25 things to do under $25—Walk the Canal Villages
July 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM
The historic city of Lockport, NY serves as the backdrop of the Erie Canal, a nineteenth century engineering feat. The canal town is home to the famous “Flight of Five” double locks that allowed boats to travel to Buffalo by overcoming the 60-foot change in elevation created by the Niagara Escarpment. In the 19th century, the locks allowed boats to travel up one set while boats traveled down the other. Today, the “Flight of Five” locks act as a spillway for Locks #34 and #35, which can be seen from the Big Bridge — the widest, bridge in North America.
Visitors to Lockport can take part in “Walk the Canal Villages,” a program created by the Western Erie Canal Alliance that invites visitors to take part in a self-guided walking tour of the city and its attractions. The tour directs guests to destinations such as the Erie Canal DiscoveryCenter, The Flight of Five, UpsonPark, Exchange Street Lift Bridge, Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises, Main Street, and the Market Street Art Center, among others.
“The program was started for two reasons: to promote the rich history of the region for tourists and locals, and for the health aspects—walking is such an easy aerobic exercise,” said Erie Canal Discovery Center Director Douglas Farley.
Stop by the Erie Canal DiscoveryCenter (24 Church Street) for a drawstring backpack that includes a Walk the Canal guidebook (complete with directions, historic facts, and health tips), brochures and maps, visitor information, an activity book, and a pedometer ($5).
Walking along Main Street, visitors will experience a synthesis of the old and the new, the historic and the modern. Be sure to check out the Lockport Public Library, the Historic Post Office, the Historic Palace Theatre, the Bewley Building, and the Ulrich City Centre.
Lockport’s friendly community and rich history make it the perfect place to start “walking the canal villages.”
“Lockport has tremendous Erie Canal heritage; without the canal, Lockport wouldn’t be a community,” Farley said. He also noted the influence that Lockport’s locks have had on United States history.
For more information go to niagarahistory.org/discovery-center/
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