The majority of us are not flush with cash as we roll toward summer vacation season. So, if you’re looking for a way to enjoy the Frog Days of Summer and not spend a fortune, here are six family fun excursions for free along New York’s canal system.

You may recall last summer the state came out with several Canal Staycations where you could kayak the waterways or bike the Empire State Trail. The new program, On The Canals expands on the original idea. Added to this year's program are guided fishing and birding trips and hydro-biking along with biking and kayaking.

Here are the six excursions and their itineraries:

  • Cruise the Canal by Kayak & Hydrobike in Medina: Free guided kayak and hydrobike tours on the Erie Canal at the Medina Canal Basin
  • Fish & Kayak at Medina Falls: Guided fishing excursions on Glenwood Lake to see Medina Falls and the historic aqueduct
  • Off Road, On the Water: Bike & Kayak in Palmyra-Macedon: Paddling on the Erie Canal and pedaling along the Empire State Trail
  • Biking & Boating in the Finger Lakes Wine Country: Bike and water taxi loop via the Cayuga-Seneca Trail and Cayuga-Seneca Canal
  • Montezuma Wetlands: In Search of the Bald Eagle: Guided birding tour via kayak in the Montezuma Wetlands
  • Travel a Lock: A Kayak & Bike Adventure in Amsterdam: A trip between Port Jackson and the historic Yankee Hill Lock
On The Canals Map

The State's Canal System is now open for their 197th season, all locks and lift bridges on the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals will be in operation through Wednesday, October 13th. Information on lock hours and locations are available for boaters at the Canal Corporation's website. More information on the six free excursions is available at the On The Canals website.

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