Waterford

Waterford Facts

The Mavret H at Waterford. One of the many tugboats along the canal.
Location: Erie Canal
Champlain Canal
Website: town.waterford.ny.us
NYS guide: Page E-66/C-2
Town west: Crescent (4 miles)
Town north: Mechanicville (9 miles)
Town south: Troy (3 miles)
Lock west: Lock E2 (0 miles)
Lock north: Lock C1 (2 miles)
Lock south: Troy Federal Lock (3 miles)

Waterford is a true canal town. It encompasses all of the many different aspects of the canal that makes the canal grand. Located at the junction between the Hudson River and the Erie Canal, it marks the official beginning of both the Erie Canal and Champlain Canal. It passed by transient boaters traveling in all directions. Waterford has a rich canal history, free public docks, and all the essential supplies within walking distance of the town wall. This is a must stop for all boaters, for the night or at for least lunch and supplies.

Nearby one can find a restaurants, groceries, a public library, post office, laundry facilities, the Old Champlain Canal walking path and a nice state park. The visitor center offers bathrooms and showers, while the public docks provide free power and electricity (for 2 days).

Waterford hosts the annual Tugboat Roundup in the fall and is the home of the Flight of Locks (Lock E2-Lock E6). While staying at Waterford, one can experience many different types of canal boats. Waterford is the home of many tugboats and other working canal boats, as well as sees cruisers of all types transiting the canals for recreation, as well as passing through on the way north/south for the season.

Across the canal is Peebles Island State Park. Walking across the bridge will bring you to a nice picnic area, historic canal factory, and a few miles of hiking trails. If spending a night here at Waterford, a walk to Peebles Island State Park is a must.

West of the Flight of Locks, just west of Guard Gate E2, there is a terminal wall where one can moor while waiting for the canal to become ready, or for those arriving late in the evening without enough time to lock through. Remember, one must pass all the way through the locks E-2 to E-6, and cannot spend the night in between the locks locks E-2 and E-6 (Unless given special permission).

Contents

Waterford Visitor Center

The Waterford Town Wall offers free daytime stopping to take a rest or go into town to get supplies. It also offers overnight tie-ups with both power and water.

  • Free for two days.
  • Power
  • Water
  • Restrooms
  • Free Internet Access
  • Nearby attractions:
    • Stores
    • Post office, 57 4th St, (518) 235-1733
    • Library

Waterford Tugboat Roundup

The Waterford Tugboat Roundup is an annual fall event at the Welcome Center at Waterford. The annual event is a trip back in time when the canal was in its industrial heyday. Here dozens of tugboats come to show off. There are canal rides, tugboat pulling contests, vendors, and more.

View from above looking at the terminal wall.
View from above looking at the terminal wall.  
A tour boat giving rides between Lock E2 and  E3.
A tour boat giving rides between Lock E2 and E3.  
The Lois McClure showing off.
The Lois McClure showing off.  
Urger, the flagship tug of the NYS Canal Cooperation.
Urger, the flagship tug of the NYS Canal Cooperation.  

Waterford Steamboat Meet

The canal wall with Pebbles Island State Park across the river.
The canal wall with Pebbles Island State Park across the river.

The Waterford Steamboat Meet is an annual event held at the Waterford Visitor Center. The annual event is a trip back in time when the canal was in its industrial heyday. The meet is typically held in the early summer and draws steamboats of different sizes from near and far. This is truly a unique boat exhibit with something for everyone.

The event high points are the annual parade of boats from the Troy Federal Lock to the harbor and the fireworks display located within the harbor. Visitors looking to attend by boat (non-participating steam boats) are not allowed to use the terminal wall. Rather the usually closed pier between Lock E3 and E4 is open for day and overnight use. Read the latest Notice to Mariners and/or contact the canal corporation for further details. There are no services available.

The steamboats that attend yearly vary, but they vary in character greatly and everyone has their own favorite.

Peebles Island State Park

Peebles Island State Park is located at the junction of the Erie Canal and Hudson River and has played a role in protecting the country year ago and now stands as a state park where one can learn and take a walk on the island web of trails.

Access from the Waterford Visitor Center is by walking across the 2nd Street Bridge (directly next to Visitor Center), once at the end of the bridge, access to the walking trails are to the right while a park with picnic tables are to the left.

Waterford Photos

3 tugboats atop Lock E2.
3 tugboats atop Lock E2.  
A line of boats entering Lock E3.
A line of boats entering Lock E3.  
Canal Corp. boat yard.
Canal Corp. boat yard.  
Day Peckinpaugh moored at Lock E3 yard.
Day Peckinpaugh moored at Lock E3 yard.  
Geese at Lock E5, with Lock E6 in the background.
Geese at Lock E5, with Lock E6 in the background.  
A winters worth of debris at Guard Gate E2.  The gate is down preventing this debris from entering the Waterford Flight of Locks.
A winters worth of debris at Guard Gate E2. The gate is down preventing this debris from entering the Waterford Flight of Locks.  
Across from the Guard Gate is the area boat launch and wall.  Here you can tie up while waiting for the guardmaster to allow you to pass.
Across from the Guard Gate is the area boat launch and wall. Here you can tie up while waiting for the guardmaster to allow you to pass.  
The Grand Erie moored to the wall at the guard gate.
The Grand Erie moored to the wall at the guard gate.  
A dredge crew working just outside the Guard Gate.
A dredge crew working just outside the Guard Gate.  
A free public boat launch is located across from the Guard Gate.
A free public boat launch is located across from the Guard Gate.  
A night view from the wall at the guard gate.
A night view from the wall at the guard gate.  

Flight of Locks

The Flight of Locks is the first five (Lock E2-Lock E6) locks along the Erie Canal. This sequence of locks is the largest lift in the shortest distance, only 1.5 miles, of any system in the world.


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