July 21, 2023
New kayak rental available at site boat launch
Photos available here
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announce the successful completion of at $1.7 million Erie Canal Aqueduct stabilization project at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site in Fort Hunter, NY. The project was designed to preserve and secure the historic Aqueduct built in 1841 to carry the Erie Canal over the Schoharie Creek.
"The Erie Canal Aqueduct stabilization project was crucial to preserve this engineering landmark for the enjoyment of all New Yorkers," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. "This work makes the park more welcoming to visitors, while also honoring the ingenuity and hard work of the New Yorkers who built it over 180 years ago, and telling the story of New York's role in the expansion of our nation."
As part of the stabilization efforts, the towpath arches have been firmly secured using twelve piles, each approximately 65 feet deep. These piles were topped with a substantial 65-ton concrete block strategically positioned at the base of pier six, the easternmost of the interconnected piers. This innovative anchoring system ensures the long-term stability of the arches, safeguarding the Aqueduct for generations to come. Furthermore, the restoration team went above and beyond expectations by meticulously repointing over 3200 linear feet of the Aqueduct's masonry joints. This undertaking, nearly four times the originally anticipated amount, showcases the commitment to excellence displayed throughout the project.
In addition to the structural enhancements, the Aqueduct now benefits from large concrete anti-scour pads installed beneath arches four and six. To bolster anti-scour protection, stones from previous aqueduct collapses have been strategically placed at key locations around the remaining structures. Moreover, surplus stones from past incidents have been creatively repurposed as park furniture in the Aqueduct Picnic Area. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy these unique seating options or simply marvel at their historical significance.
Now that the construction phase has concluded, visitors are encouraged to explore and enjoy the Aqueduct and Aqueduct Picnic Area and Boat Launch, conveniently located at the northern end of Hartley Lane in the Town of Glen, NY. The picnic area is open year-round, free of charge, from sunrise to sunset, offering an ideal setting to relax and appreciate the newly restored surroundings. Due to the recent lowering of the locks on the Modern Barge Canal by the New York State Canal Corp., visitors who wish to observe the Aqueduct up close will require a boat. Fortunately, Upstate Kayaks has introduced a new self-serve kayak rental kiosk at the boat launch to cater to your aquatic exploration needs. For more information and to book a rental, please visit upstatekayakrentals.com.
At the Visitor Center visitors can discover enlightening exhibit on the rich history of Erie Canal and Fort Hunter. Located at 129 Schoharie St., Fort Hunter, NY 12069, the Visitor Center welcomes guests from 10 am to 5 pm on Wednesdays through Saturdays, and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays and select holidays.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78 million people in 2020. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.