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- Amsterdam Waterfront Foundation
- Erie Canal LocksClose
How can a boat climb a waterfall? Or a barge travel over rapids? They can’t. Canals are built to dodge these boating hazards using a series of locks and levels. Locks are elevators for boats, lifting and lowering them as they travel along the waterway. Levels are long stretches of flat water between the locks.
The Erie Canal locks lift your vessel a total of 565 feet above sea level from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. Seven of the 57 locks on the Erie Canal are in Montgomery County, each with a park and picnic area. For more information about traveling by water, contact the New York State Canal Corporation toll-free at 1-800-4CANAL4.
Use your own boat or rent a fully equipped canal boat, and chart your own course. Marinas provide a full range of services for transient boaters. You can tie up and explore canal towns built in the 19th-century and bicycle or walk to nearby attractions.;
The Canalway Water Trail is geared toward small boaters along the 524-mile New York State Canal System. The Water Trail contains access points (launches and landings), campsites and day use sites (attractions) along the Canal System. It is designed for both the ‘day user’ looking to spend a few hours on the Canal and the long distance traveler who wants a slow, interesting passage along the length of the canal.
To pass through the entire length of the Erie Canal, your vessel must be able to clear a fixed bridge height of 15’ 6”. Today’s canal runs an average of about 9 feet deep. It has a vertical clearance of 21 feet between Waterford and Three Rivers (Oswego Canal junction), and 15.5 feet between the Tonawanda and Niagara rivers. The largest vessels that can make the entire journey must be under 300 feet long, 43.5 feet wide, 9’ draft.
All recreational vessels passing through any lock or lift bridge on the Canal System must purchase either a Seasonal Pass or a Ten-Day Pass. For boats over 39 feet, the toll is $50.00 for a ten-day pass. Smaller vessels have a smaller fee.
The Erie Canal opens May 1st to September 1st (weather permitting). Locks and Lift bridges are operated daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There is no cruising at night as you can not go any further than the next lock or lift bridge.
Navigating the locks:
- Lock 10 Cranesville – Latitude 42° 55” 0’ Longitude -74° 8” 21’; 722 Highway 5S, Amsterdam, NY 12010
- Lock 11 Amsterdam – Latitude 42° 56” 46’ Longitude -74° 12” 32’; 366 West Main Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010
- Guy Park Manor and the Walter Elwood Museum, year-round tours to groups and canal boaters. At Amsterdam Riverlink Park, an elevated walkway with breathtaking views links downtown Amsterdam to a riverside plaza that includes an open-air stage, children’s playground, visitor’s center, gardens and 600 feet of transient boat docking. Free concerts are held during July and August. On-site laundry, shower facilities and power hookups are offered.
- Lock 12 Tribes Hill – Latitude 42° 56” 45’ Longitude -74° 17” 18’; 177 Main Street, Tribes Hill, NY 12177
- Lock 13 Randall – Latitude 42° 55” 3’ Longitude -74° 26” 44’; 100 Old River Road, Fultonville, NY 12072
- Lock 14 Canajoharie – Latitude 42° 54” 33’ Longitude -74° 34” 40’; 14 Spring Street, Palatine Bridge, NY 13428
- Lock 15 State Canal Park – Latitude 42° 56” 20’ Longitude -74° 37” 17’; 100 Otsquago Club Road, Fort Plain, NY 13339. Located toward the western end of more than 40 miles of continuous trail in Fort Plain with camping and picnic facilities.
- Lock 16 St. Johnsville – Latitude 42° 59” 31’ Longitude -74° 42” 34’; 161 Mindenville Drive, Fort Plain, NY 13339. The Village of St. Johnsville maintains a beautiful municipal park and marina, one of several in the county. River travelers can stop at the boat launch, fill up, have a picnic, and be treated to a summer’s evening concert. If you dock, camping is nearby, along with a secluded, romantic bed & breakfast.
The Mohawk River throughout Montgomery County provides a diverse fishery with peaceful, lush surroundings. Because of the Erie Canal, parking and boat launching sites are unparalleled. There are countless spots to discover glorious fishing by boat, as well as a generous selection of public launch sites. Wheelchair accessible facilities are maintained at Lock 10 and at Nelliston.
The stretch of the river from Lock 13 to Lock 16 has abundant carp, perch and bass. Schoharie Creek flows into the Mohawk just above lock 12, making exciting bass fishing throughout the season and walleye fishing in the early spring.
Other tributaries and ponds In Montgomery County provide a rich variety of largemouth bass, perch and trout opportunities.
- Auries Creek, Tribes Hill, (42.933, -74.315)
- Bowmans Creek, Sprout Brook, (42.85, -74.677)
- Briggs Run, Randall, (42.92, -74.444)
- Brimstone Creek, Sharon Springs (42.847, -74.608)
- Bunn Creek, Amsterdam (42.94, -74.186)
- Buttermilk Falls, Carlisle (42.869, -74.451)
- Canajoharie Creek, Canajoharie (42.909, -74.569)
- Canajoharie Falls, Canajoharie (42.893, -74.565)
- Canajoharie Reservoir, Canajoharie (42.926, -74.57)
- Caroga Creek, Fort Plain (42.965, -74.637)
- Compaanen Kill, Pattersonville (42.907, -74.101)
- Crum Creek, Fort Plain (42.999, -74.731)
- Danascara Creek, Tribes Hill, (42.936, -74.318)
- Degraff Creek, Amsterdam (42.921, -74.162)
- Dove Creek, Amsterdam (42.951, -74.216)
- East Canada Creek, Fort Plain (43, -74.743)
- Evas Kill, Amsterdam (42.917, -74.137)
- Flat Creek, Canajoharie (42.895, -74.513)
- Flitzpatrick Creek, Amsterdam (42.955, -74.233)
- Fonda Reservoir, Randall (42.939, -74.457)
- Fort Plains Reservoir, Canajoharie (42.947, -74.609)
- Harrower Pond, Amsterdam (42.964, -74.167)
- Irish Creek, Tribes Hill, (42.885, -74.28)
- Kayaderosseras Creek, Amsterdam (42.956, -74.24)
- Kellogg Pond, Amsterdam (42.939, -74.178)
- Kellogg Reservoir, Amsterdam (42.981, -74.179)
- Knauderack Creek, Randall (42.917, -74.5)
- Lasher Creek, Randall, (42.897, -74.471)
- Little Bear Swamp, Carlisle (42.801, -74.445)
- McLachlan Pond, Pattersonville (42.939, -74.112)
- McQueen Creek, Amsterdam (42.971, -74.248)
- Mill Creek, Canajoharie (42.974, -74.588)
- Mother Creek, Fort Plain (42.973, -74.643)
- Old Fonda Reservoir, Randall (42.952, -74.404)
- Otsquago Creek, Canajoharie (42.933, -74.618)
- Palatine Bridge Underground Reservoir, Canajoharie, (42.93, -74.551)
- Revine Creek, Tribes Hill (42.931, -74.31)
- Schoharie Creek, Tribes Hill (42.941, -74.293)
- South Chuctanunda Creek, Amsterdam (42.937, -74.198)
- Terwilleger Creek, Amsterdam (42.917, -74.153)
- Timmerman Creek, Fort Plain (42.993, -74.698)
- Van Wie Creek, Stone Ridge (42.927, -74.424)
- Wilsey Creek, Esperance (42.824, -74.263)
- Yatesville Creek, Randall (42.906, -74.458)
- Youngs Lakes, Esperance (42.867, -74.258)
- Zimmerman Creek, St. Johnsville (42.99424, -74.68848)
Fishing-related businesses in Montgomery County:
- Ross Bait Shop, 271 Manny Corners Rd, Amsterdam, NY 12010 (518) 842-3819
- The Sportsman’s Den, 30 Canal St, Fort Plain, NY 13339 (518) 993-1010
- Adirondack Kayak Warehouse 4786 State Highway, 30, Amsterdam NY 12010 (518) 843-3232
- Canajoharie Forest Fish & Game Club, 149 Fish and Game Club Road, Canajoharie, NY 13317 (518) 673-2389
- Lock E13Erie Canal Lock 13 is in Randall and raises and lowers boats 8 feet. This lock is 9.68 miles west of Lock E12. There are two old concrete barges shoring up the bank of the river below Lock E13. The photo shows the stern end of a barge with hull number U.S. 102. There are also addition concrete barges like this one at Erie Canal Lock E9. The submerged concrete barges have moorings added on top of them, use caution when approaching these, they do not make good moorings. Also no...te that this is another lock that has a low wall, make sure you lower your fenders. The upstream elevation here is 286 feet above sea level and the downstream is 278 feet. The lock master can be reached on VHF radio channel 13 or by phone at (518) 922-6173. It is another 7.9 miles to Lock E14. Traveling by boat to Lock 13 is far easier than by car or foot. Lock 13 was built in a rural area, and during the construction of the NYS Thruway (Interstate 90), the lock was cut-off from nearby roads. Vehicles can now only access the lock via the Thruway. There is a small tunnel under the Thruway that allows walking to the lock. Parking is found adjacent to the Thruway at the end of Old River Road West, just before the gated access to the NYS Thruway Maintenance Barn. The land-side access is the most unusual of all the NYS canal locks. Lock 13, like most locks along the Mohawk River, utilized a gas powered electric generators. During the early 1900s there was no local electricity available for the lock to use. Thus two two 50 KW turbines were installed. Those traveling the Thruway notice this building, intact and relatively unchanged from its construction nearly 100 years ago. It is located quite a distance away from the lock itself, which kept smoke, noise and other unpleasant byproducts of the gas engines away from the lock tenders. It also moved the building further away from the flood plain. Most locks that do not have an associated movable dam adjacent to them utilized hydro-power, but those along the Mohawk River could not benefit from the clean electricity. During the winter the dam's gates needed to be lifted, and with the water lowered, the hydro generators could not operate. Therefore at these locations gas generators were installed, and this provided power on demand. The downside of these gas generators was that they needed to be operated almost constantly. Lock operation, lighting, operation of tools, cooking, and all other electrical needs required that the engines. There were two generators at each power station along the canal, this allowed continual operation during the event of a failure or maintenance. If both generators went down, the lock are able to be operated manually, but this is a slow process.Close
- Marinas and Boat LaunchesClose
Montgomery County has plentiful public marinas and boat launches along the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
Lock E10 Lower End, ramp, south shore, off Route 5S, 2.5 miles east of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Riverlink Park, north shore, Front Street, Amsterdam
DEC Launch Amsterdam, hard surface ramp, north shore, off Route 5N one mile east of Amsterdam. Head south past the railroad gate 0.22 miles on Quist Road
Port Jackson Launch, Erie Terrace, ramp, south shore, Amsterdam
Schoharie Crossing State Launch, concrete ramp, south shore, west of Fort Hunter on 5S at Schoharie Crossing, Town of Glen
Canajoharie Riverfront Park, south shore, east of Lock 14 near the Route 10/Church Street bridge
DEC Launch Canajoharie, hard surface ramp, south shore, west of Route 10 bridge in Canajoharie
DEC Launch Nelliston, hard surface ramp, north shore, off Route 80 in Village of Nelliston. Take Old Station Road south 0.14 miles toward Wastewater Plant
Cranesville, south shore, off NY Route 5S, 3.4 miles east of I-90, Exit 27. Hand launch.
St. Johnsville Campsite and Municipal Marina, South Bridge St, St Johnsville; Tie up for the evening and enjoy a stay in this quaint Canal village located. Boat launch with fuel, water, gas, and diesel. Pump out facilities available. Campgrounds are adjacent to Marina with a bed and breakfast nearby. May–Nov, 7am–9:30pm. (518) 568-7406 (seasonal); (518) 568-2221 (year-round)
Old Erie Lock 28, canoe/kayak beach landing, south shore, Town of Florida
Lock 12, Upper End, canoe/kayak-beach landing, north shore
Fultonville Docks, canoe/kayak-dock, south shore, Village of Fultonville
Lock E15 Upper End, canoe/kayak-beach landing, south shore, Route 33 to River Road, .5 mile after Lock E15 in Fort Plain
Near mouth of Otsquago Creek, turn right heading north before going over the NY Route 80 bridge. Beach launch.
Old Erie Lock 33, car top-beach landing, south shore, Town of Minden
Schoharie Creek, at the dead end of North Dufel Road, off NY Route 5S, just west of Fort Hunter. Hard surface. 30 cars and trailers.
Schoharie Creek, at the end of the County Route 160 bridge in Burtonville. Hand launch.
Schoharie Crossing State Historic site marks the spot where the Erie Canal took the Mohawk River through its confluence with the 93-mile long Schoharie Creek. Dedicated to preservation and interpretation of the Erie Canal, the site gives a real touch of life on the canal with the remains of the 1825 stone aqueduct, a restored canal store and a historic lock from the 1850s.
- Mohawk Valley Gateway OverlookCloseThe Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook is a park over the Mohawk River that will connect the North and South sides of Amsterdam while celebrating its heritage.
- Palatine Bridge Freight HousePalatine Bridge Freight House is a historic freight depot in a rectangular limestone building constructed in the mid-1850s. It measures 300 feet long and is a fine example of a mid 19th century storage house. It has a low slope gable roof with overhanging eaves. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.Close
- River’s EdgeBeautiful river side dinning. Excellent food and spirits, live entertainment and catering services.Close
- Whitewater and PaddlingClose
The following whitewater and paddling routes have been shared by volunteers. Montgomery County does not monitor or test these routes and cannot guarantee that natural changes have not occurred since the last volunteer report. All water activities on public waterways are undertaken at your own risk.
Cobleskill Creek: easy and shallow whitewater rafting and paddling access, except for the mile above Bramanville and the Bramanville Falls and a 5-foot drop above Central Bridge. Putin location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 42.64666 Longitude: -74.53473; Takeout location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 42.70972 Longitude: -74.32639
Caroga Creek: mildly difficult 9.5 mile whitewater section from Ephratah to Route 5. Putin location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 43.0339 Longitude: -74.5262; Takeout Location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 42.96749 Longitude: -74.62831
East Canada Creek: mildly difficult 8 miles, Dolgeville to Route 5 in Montgomery County; Putin Location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 43.1001 Longitude: -74.77291; Takeout Location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 43.00529 Longitude: -74.7411
Schoharie Creek: mildly difficult 21 mile run from Esperance to Fort Hunter. One of the few paddling stretches in this system; Putin Location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 42.76111 Longitude: -74.25806; Takeout Location GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 42.93999 Longitude: -74.29028
Timmerman Creek: difficult 3 mile stretch from near Amsterdam to Upper St. Johnsville. Falls drop through Klock Park to the confluence with the Mohawk River. Putin: Youkers Bush Road: Takeout Route 5/Main St.
Paddle-related businesses in Montgomery County:
Adirondack Kayak Warehouse 4786 State Highway, 30, Amsterdam NY 12010