Since the weather was nice and we had a day to go exploring we decided to check out downtown Herkimer and take the 1PM Erie Canal boat tour.
We started out by having brunch at Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner (voted Readers’ Choice Best Upstate New York Diner)
Debbie had the Irish Benedict (corned beef Eggs Benedict) and I had a Denver Omelet with cheddar cheese. The food is really good and the atmosphere is really fun. No wonder they were voted best diner in upstate New York.
We then headed down to the Mohawk River and after a few minutes in the gift shop so I could pick up a magnet, we boarded the tour boat The Lil’ Diamond III, and set sail for the 90 minute narrated tour.
Just past the marina and the bridge, the Mohawk river continues on the left and the Erie Canal begins on the right.
It was a nice smooth sail down the canal and we had numerous opportunities to check out the wildlife.
We passed by Fort Herkimer Church, one of the oldest churches in New York State and the oldest building in Herkimer County.
We then came upon Lock 18. Locks are used as elevators for boats, lifting and lowering them as they travel along the waterway. Today, there 35 on the Erie Canal, which runs 363 miles from the Hudson River in Albany to Lake Erie in Buffalo.
Going downstream, as we were, there is a 20 foot difference in elevation after the lock. here’s a video of us lowering down.
After leaving the lock the Mohawk and Erie Canal joins together and this is where we turned around and started our trip back upstream. Here’s a video of us coming into the lock, raising up, and continuing on our way.
On the way back to the dock we passed under the massive gates. These gates are used for flood control and in the winter when the canal is closed to boat traffic.
We had a great time exploring and returned to the campground just in time for happy hour on the patio.
Until next time.