Riding Through the Erie Canal Locks

For our last full day in Niagara Falls we decided to do something different and we moved inland a bit to take a boat ride through some of the Erie Canal locks.  

We went through Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises and had a great time on the water learning all about the locks and the history of the Erie Canal.  It was a beautiful day to be on the water. 

one of the only dry docks on this part of the river

an upside down railroad bridge we passed under on our way to the first locks

the waterfalls on the right side are actually the old canal locks; there used to be an up and a down side; so much smaller than I had pictured!!

These are the boats they used back in the day to navigate the canals. 

One side of the locks have been enlarged to accommodate today's larger boats; notice the waterline on the walls as that's what we're being raised up to

First we get near the walls so they can tie up the boat 

Then the rear doors begin to close 

They don't shut and seal fully until the water begins pouring in and puts pressure on them; you can hear them clang fully shut within moments

The water is soaking into the locks; slowly raising us up

the rear doors are fully shut now

almost there... 

The doors begin to open and we head right into the next lock to be raised up again following the same procedures

Now we're level with the water 

and we cruise right on out

all the locks are numbered and we went through locks 34&35

Not sure if you can see it in this photo but the old donkey/ footpaths are preserved the whole way alongside the canals and many have been turned into bike paths. 
After heading up river for a while we turn around and start back down.  In this photo below we're approaching our first lock to go down and you can see just how far the river drops in this short area.

We enter the locks, our boat is tied up, and the water is let out of the locks to lower us down to the next level.

Once through both locks we cruise past where we started our trip and traverse the river in the opposite direction for a bit.  We pass under a few bridges; this one raises completely and we sail underneath!

Two of the last original stone built buildings in this area.

You can really see the bike/ footpath now that the donkey used to use to pull the boats along the Erie canal

It was really neat to see and learn about up close after the boys and I had been reading about the construction of the Erie Canal.

Other posts about Niagara Falls:

Niagara Falls Day 1& 2: Hiking the Niagara Gorge 
Niagara Falls Day 3; Rainy day fun at the Power Vista, Aquarium, and Discovery Center 
Visiting the Buffalo Zoo
Niagara Falls at Night
Spending a Day in Niagara Falls, Canada
Getting Soaked at Niagara Falls
Old Fort Niagara 


  1. Replies
    1. It was so neat to see!.. but the boys were less than impressed with the actual ride.

  2. Very cool that your boys got to experience this! We went through locks on the Danube River - it is fascinating!

    1. It really is fascinating. Especially when you think about the technology they had to build them with back then.

  3. Very interesting!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with all of us!!Thanks too for stopping by!!

  4. How fun and exciting! I've been to Niagara Falls before but I didn't know one could do this in the area too.

    1. Yeah it was less than an hour away from Niagara falls; I hadn't realized there was a company so close that gave tours but my husband found them on an internet search.

  5. We enjoy doing this. We get a boat on the river Thames and pass Windsor castle. It's beautiful. Lovely to see your fun adventures xx Maria


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