Erie Canal Distance Tables
The Erie Canal is the longest canal section in the New York State Canal System. Beginning at lock #E-2 in Waterford, NY, the Erie Canal runs 293 NM (337 SM or 543 KM) to the Niagara River at Tonawanda, NY and from there onto Buffalo, NY and Lake Erie via the Black Rock Canal.
The Erie Canal Distance Table (shown below) provides distances between some of the major points along the length of the canal. When used in conjunction with the speed limits throughout the canal, it is useful in planning your trip as well as an aid in computing passage times between major points along the way.
As a general guide, Albany to Oswego, NY will require about 3 days and Albany to Buffalo about 5 - 6 days depending on your speed.
To recap the maximum speed limits for the Erie Canal:
- Between Lock #E-2 and lock #E-6 - 4.3 knots (5 mph).
- Between Lock #E-6 and lock #E-12 - 39.1 knots (45 mph).
- Between Lock #E-12 and lock #E-16 - 26.0 knots (30 mph).
- Between Lock #E-16 and lock #E-17 - 8.7 knots (10 mph).
- Between Locks #E-17 and Guard Gate #4 - 4.3 knots (5 mph).
- Between Guard Gate #4 and lock #E-21 - 8.7 knots (10 mph).
- Between Lock #E21 and the Sylvan Beach Breakwater - 4.3 knots (5 mph).
- Oneida Lake - Unrestricted.
- Between Brewerton Pier and Three Rivers Junction - 8.7 knots (10 mph).
- Between Three Rivers Junction and State Ditch - 26 knots (30 mph).
- State Ditch - 8.7 knots (10 mph).
- Between State Ditch and lock #E-26 - 26.0 knots (30 mph).
- Between Lock #E-26 and lock #E-32 - 8.7 knots (10 mph).
- Between lock #E-32 and lock #E-33 - 4.3 knots (5 mph).
- Between lock #E33 and Three Mile Island - 8.7 knots (10 mph).
- Between Three Mile Island and the Niagara River - 4.3 knots (5 mph).
These speed limits are valid except in the vicinity of the locks and unless otherwise posted. The standard caveat also applies - "you are responsible for your wake!"
These tables can be downloaded for your personal and private use. The files are Zipped Adobe (.pdf) format. The Erie Canal distance files contain the tables in NM’s, SM’s, and KM’s. You can download the table that you prefer or you can download all 3 in one file.