The historic Erie Canal that traverses New York State played a tremendous role in the development and growth of the United States. Completed in 1825, the construction of the 363-mile canal - that stretches from Albany to Buffalo - was the first navigable waterway connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. It earned the moniker “The Nation’s First Superhighway.”
The Erie Canal flows 25 miles through Orleans County, NY, providing several opportunities to enjoy the tranquil waterway and the charming small villages that reside on the banks of the canal. The water, bustling small towns, local shops, weekly summertime music events and natural beauty, are all reasons to make the Erie Canal a fun and historical visitor destination.
10:30 to noon
The greatest concentration of surviving cobblestone buildings in the United States is located here at The Cobblestone Museum. The Museum is an open-air, National Historic Landmark rooted in the history of cobblestone masonry during the time that the man-made wonder, The Erie Canal, was being constructed. A guided walking tour offers a fascinating glimpse of three celebrated architectural marvels plus other period buildings.
12:30 to 2:00
Historic Tillman’s Village Inn
A historic Erie Canal Inn serving throngs of travelers for decades their lunch fare features local, fresh produce with culinary flare. Planned re-opening after extensive renovations in May 2023.
Walking into Bent's Opera House is an experience not unlike walking into a time capsule. Enjoy a satisfying lunch in a charming environment that hearkens back to yesteryear. Your host will provide some interesting narration so this visit while remain forever in your memory.
2:30 to 4:00
Red Medina Sandstone was first mined here and you’ve probably seen it in your travels or perhaps right in your own home town. The first quarries were opened here and thanks to the Erie Canal was shipped all over the world. Medina Sandstone is in Buckingham Palace, the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York State Capitol to name just a few. A step on guide will tell you about the local sandstone history and tour you around to much of the local community that still showcases this natural wonder.
View additional Erie Canal offerings here.
Discover all the adventurous things you can see and do in the Fresh Air Adventures region. Then bring your travel packet with you to use while you're visiting destinations in the area.