Erie Canal Distances, Speed Limits, and Transit Times

The Erie Canal is the longest canal section in the New York State Canal System. Beginning at lock E2 in Waterford, NY, the Erie Canal runs 338.75 SM (294.37 NM) to the Niagara River at Tonawanda, NY. From there to Buffalo, NY and Lake Erie via the Black Rock Canal is an additional 12.3 SM (10.69 NM).

The Erie Canal Distance Tables (shown below) are broken down into (2) parts; the eastern half of the canal from the Troy Lock in Troy, NY to Three Rivers Junction near Phoenix, NY and the western half from Three Rivers Junction west to Buffalo, NY.


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These tables provide distances between many of the major points along the length of the canal. When used in conjunction with the speed limits throughout the canal and the transit times, it may be useful in planning your trip as well as an aid in computing passage times between major points along the way.

Distance Tables

Open Down Arrow NYSCS - Erie Canal Distances (Eastern Half)

Erie Canal - Distance Table (Eastern Half)

Erie Canal Distances (Statute Miles) Troy Lock Lock E2-Waterford, NY Lock E-8-Scotia, NY Lock E11- Amsterdam, NY Lock E14-Canajoharie, NY Lock E17-Little Falls, NY Ilion, NY Utica, NY Rome, NY Sylvan Beach, NY Brewerton, NY Three Rivers Junction
Troy Lock 0.0 2.74 26.15 41.40 63.06 81.10 91.19 102.99 117.02 131.24 152.78 163.19
Lock E2-Waterford, NY 2.74 0.0 23.41 38.66 60.32 78.36 88.45 100.25 114.28 128.50 150.04 160.45
Lock E-8-Scotia, NY 26.15 23.41 0.0 15.24 36.91 54.95 65.04 76.84 90.87 105.09 126.63 136.41
Lock E11- Amsterdam, NY 41.40 38.66 15.25 0.0 21.66 39.70 49.79 61.59 75.62 89.94 111.38 121.16
Lock E14-Canajoharie, NY 63.06 60.32 36.91 21.66 0.0 18.04 28.13 39.93 53.96 68.18 89.72 99.50
Lock E17-Little Falls, NY 81.10 78.36 54.95 39.70 18.04 0.0 10.09 21.89 35.92 50.14 71.68 81.46
Ilion, NY 91.19 88.45 65.04 49.79 28.13 10.09 0.0 11.80 25.83 40.05 61.59 71.37
Utica, NY 102.99 100.25 76.84 61.59 39.93 21.89 11.80 0.0 14.03 28.25 49.79 59.57
Rome, NY 117.02 114.28 90.87 75.62 53.96 35.92 25.83 14.03 0.0 14.22 35.76 45.54
Sylvan Beach, NY 131.24 128.50 105.09 89.94 68.18 50.14 40.05 28.25 14.22 0.0 21.54 31.32
Brewerton, NY 152.78 150.04 126.63 111.38 89.72 71.68 61.59 49.79 35.76 21.54 0.0 9.78
Three Rivers Junction 163.19 160.45 136.41 121.16 99.50 81.46 71.37 59.57 49.54 31.32 9.78 0.0
Distances in Statute Miles

Open Down Arrow NYSCS - Erie Canal Distances (Western Half)

Erie Canal - Distance Table (Western Half)

Erie Canal Distances (Statute Miles) Troy Lock Three Rivers Jct. Junction-C-S Canal Lyons, NY Newark, NY Fairport, NY Junction-Genesee River Spencerport, NY Medina, NY Lock E35-Lockport,NY Three Mile Island Niagara River
Troy Lock 0.0 163.19 204.12 223.74 229.41 249.41 263.19 274.12 306.39 323.46 338.00 341.46
Three Rivers Jct. 163.19 0.0 40.93 60.55 66.22 86.22 100.00 110.93 143.20 160.27 174.81 178.27
Junction-C-S Canal 204.12 40.93 0.0 19.62 25.39 45.29 59.07 70.00 102.27 119.34 133.88 137.34
Lyons, NY 223.74 60.55 19.62 0.0 5.67 25.67 39.45 50.38 82.65 99.72 114.26 117.72
Newark, NY 229.41 66.22 25.39 5.67 0.0 20.00 33.78 44.71 76.98 94.05 108.59 112.05
Fairport, NY 249.41 86.22 45.29 25.67 20.00 0.0 21.64 32.57 64.84 81.91 96.45 99.91
Junction-Genesee River 263.19 100.00 59.07 39.45 33.78 21.64 0.0 22.48 54.75 71.82 86.36 89.82
Spencerport, NY 274.12 110.93 70.00 50.38 44.71 32.57 22.48 0.0 32.27 49.34 63.88 67.34
Medina, NY 306.39 143.20 102.27 82.65 76.98 64.84 54.75 32.27 0.0 17.07 31.61 35.07
Lock E35-Lockport,NY 323.46 160.27 119.34 99.72 94.05 81.91 71.82 49.34 17.07 0.0 14.54 18.00
Three Mile Island 338.00 174.81 133.88 114.26 108.59 96.45 86.36 63.88 31.61 14.54 0.0 3.46
Niagara River 341.46 178.27 137.34 117.72 112.05 99.91 89.82 67.34 35.07 18.00 3.46 0.0
Distances in Statute Miles

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 Statute Miles, Nautical Miles, and Kilometers.

Erie Canal Distance Tables - Download

Speed Limits

The speed limits for the Erie Canal are as follows:

Erie Canal Speed Limits (Eastern Half)

Canal Leg MPH Knots KPH
Except in the vicinity of locks or as otherwise posted.
Lock E2 to Lock E6 5.0 4.3 8.0
Lock E6 to Lock E12 45.0 39.1 72.4
Lock E12 to Lock E16 30.0 26.1 48.3
Lock E16 to Lock E17 5.0 4.3 8.0
Lock E17 to Guard Gate #4 5.0 4.3 8.0
Guard Gate #4 to Lock E21 5.0 4.3 8.0
Lock E21 to Sylvan Beach Breakwater 5.0 4.3 8.0
Oneida Lake UNLIMITED
I-81 Bridge (E-63A) to Three Rivers Junction 5.0 4.3 8.0

Erie Canal Speed Limits (Western Half)

Canal Leg MPH Knots KPH
Except in the vicinity of locks or as otherwise posted.
Three Rivers Junction to and including State Ditch Cut 10.0 8.7 16.1
Buoy R "408" at end of State Ditch Cut to Lock E26 30.0 26.1 48.3
Lock E26 to Lock E32 10.0 8.7 16.1
Lock E32 to Lock E33 5.0 4.3 8.0
Lock E-33 to Three Mile Island 10.0 8.7 16.1
Three Mile Island to Niagara River 5.0 4.3 8.0

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!"

The Erie Canal Speed Tables can be downloaded for your personal and private use. The file is Zipped Adobe (.pdf) format.

Erie Canal Speed Tables - Download

Transit Times

As a general guide, Waterford, NY to Oswego, NY can be done in a little over a day and a half at the posted speed limits. More realistically however, you should figure on 3 days to make the trip.

From Waterford, NY to Buffalo, NY at the posted speed limits can be done in a little less than 4 days. However, about 5 days should be planned for.

Open Down Arrow NYSCS - Erie Canal Transit Times (Eastern Half)

Erie Canal Transit Times (Eastern Half)

      Transit Times @ The Lesser of: Indicated Speeds or Posted Speed Limit
Canal Leg # of Locks Transit Time @ Posted
Speed Limit
MPH -
Knots -
KPH -
5.0
4.3
8.1
10.0
8.7
16.1
15.0
13.0
24.1
Total Transit Time (Waterford, NY to Three Rivers Junction):   16.7 Hrs   41.5 Hrs 25.8 Hrs 22.6 Hrs
Lock E2 to E6 (Waterford, NY) 5 2.0 Hrs.   2.0 Hrs. 2.0 Hrs. 2.0 Hrs.
Lock E6 to Lock E12 (Tribes Hill, NY) 6 3.0 Hrs.   10.7 Hrs. 6.3 Hrs. 4.9 Hrs.
Lock E12 to Lock E16 (St Johnsville, NY) 4 1.3 Hrs.   6.8 Hrs. 4.1 Hrs. 3.2 Hrs.
Lock E16 to Lock E17 (Little Falls, NY) 1 1.1 Hrs.   2.9 Hrs. 2.1 Hrs. 2.1 Hrs.
Lock E17 to GG #4 0 10.3 Min.   10.3 Min. 10.3 Min. 10.3 Min.
Guard Gate #4 to Lock E21 (New London, NY) 4 5.8 Hrs.   10.2 Hrs. 5.8 Hrs. 5.8 Hrs.
Lock E21 to Sylvan Beach, NY) 1 1.7 Hrs.   1.7 Hrs. 1.7 Hrs. 1.7 Hrs.
Sylvan Beach, NY to Brewerton, NY 0 35.4 Min.   5.3 Hrs. 2.7 Hrs. 1.8 Hrs.
Brewerton, NY to Three Rivers Junction 1 1.0 Hrs.   1.7 Hrs. 1.0 Hrs. 1.0 Hrs.

Open Down Arrow NYSCS - Erie Canal Transit Times (Western Half)

Erie Canal Transit Times (Western Half)

      Transit Times @ The Lesser of: Indicated Speeds or Posted Speed Limit
Canal Leg # of Locks Transit Time @ Posted
Speed Limit
MPH -
Knots -
KPH -
5.0
4.3
8.1
10.0
8.7
16.1
15.0
13.0
24.1
Total Transit Time (Three Rivers Junction to the Niagara River):   20.5 Hrs   31.8 Hrs 22.3 Hrs 21.4 Hrs
Three Rivers Junction to State Ditch Cut 1 2.4 Hrs.   4.6 Hrs. 2.4 Hrs. 2.4 Hrs.
State Ditch Buoy R"408" to Lock E-26 2 1.6 Hrs.   6.1 Hrs. 3.4 Hrs. 2.5 Hrs.
Lock E-26 to Lock E-32 6 6.6 Hrs.   11.2 Hrs. 6.6 Hrs. 6.6 Hrs.
Lock E-32 to Lock E-33 1 35.1 Min.   35.1 Min. 35.1 Min. 35.1 Min.
Lock E-33 to Three Mile Island 2 8.6 Hrs.   16.4 Hrs. 8.6 Hrs. 8.6 Hrs.
Three Mile Island to Niagara River 0 41.4 Min.   41.4 Min. 41.4 Min. 41.4 Min.

The Erie Canal Transit Times Tables are available in Statute Miles, Nautical Miles, and Kilometers/meters and can be downloaded for your personal and private use. The file is Zipped Adobe (.pdf) format.

Erie Canal Transit Times - Download



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