nice, fun and great to hang with. Shelley was returning from a business trip and arrived later that night. It felt really great to see them, since we had not seen them for at least a couple of years.

The following morning (Saturday) we loaded everyone up on the MnM and headed out to the lake, both to give Jim and Shelley a feel for the boat, but also to take a dip in the lake. We unloaded the dinghy and took the kids (Mike, Heidi, Emerson and Cooper) for a ride to the shallows, to do some messin around in the water. Just like being back at home. Melodie, Shelley and Jim stayed back on the boat for some libation and snacks. The kids were great fun, they sent me up nicely and got me wet, felt good.

After taking the boat back to the slip, we proceeded to the “Oar House” by dinghy for happy hour, and wrapped up the evening with some pizza and entertainment by J&S’s friends Jim and Mike – with some “interesting” twists on the lyrics for a few songs.

Sunday morning we said our good bye’s and made our way back up Lake Seneca to Seneca Falls for the night. At Shelley’s recommendation we had some great salads at Parker’s Grill.
Special thanks to Jim and Shelley – Heidi and family, and all of our new friends for making us feel so welcome and at home. We enjoyed it so much. If any of you get up our way, please look us up.


Baldwinsville/Seneca Falls, NY


Left Oswego, NY precisely at our normal departure time (10:55).  I have no idea why that is – guess we’re boating creatures of habit at this point.  Headed down the Oswego river through 8 locks, traveled around 37 miles and arrived in Baldwinsville NY around 4:00 PM.


Baldwinsville, NY

We tied to the wall on the upper side of the lock, directly across from the Budweiser Amphitheatre there, and had really good seats on the stern of the MnM for a local band – who was really quite good – even I didn’t complain (might as well say it; if I don’t Melodie will).  A lot of people came to the park and by boat to watch the band.  One couple even danced on their boat, it was cute.


Got up the next morning and had breakfast at the ‘Canal Walk’ restaurant near the lock

-GREAT BREAKFASTS.  Great setting and a place with great character.  After that we spent some time walking through town and stocking up on some needed supplies before heading on to Seneca Falls.


Seneca Falls, NY

To get to Seneca falls we had three locks to traverse and around 37 miles to travel – down the Oswego River to Three Rivers Junction, then westward on the Erie Canal to the Erie Canal/Cayuga-Seneca junction.  Went through some really nice areas, including part of the canal through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, before arriving in Seneca Falls that afternoon.


Seneca Falls has done a nice job of addressing boaters needs, with decent washroom facilities and immediately available washers and dryers – less than 50 yard from the wall.  We definitely plan to take advantage of that tomorrow.

In any event, we headed over to ‘Dewey’s Third Ward’ on a recommendation from Jim (of Jim and Shelley fame).  We were not disappointed, and took advantage of their $4.00 wings special (10 wings for 4 bucks) and a couple wrap sandwiches.  The walk there and back did us both good, and we then enjoyed a quiet night on the wall.


Decided to spend Thursday in Seneca Falls to get some laundry done, clean the boat and relax for the rest of the day.  After the hard work cleaning we had beverages and a light lunch at the Sequestered Tavern which was very good.  Another very nice day.