top of page
  • Writer's pictureKay

"Low Bridge, Everybody Down...!"

"Low Bridge, Everybody Down...Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal," goes the refrain from the Erie Canal Song, composed in 1905 by Thomas Allen. Completed in 1825, the original Erie Canal included 83 locks and stretched 363 miles from Albany, NY on the east to Buffalo, NY and Lake Erie on the west. The canal has been enlarged over the years and the current canal has only 57 locks. We transited 23 of those locks from Albany to Syracuse with Jackson friends, Jimmy and Renee Jones, before turning north for Lake Ontario and Canada.

Unlike the huge locks on the Tennessee and Tombigbee rivers which are often 10 to 15 miles apart with floating bollards on which to tie your boat, the locks on the Erie are much closer together and almost continuous. One hardly has time to get through one lock before the next one comes up, so we left our fenders out the entire trip to protect us from the lock walls. The locks on the Erie are much smaller than those on the Tenn-Tom and often have only a couple of loose ropes for the boat crew to grasp and hold through the lock rather than floating bollards. Thankfully Jimmy was able to grasp the first line near the bow, allowing Charles or me to snag the second one at mid-ship with a boat pole.

Starting the Erie in Waterford, NY North of Albany

Dinner on the Erie

With the Jones in Canajoharie NY

Jimmy Handling The Lock Lines

Tied Up For the NIght Outside Erie Lock

Charles Holding the Lock Line

Erie Lock and Dam

64 views2 comments


Jun 21, 2022

What fun!

I remember going thru locks on the Nile, but they were much wider and very easy. We just went down and then up and over.

Glad you are all better!


Andrea & Peter


Jun 21, 2022


bottom of page