Erie canal

Quick question for everyone. Im interested in paddling the erie canal. Can kayaks fit under the lift bridges or do you need to call ahead to have them raise bridge? I know the locks you need to call ahead. Thank you

Shouldn’t be any issue under the bridges
What section though. Much of the western portion has launches that are not way paddle boat friendly. Doeable but. Things get a bit prettier and you come east and are paddling by grassy banks rather than sea walls.


– Last Updated: Apr-15-16 10:49 AM EST –

It would be between buffalo and Rochester. I looked on website it says 3 feet of clearance. Anyone paddle this section?

Erie canal
I have kayaked around Lockport and biked along the canal between lockport and Rochester. The bridges should have plenty of clearance to kayak under without being raised. It is easier to contact the lock operator via VHF radio.


Canal bridges
There should be no problem unless you are over 8’tall. I have passed under the bridges from Rochester west to Holley and not had any problem in a solo canoe or tandem canoe. The locks can all be portaged if not manned by a lock operator. and usually quicker even if manned.Enjoy the paddle, and post when you are passing thru, maybe we can paddle along with you for a bit and show you the Rochester area.