As described by former Canal Society President Tom Grasso:
In central New York State, Interstate 90 - New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), NY 31, and the 19th century, second generation Erie Canal converge at the village of Port Byron. The canal was abandoned in 1918, when the 4th generation Erie opened in the canalized Seneca River 3 miles north.
Authentic canal structures include the 1853 Enlarged Erie Lock, lengthened for double-long tows in 1887, and immediately east the c. 1895 Erie House Saloon, Blacksmith Shop, and Mule Barn built by Italian immigrants Pietro and Salvatore Van Detto.
A Visitors Center controls the unique access from NY31 and the Thruway. Paved trails lead through the lock chambers to the Erie House complex of buildings now completely restored.
(World Canals Conference presentation, Scotland, 2016. Presentation slides here.)
Opened in 2016, the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to walk through Enlarged Erie Canal Lock 52 as well as a chance to visit the Erie House Saloon, Blacksmith Shop, and Mule Barn, directly from the New York State Thruway when traveling east. The volunteers at the Visitor Center and Erie House will be happy to answer any questions visitors may have. A gift shop and restrooms are also available at the Visitor Center.
The Old Erie Canal Heritage Park is primarily run by volunteers, and we're always grateful for more help! If this is something that you might be interested in, send us an email through the "drop us a line" link below or call the Visitor Center at 315 776-4601.
Our audio tour is made available with special thanks to Ken Parulski and to Brenda Tremblay who did the narration
A quick introduction to the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park
Visit the Old Erie Canal Heritage Park via our dedicated New York State Thruway exit near Eastbound milepost 309. While there is no direct westbound access from the Thruway, there is an entrance from Route 31 in Port Byron.
The Park opens for the season on May 1st.
Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm daily.
Find the Park's page on Facebook:
1575 Rooker Drive, Port Byron, New York 13140, United States