Travel

Sailing Over the Appalachian Mountains

In the summer of 2016 I took a little trip from St Michaels, MD to Port Huron, MI. My route took 5 weeks and 1,162 Nautical Miles and across the Appalachian Mountains.

When I reached Albany NY I took down the mast and the real work began.  My first lock was at Troy NY at an elevation of 15 feet above sea level.  The Erie Canal lifted my boat to a height of 420 ft. in Whitesboro, NY. and back down the mountain range to Phoenix, NY where we took a right on the Oswego Canal.

The Oswego Canal continued to bring the boat back down the mountain ending up on Lake Ontario at 244 ft. It was great fun sailing across the lake and it took two days to reach Ft Niagara NY.

I entered the Welland Canal at 246 ft. and it lifted my boat to 547 ft above sea level. The Welland Canal is operated by Canada and was it made the Erie and Oswego Canals look like childs toy. This canal is built for the big freight liners.

 

From the days of the birchbark canoe, the early trade routes of the Northeast utilized New York’s waterways. The Lake Champlain-Hudson River Route and the Lake Ontario-Oswego River-Mohawk River Route were utilized by native Americans, fur traders, missionaries and colonizers. Fortification along the these routes still stands as testimony to their importance in exploration, trade and settlement.

— Erie Canal Museum, A Brief History of the Erie Canal

Erie Canal

Lock # Location Elevation Lift or Drop Distance to Next Lock
Troy Lock Troy 15.3 ft (4.7 m) 14.0 ft (4.3 m) E2, 2.66 mi (4.28 km)
E2 Waterford 48.9 ft (14.9 m) 33.6 ft (10.2 m) E3, 0.46 mi (0.74 km)
E3 Waterford 83.5 ft (25.5 m) 34.6 ft (10.5 m) E4, 0.51 mi (0.82 km)
E4 Waterford 118.1 ft (36.0 m) 34.6 ft (10.5 m) E5, 0.27 mi (0.43 km)
E5 Waterford 151.4 ft (46.1 m) 33.3 ft (10.1 m) E6, 0.28 mi (0.45 km)
E6 Crescent 184.4 ft (56.2 m) 33.0 ft (10.1 m) E7, 10.92 mi (17.57 km)
E7 Vischer Ferry 211.4 ft (64.4 m) 27.0 ft (8.2 m) E8, 10.97 mi (17.65 km)
E8 Scotia 225.4 ft (68.7 m) 14.0 ft (4.3 m) E9, 5.03 mi (8.10 km)
E9 Rotterdam 240.4 ft (73.3 m) 15.0 ft (4.6 m) E10, 5.95 mi (9.58 km)
E10 Cranesville 255.4 ft (77.8 m) 15.0 ft (4.6 m) E11, 4.27 mi (6.87 km)
E11 Amsterdam 267.4 ft (81.5 m) 12.0 ft (3.7 m) E12, 4.23 mi (6.81 km)
E12 Tribes Hill 278.4 ft (84.9 m) 11.0 ft (3.4 m) E13, 9.60 mi (15.45 km)
E13 Yosts 286.4 ft (87.3 m) 8.0 ft (2.4 m) E14, 7.83 mi (12.60 km)
E14 Canajoharie 294.4 ft (89.7 m) 8.0 ft (2.4 m) E15, 3.35 mi (5.39 km)
E15 Fort Plain 302.4 ft (92.2 m) 8.0 ft (2.4 m) E16, 6.72 mi (10.81 km)
E16 St. Johnsville 322.9 ft (98.4 m) 20.5 ft (6.2 m) E17, 7.97 mi (12.83 km)
E17 Little Falls 363.4 ft (110.8 m) 40.5 ft (12.3 m) E18, 4.20 mi (6.76 km)
E18 Jacksonburg 383.4 ft (116.9 m) 20.0 ft (6.1 m) E19, 11.85 mi (19.07 km)
E19 Frankfort 404.4 ft (123.3 m) 21.0 ft (6.4 m) E20, 10.28 mi (16.54 km)
E20 Whitesboro 420.4 ft (128.1 m) 16.0 ft (4.9 m) E21, 18.10 mi (29.13 km)
E21 New London 395.4 ft (120.5 m) −25.0 ft (−7.6 m) E22, 1.32 mi (2.12 km)
E22 New London 370.1 ft (112.8 m) −25.3 ft (−7.7 m) E23, 28.91 mi (46.53 km)
E23 Brewerton 363.0 ft (110.6 m) −7.1 ft (−2.2 m) E24, 18.77 mi (30.21 km)

Oswego Canal

Lock # Location Elevation Lift or Drop Distance to Next Lock
O1 Phoenix 352.8 ft (107.5 m) −10.2 ft (−3.1 m) O2, 9.33 mi (15.02 km)
O2 Fulton 335.0 ft (102.1 m) −17.8 ft (−5.4 m) O3, 0.58 mi (0.93 km)
O3 Fulton 308.0 ft (93.9 m) −27.0 ft (−8.2 m) O5, 6.43 mi (10.35 km)
O5 Minetto 290.0 ft (88.4 m) −18.0 ft (−5.5 m) O6, 3.29 mi (5.29 km)
O6 Oswego 270.0 ft (82.3 m) −20.0 ft (−6.1 m) O7, 0.67 mi (1.08 km)
O7 Oswego 255.5 ft (77.9 m) −14.5 ft (−4.4 m) O8, 0.44 mi (0.71 km)
O8 Oswego 244.4 ft (74.5 m) −11.1 ft (−3.4 m) Lake Ontario, 0.68 mi (1.09 km)

The Welland Canal

Passing through a Lock on the Erie Canal